Microsoft has launched the public beta of XNA Game Studio Express, the new tool that's designed to let novice programmers create their own games for the PC and Xbox 360.
Now available for download via Microsoft's website, it lets you develop games using Windows XP and Windows Vista. You can then port your creations over to Xbox 360 - provided you're willing to join the XNA Creators' Club at a cost of $99 per year, or $49 for a four month trial.
The Creators' Club will launch towards the end of the year alongside the finished version of XNA Game Studio Express. Those who want to profit from their games will be needing XNA Game Studio Professional, which is out next spring - with a price point still to be announced.
According to Microsoft, there's been an "overwhelming" response to XNA Game Studio Express since it was announced earlier this month; more than 100 schools and nearly 20 universites from around the globe have already shown interest in the project.