ExEn Is An Open-Source Tool Which Allows Developers To Port Xbox 360 Games To iOS And Silverlight
Talented game developer Andrew Russell has created a fully open-source tool that allows developers to port their Xbox 360 games onto other platforms, and the currently supported platforms are iOS and Silverlight with Android and Mac OS X support coming soon.
Imagine the possibilities of developing a game for the Xbox 360 and having it effortlessly ported to a multitude of devices and platforms. ExEn, as this utility is called, currently allows developers to port their Xbox 360 games to iOS devices and even Silverlight if you’re more of a web enthusiast. In the future, however, this open-source tool is expected to be able to port games to Android and even Mac OS X (PC too maybe?).
The ability to port games to Android was supposed to be available with this release, although Russell claims that wasn’t possible as that feature is not ready for prime time use, but in the future, it will be as outlined below:
ExEn is running behind schedule for various reasons […] The most notable absence in this release is the Android port which, although it is making good progress, is not yet good enough for a public release.
However, those who have donated to this project will be let into a pre-release program that will give them access to new features as they’re added with time (of course, expect bugs and fixes gradually with time). Everyone who contributed before Wednesday will be given access to the pre-release build of ExEn:
To remedy that, everyone who contributed – any amount at all […] will be given access to the pre-release program (emails go out tomorrow). That way you will have immediate access to features as they are added, as well as the work-in-progress Android port.
Still, if you want to donate to this cause you can do so from Andrew’s website. According to him, more funding is needed for Mac OS X support to be implemented, so why don’t you go ahead and donate a few bucks and aid the developer in Xbox domination on other platforms?
Meanwhile, you can download the first public preview from here right now and start porting your own games to Silverlight and iOS. It’s important to keep in mind that this tool is meant for developers only, don’t expect you will be able to just insert your Duke Nukem Forever DVD into your drive and instantly play it on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.
We’ll see how many developers actually take advantage of this and release iOS versions of their Xbox 360 games, but my guess is that iOS games need to have certain device-specific features in order to be successful. A port alone definitely won’t do it, but could this be laying the ground work for a next generation of iOS games? Maybe, Maybe not, who knows!