At Mobile World Congress in February, we unveiled the Windows Phone 7 Series, Microsoft’s new mobile platform that will be available this holiday season. There’s plenty of more info on the announcement on the Windows Phone site. What I’d like to talk about today are opportunities available for game developers on Windows Phone 7 Series.

The Windows Phone 7 Series game hub: An exciting feature of Windows Phone 7 Series is the games hub, which delivers the first and only official Xbox LIVE experience on a phone. The games hub will have Xbox LIVE games and a Spotlight feed. You’ll also be able to see your avatar and gamer profile, earn Achievements and build your Gamerscore.

The games hub will contain all the games an individual has acquired through the Windows® Phone Marketplace. We are partnering with a select group of publishers to create great Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone 7 Series and the games hub. For consumers, this means that they will be able to easily find high-quality games from familiar publishers they’ve come to know and love. For game developers, this means they can focus on quality gaming experiences at a price that is fair to both them and consumers.

Windows® Phone Marketplace hub: But we also remain committed to independent developers. Windows Phone 7 Series includes the Windows® Phone Marketplace hub, where apps and games will be sold. Both independent and professional developers can offer games as apps via Marketplace, giving consumers a wide array of games to choose from. Charlie Kindle, the partner group program manager for Windows Phone 7 Series, talked a little more about this in a blog post last week.

XNA Game Studio 4.0: That’s how developers can sell their apps… so how do they get started? Today we unveiled the game development software behind it all: XNA Game Studio 4.0, the latest update to one of the most comprehensive and affordable suites of software development tools. This updated version of XNA Game Studio will allow game developers to leverage the new features of Windows Phone 7 Series to create compelling mobile games. You can get more information on XNA Game Studio 4.0 in person at the Microsoft Game Developer Days at GDC and at MIX10. You can also read more about it on the XNA Creators Club Online and on Michael Klucher's Blog, which discusses game design and development using XNA Game Studio.

Previous versions of XNA Game Studio have been used by millions of developers to create games for Xbox 360, Windows, and Zune. So it will be easy for many to start building games for Windows Phone 7 Series or update existing games to adopt the platform’s new features. This flexibility works in more ways than one; once a developer has created a new game for the Windows Phone 7 Series, he or she can adapt that game to work on Windows and Xbox 360 without re-coding the entire game. XNA Game Studio 4.0 makes building games for all Microsoft platforms an easy and efficient process.

We look forward to more gaming updates in coming months as developers stretch their imaginations to create the best mobile games available.

Stay tuned!

Posted by Ron Pessner
General Manager, Xbox LIVE Mobile .