360 and Playstation Homebrew Games
Microsoft plans to release XNA Game Studio Express so that aspiring hobbyist game developers can make their own 360 games. This is similar to the Linux kit that Sony released for the PS2 so that hobbyists could make their own games.
This is a nice gesture, but the problem isn’t the API or devkit barrier. It’s already extremely easy to get the APIs and distribute games on the PC. The biggest barrier, by far, is the game development itself. It’s really really hard to write games that people want to play. Even most mediocre games take huge time commitments and require very complex skill sets.
Sure Counterstrike was great, but that was done by a highly skilled professional level team. Darwinia is fun, but in reality that was more successful as a platform for pundits to romanticize the notion of hobbyist developers than as a game that people actually played.
Sorry to be so cynical, but I believe that most journalists like to fantasize and exagerate the hidden potential of homebrew and closet game developers.