XNA Essentials

Game Programming for Xbox 360, PC + Windows Phone


Will there be an XNA Game Studio 4.0 Unleashed book?

I just got back from the SIEGE conference.  Actually, the conference is still going strong, and the first official day of the conference is today, Friday, October 5, 2012.  However, SIEGE put on a Windows 8 Hackathon sponsored by Microsoft.

I was asked to speak at this Hackathon and work with Glen Gordon to provide training for Windows 8 and work with folks who wanted to participate in creating a game in a 28 hour period.  It was a good time.

While I was at the event, I received an email thanking me for the content on the site and asked if I was going to update the book or if they should just use the 3.0 book to learn some of the topics discussed like HLSL.  This post is an answer to that email.


At this point there are no plans to update the XNA book.  The majority of the content is still appropriate but there were major breaking changes in the API between XNA 3.0 to XNA 4.0.


The code in the book used Visual Studio 2008, but XNA 4 requires Visual Studio 2010.  Visual Studio 2012 is currently available but it doesn’t support XNA 4.0.

There was a workshop that was started a while back and it went through the first few chapters of the book.  This can be found at:


Since then, the source for the book itself has been released as open source.

There is a very helpful cheat sheet available to help upgrading from 3.0 to 4.0:


So, if you are still just learning XNA and want to use the book, I'd actually suggest starting out with Visual Studio 2008 and working through the book just as it is.  Then once you are done, you can go through the process of upgrading the bits you are most interested in by using Visual Studio 2010 and XNA 4.  That route will provide the least amount of headache, but does take the extra step at the end.

However, if you have some things under your belt and don't mind redoing the code as you go along by using the cheat sheet, then you can just get Visual Studio 2010 and the source code and work through the cheat sheet.

My original plan was to update the book when XNA 5 would be released, but it doesn't appear that a new version will be released.  There are no plans to create a XNA Game Studio 4.0 Unleashed book.


I’ve been spending my time creating a book to teach app and game development for Windows 8.  For folks that want to use XNA in Windows 8, make sure to check out MonoGame.


Happy Coding!