Hoping to spur interest among video-game enthusiasts, creative types, and students, Microsoft Corp. said it plans to offer a consumer version of the professional software tools used to create video games for its Xbox 360 console.

The XNA Game Studio Express program, an offshoot of the company's more robust XNA Framework for video-game design, will be available starting Aug. 30 for a $99 annual subscription, the company announced Aug. 14.

The software, which requires a Windows PC to operate, will let anyone create their own video games and then...

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