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MS On The Record About WP7 Gaming

Aaron Woodman, Director of Windows Phone Product Management went live on the other day to talk about gaming on WP7. There’s some confirmations and some news. Here’s what we heard:

  • Holiday is absolute the release date and that means in time for most consumers to walk into a store for holiday shopping
  • In terms of marketing, he said it’s really the first time in Windows mobile history that they’ve really decided to make a significant investors and we’ll see that across digital and across partners. Sounds like a large marketing plan in the works
  • At launch you will not be able to pause a game on the phone and continue it on the Xbox or vice versa.
  • As far as game availability across different markets, you need to have both Marketplace availability which will be broad but limited by things like tax laws. Also, some developers may choose to not publish to all markets because of things like heavy text games that won’t work in other countries.
  • You will not get invitations on your phone to play Xbox console games.
  • Microtransactions (the ability to buy more levels within a game) will not exist at launch
  • If you get a call during a game you’ll get a grayed out screen and the game is paused in the background. Save state will work across all apps though so if you switch to email that can work as well
  • Microsoft has a group within MS that goes to publishers to get them to develop games and they will be pushing WP7 and he hints that there will be a large number of titles at launch because of this.
  • He himself hasn’t played too many games on the actual device but he has played some that have blown him away.

He suggested at multiple times that there are a lot of ideas in the works for gaming and MS will be integrating them over time.