Windows Phone 7: Microsoft reveals launch titles and more on Xbox Live gaming

Xbox Live gaming was one feature of Windows Phone 7 we haven't heard much about, but that all changed today when Microsoft revealed their launch titles and a bit more about the functionality of the service on WP7.
Written by Matthew Miller, Contributing Writer

Last month I had the chance to spend about three weeks with the Windows Phone 7 Technical Preview and it helped reignite my enthusiasm for Microsoft's upcoming mobile platform. One of the major holes missing in the Technical Preview that I mentioned here was Xbox Live games and this was one area where Microsoft really has a chance to stand apart from the other platforms. Tonight we received a press release revealing much more about the Xbox Live gaming support, including revelation of the first large number of games that will be in the launch portfolio. Microsoft also promised weekly releases of games after launch so it looks like games may be the number one type of application available soon after launch on Windows Phone 7. The lucky guys over at Engadget actually had a chance to play some of the games on WP7 devices so check out their post and video for more information.

As the press release states, Microsoft Game Studios (MGS) will support content for Windows Phone 7, including companion titles from popular Xbox games like Halo: Waypoint and Crackdown 2. Some of the primary providers of gaming on Windows Phone 7 include Gameloft, Konami, Namco Bandai, PopCap, and THQ. All I needed was to see two Star Wars games coming to WP7 and my earlier decision to buy a WP7 device was just made even more of a sure thing. One very cool game I heard about was the Project Sunburst tower defense game that lets you choose what you want to defend through Bing Maps support so you can actually choose to defend your own home or other building/area you choose.

Here is the list of the first wave of games (and the developer) for Windows Phone 7 through Xbox Live:

  • 3D Brick Breaker Revolution (Digital Chocolate)
  • Age of Zombies (Halfbrick)
  • Armor Valley (Protégé Games)
  • Asphalt 5 (Gameloft)
  • Assassins Creed (Gameloft)
  • Bejeweled LIVE (PopCap)
  • Bloons TD (Digital Goldfish)
  • Brain Challenge (Gameloft)
  • Bubble Town 2 (i-Play)
  • Butterfly (Press Start Studio)
  • CarneyVale Showtime (MGS)
  • Castlevania (Konami)
  • Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst (MGS)
  • De Blob Revolution (THQ)
  • Deal or No Deal 2010 (i-Play)
  • Earthworm Jim (Gameloft)
  • Fast & Furious 7 (i-Play)
  • Fight Game Rivals (Rough Cookie)
  • Finger Physics (Mobliss Inc.)
  • Flight Control (Namco Bandai)
  • Flowerz (Carbonated Games)
  • Frogger (Konami)
  • Fruit Ninja (Halfbrick)
  • Game Chest-Board (MGS)
  • Game Chest-Card (MGS)
  • Game Chest-Logic (MGS)
  • Game Chest-Solitaire (MGS)
  • GeoDefense (Critical Thought)
  • Ghostscape (Psionic)
  • Glow Artisan (Powerhead Games)
  • Glyder 2 (Glu Mobile)
  • Guitar Hero 5 (Glu Mobile)
  • Halo Waypoint (MGS)
  • Hexic Rush (Carbonated Games)
  • I Dig It (InMotion)
  • iBlast Moki (Godzilab)
  • ilomilo (MGS)
  • Implode XL (IUGO)
  • Iquarium (Infinite Dreams)
  • Jet Car Stunts (True Axis)
  • Let’s Golf 2 (Gameloft)
  • Little Wheel (One click dog)
  • Loondon (Flip N Tale)
  • Max and the Magic Marker (PressPlay)
  • Mini Squadron (Supermono Limited)
  • More Brain Exercise (Namco Bandai)
  • O.M.G. (Arkedo)
  • Puzzle Quest 2 (Namco Bandai)
  • Real Soccer 2 (Gameloft)
  • The Revenants (Chaotic Moon)
  • Rise of Glory (Revo Solutions)
  • Rocket Riot (Codeglue)
  • Splinter Cell Conviction (Gameloft)
  • Star Wars: Battle for Hoth (THQ)
  • Star Wars: Cantina (THQ)
  • The Harvest (MGS)
  • The Oregon Trail (Gameloft)
  • Tower Bloxx NY (Digital Chocolate)
  • Twin Blades (Press Start Studio)
  • UNO (Gameloft)
  • Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet (i-Play)
  • Zombie Attack! (IUGO)
  • Zombies!!!! (Babaroga)

I have a Xbox 360, but only have time to play about 2 hours a month so am looking forward to being able to play these games on my smartphone that is always with me. In addition to these games, Microsoft stated that more titles will be in the launch portfolio and new titles will be released regularly. I love that EVERY game will be able to be tried out on WP7 with none of this dual downloading of a lite or trial version or lack of any kind of trial we see so often on today's other smartphone platforms.

There is more than just game titles in today's announcement though as Microsoft also announced that WP7 owners will be prompted to download a free additional Xbox Live add-on when they first launch it that adds features such as an enhanced avatar and controls to customize the avatar and interact with it on your phone. From your Windows Phone 7 device you will be able to interact with your friends and message them, view, earn, and track achievements, play in multiplayer games, and view the Spotlight feed.

There was no pricing of the games revealed yet, but I asked and found out that you only need a free Silver Xbox Live account to use the service and play the games on Windows Phone 7. I look forward to see more about these games, including seeing some videos of the games in action on a Windows Phone 7 device or two.

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