Microsoft needs every edge it can get when it finally commits completely to entering the harrowing world of mobile phones. We already know a fair amount about Windows Phone 7, but with the recently released iPhone 4 and a new OS to go with it, in addition to the explosion of Android-based phones, Microsoft has its work cut out for it if it wants to grab market share. In order to do that, Microsoft is going to use every tool at its disposal, and one of the most successful tools available is the Xbox 360 and the Xbox Live network.
The first sign of that integration between the Xbox and the Windows Phone 7 will be the games, of course. While both the iPhone and Android phones boost an impressive number of titles, neither has the gaming pedigree that the Xbox can offer. Among the games that will be available for Windows Phone 7 are the Xbox Arcade titles Uno, Bejeweled, and a new game called Game Chest.
Microsoft has also announced several other coming titles will be coming soon, including CarneyVale: Showtime, among others. The Windows Phone 7s will also connect with the Xbox Live to allow users to earn achievements, update their avatar, and access companion games, like Halo: Waypoint, a game add on that allows you to watch videos, interact with others, and keep track of the gaming action. Other games like Crackdown: Project Sunburst will act as a companion to the full game.
According to research done by Microsoft, 80-percent of gamers will own smartphones within a year, and a quarter of what gamers spend their gaming money on is for mobile games. The mobile gaming industry recently passed the billion dollar mark in the US, and it shows no signs of slowing.
The news isn’t surprising, but it is encouraging. As more and more developers continue to make titles for the Xbox Arcade, game makers now have the option of expanding their potential customer base to include Windows Phone 7 users.
The Windows Phone 7 will also feature heavy integration with the Zune music service, Office, and several other Microsoft products. Expect to hear much, much more about the Windows Phone 7 in the coming weeks.