As planned, the beta for Microsoft's XNA Game Studio Express has launched.
Aspiring game designers can now download a beta of the XNA game creation tools. Supporting both Windows XP and Windows Vista, users can get started on developing games free of charge. For those that wish to create games for the Xbox 360, there will be a yearly $99 fee for the "XNA Creators Club" membership. This will allow designers to port their game prototypes right onto the Xbox 360 for testing. There is also a four month, $49 subscription available.
GarageGames has also begun enrollment for its Torque X beta program as part of today's launch. The beta will include the Torque Game Builder and a version of the Torque Shader Engine, giving developers drag and drop tools to aid in the design process. You can sign up for the beta and download the XNA tools here.