Given my ancient history in dabbling with games development, I’m looking forward to this: XNA Game Studio Express is a Visual C#-based game development environment, which will be free for use on (and for) Windows. To write for XBox-360 it’ll cost you US$99 per year, with professionally-priced versions as well. The beta will be out on August 30th.
I’m hoping it’ll be easy enough for my kids to use too… or, well, at least easy enough for the one who is really interested in computers to try out some programming. And (given time, which admittedly I’m not overburdened with) it might be fun to muck about with.
Who knows, it might lead to a new age of home-grown computer games of the type we saw back in the 1980s, before computers got so hard to program. (Whether any of them will be any good is a fair question.)