“We believe that no matter where life takes you, the best in gaming and entertainment should follow,” said Marc Whitten, corporate vice president of Xbox LIVE at Microsoft. “Windows Phone 7 takes a different approach to handheld gaming, utilizing Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Game Studios, leading game publishers, and innovative indie developers, to create powerful, shared experiences for everyone.”
Windows Phone 7 will have a Games hub featuring Xbox LIVE, with try-before-you-buy demos, Xbox LIVE leaderboards, turn-based multiplayer, and more. Windows Phone 7 also will be supported by content from Microsoft Game Studios (MGS), providing first-party gaming titles and intellectual property for the phone. For Xbox fans, this means that Windows Phone 7 will offer companion titles to familiar names, such as “Halo: Waypoint,” and “Crackdown 2,” extending the experience of their favorite Xbox 360 franchises.
“Windows Phone 7 is the launch of a major gaming platform for Microsoft,” said Matt Booty, general manager of mobile gaming for MGS. “Just like we’ve done with Xbox 360, our charter is to push the envelope and deliver definitive games that maximize the platform. We will have an incredible lineup of MGS titles, and that’s just the beginning.”
According to Greg Sullivan, senior product manager with Microsoft's Mobile Communications Marketing Group. “Depending on how you measure it, games are one of the biggest application categories in the smartphone space," Sullivan said. “That’s one reason we’re so excited about the Game hub broadly and the Xbox LIVE integration in particular.”
Windows Phone 7 will have plenty of room for non-Xbox LIVE titles, and consumers can still have a great gaming experience on the phone even if they never plan on owning a console, he added.
Microsoft expects game developers to take advantage of Windows Phone 7’s gaming capacity in a way that extends the Xbox LIVE network and creates powerful new scenarios, Sullivan said. “I think folks are starting to think this through and consider the realm of the possible with gaming when you start to extend the leading gaming network of Xbox LIVE out to potentially millions of mobile devices and you have a platform that lets developers create great experiences that span the Xbox and the phone,” he said.