Windows Phone 7 is still somewhat new to the mobile operating system space, but Microsoft is hoping that gamers at least will be sold by its built-in interconnectivity with Xbox Live. The challenge of course is convincing all of those people who have already purchased apps for Apple iOS and Google Android to give up those purchases and switch to an entirely new marketplace. The Microsoft platform offers Xbox Live Achievements and leaderboards for its games, which is certainly tempting for the more die-hard Xbox 360 gamers, but the software selection just isn’t there. Yet.
Microsoft has announced a sales initiative for the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace that is not so different from pre-planned release “events” on Xbox Live Marketplace. For a six-week period this spring the company will release a series of popular mobile games that have yet to make their way to the platform. The “Must Have Games” sale kicks off in late spring and introduces one game per week, including Angry Birds, Plants Vs. Zombies, Hydro Thunder Go, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode I, geoDefense and Doodle Jump, according to Microsoft’s Major Nelson. All games will offer Xbox Live Achievements and track player scores on leaderboards.
Also coming to the Windows Phone 7 platform are two apps that connect directly with Xbox 360 content. Halo: Waypoint is a centralized stat-tracking service that corrals all user stats from the various Halo games into one place, with in-game unlocks offered as rewards for achieving milestones, such as unlocking certain achievements. Also coming is Fable: Coin Golf, which “draws upon the wealth of traditional British pub games” and allows plays to transfer any gold winning into Fable III on Xbox 360 or Windows. It also offers three weapon unlocks for the game’s upcoming downloadable content pack, Traitor’s Keep.