Saturday, 26 November 2011

Windows 8 Developer Preview

Can't wait to get your hands on Windows 8 so you can program apps for it? Well the wait is over, you can download the pre-beta for developers now!

We're downloading it right now and we'd recommend running it on a VM. We use Oracle Virtual Box for VMs as you can create 64-bit and 32-bit VMs as well as VMs for Unix, Windows and Apple OS's. If you use a VM, then you don't have to worry about losing your main PC if something goes wrong.

Here are the systems requirements:
The Windows 8 Developer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows Vista and Windows 7:
1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) processor
1 gigabyte (GB) RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
Taking advantage of touch input requires a screen that supports multi-touch
To run Metro style Apps, you need a screen resolution of 1024 X 768 or greater

Thursday, 24 November 2011

XNA Reach and HiDef Profiles

So I found out why I couldn't run the latest XNA GS4 on my old hardware: XNA GS4 now comes with 2 choices of graphics profile to use when you create your games! Those profiles are:


The Reach profile is for when your developing for Windows Phone 7 and you don't have the kind of display that you'd get from a Windows PC or an XBox 360. So, you guessed it, the HiDef profile is for Windows and XBox 360 development so you can get the best out of the display hardware.

If you are developing on a machine that does not have an HD display card, then you must select the Reach profile for you games or you will not be able to debug them (this works on XNA GS4 for Windows XP, Vista and 7 as well as when you install XNA GS4 as part of the Windows Phone 7.1 SDK).

For more information on this topic, please see the links below:

Shaw Hargreaves Blog (which covers how to select the different profiles)
MSDN (an in-depth article on the 2 profiles)