What About VB .NET and DirectX 9?
Now that Microsoft has released Visual Studio .NET, the stakes have been raised. Why? When Microsoft comes out with .NET interfaces for DirectX 9, there will be nothing stopping VB .NET programmers from creating C++ quality game code. .NET will offer all the supported languages access to the same features, libraries, and performance. In theory, all code will run at the same speed.
Along with this new technology is a new language called C# (pronounced see sharp). C# is already becoming the buzz around the broader development community and most likely will become a contender in the game development community. It has a lot of the advantages of C++ without the steep learning curve for people coming from the VB world. With this in mind, I wouldn't be surprised if C# becomes a dominant game programming language in the near future.