XNA Game Studio 3.1 has just been released! Download XNA GS 3.1 and check out the walkthrough for upgrading your old projects to v3.1! For a more in-depth overview of what is new in 3.1, head to http://creators.xna.com/en-us/article/xnags3.1whatsnew.
A quick overview of what is new:
- Avatar Support: Render and animate Avatars to use in your game to represent gamers and other characters within your game.
- Xbox LIVE Party Support: Enabling gamers to communicate, even when each gamer is not playing the same game in the same multiplayer session. LIVE Party supports up to an eight-way group voice chat for gamers and keeps gamers connected before, during, and after a gameplay session, persisting across title switches.
- Video Playback: XNA Game Studio now supports the ability to play back video that can be used for such purposes as opening splash and logo scenes, cut scenes, or in-game video displays. This set of XNA Framework APIs supports the following features:
- Full screen video playback
- Video playback to simple textures in game
- Control of playback such as pause/resume and stop
- Retrieve properties of the video, such as playback time, size, and frame rate
- Determine the type and usage of the audio track, such as if it has music, dialog, or music and dialog
- Play back multiple video streams at the same time
- Audio API: 3.1 has a new usage pattern of SoundEffect.Play. Sound instances created by Play calls are disposed automatically when playback ends, and SoundEffect.Play returns a Boolean to indicate success or failure.
- Content Pipeline Enhancements: improvements making it much easier to add customer types (custom attributes for run-time of an object and run-time type version of an object, and the ability to determine if deserialization into an existing object is possible).
- XACT3 Support: includes support for XACT3 with new features including the ability to enable a filter on every track, and support for the xWMA compression format.
- Visual Studio Changes: XNA Game Studio 3.1 supports both 3.0 and 3.1 projects, and it includes support for upgrading projects from 3.0 to 3.1.