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Microsoft’s gaming phone March 11, 2010

Posted by Cesar in gaming me.
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Do I have to mention the picture again? I didn’t think so. Anyway, this is a quick update. In one of my last entries, I mentioned Sony’s take on the PSP phone. So for completeness sake I feel I should mention the competition: this week, at GDC, Microsoft announced their new mobile phone OS.

Windows Phone 7 will have access to Xbox Live Arcade. On the programming side, the new version of XNA, the 4.0 release, will offer support for the platform, which by the way means developers will be able to create games for Windows 7 phones in a cost free environment.

As I mentioned when talking about the PSP phone, the key to this kind of initiative is software. And both companies are betting on their console markets to succeed. In that sense, I have to say Microsoft will get a head start. Live Arcade is right now a much stronger media distribution solution than the Playstation Network.

By the way, with the Live Arcade + XNA approach Microsoft rivals iPhone development, which is also free. What about Sony? The Japanese giant was apparently going that route, at least as far as sales are concerned, with the low priced PSP Mini games. However, development still depends on an expensive SDK. Maybe that indicates Sony might choose not to go that route and follow the more traditional game development/distribution model, keeping the publisher in between and charging for the development kit, like Nintedo does with the DSiware.

Which approach is better? I prefer the iPhone/Microsoft one by far. But that’s obvious because being both gamer and a programmer, I am biased. But let’s be fair, if I were a publisher or a manufacturer, things would be far less evident.

See you space cowboys…

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