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Windows Phone 7 is Xbox Live Arcade Ready

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 26 comments

Porting Xbox Live Arcade games to Windows Phone 7 may be as simple as adding four lines of code.

Consumers looking forward to the new Windows Phone 7 will be in for a treat when it finally hits the market. According to Oded Ran, head of Consumer Marketing for Windows Phone, all games loaded on Xbox Live Arcade may be playable on the mobile OS. That's over 300 titles including Doom, Duke Nukem 3D, Marathon, Portal: Still Alive, Serious Sam HD, and more.

"Just four lines of code changed an Xbox Live Arcade game to a Windows Phone 7 game in a recent publisher test," Ran said during a roundtable briefing in London. Does that seem likely given that these games are configured to work with an Xbox 360 controller? Will games only need four lines of additional code in order to work on a smartphone?

According to Ran, Microsoft is currently working with publishers and developers to port the Arcade games over to the mobile platform. But there was also no indication that the games would be available at launch, or if Microsoft planned to release only specific titles--we imagine certain game availability would (obviously) depend on the smartphone's hardware.

At one time there were rumors that Microsoft was working on a handheld Xbox system. Is it possible the rumors could have been pointing at Windows Phone 7, and its ability to play games off Xbox Live Arcade, the whole time?

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  • 5 Hide
    Anonymous , June 30, 2010 8:18 PM
    Looking like a home run!
  • 3 Hide
    SneakySnake , June 30, 2010 8:19 PM
    how's the performance though?

    Cuz Battlefield 1943 is on XBLA, and I'd like to see that running on the phone.
  • 9 Hide
    dman3k , June 30, 2010 8:21 PM
    4 lines of code??? TGTBT???

    If so... bye bye Android... we had a GREAT run, but it's not you, it's me. I like games.
  • 4 Hide
    zaznet , June 30, 2010 8:21 PM
    This is a "we might be able to" and not a "we are doing" sort of statement from Microsoft.

    Now if the ported games allow me to download for free if I own the same Xbox 360 Arcade game then I'd be quiet pleased with this feature.

    As it stands it's a rapid development method for ensure lots of competition to the iPhone and Android App Stores.
  • 0 Hide
    Frag Mortuus , June 30, 2010 8:22 PM
    That would be awesome for new games like Risk: Factions or other board-game type applications. But, for games like Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix, it will be pretty unlikely.

    The potential is awesome, though!
  • 3 Hide
    RADIO_ACTIVE , June 30, 2010 8:23 PM
    This looks promising :) 
  • 1 Hide
    sidran32 , June 30, 2010 8:35 PM
    This is very likely. But it does all hinge on how they adapt controls. I don't know how the control scheme for WP7 will be, but I do know from experience that just by changing compile options, you can take a game made with XNA that runs on Windows and turn it into a game that runs on XBox. Definitely not too good to be true, in my opinion.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 30, 2010 8:43 PM
    why would you honestly want to play BF 1943 on a phone?
  • 0 Hide
    alphadark , June 30, 2010 8:52 PM
    zoltekwhy would you honestly want to play BF 1943 on a phone?


    Um, just because. My motorola Droid hangs up with all the trashware on the Marketplace. This will be the first time I get a new phone before my contract is up. Sorry google some QC would of made me stay, but everytime I listen to slacker radio I get through about 4 songs then need to reboot my phone.... Lame
  • 2 Hide
    razercultmember1 , June 30, 2010 8:53 PM
    ARM + NVIDIA Ion = win for xbla games lol
  • 3 Hide
    pharge , June 30, 2010 9:14 PM
    sidran32This is very likely. But it does all hinge on how they adapt controls. I don't know how the control scheme for WP7 will be, but I do know from experience that just by changing compile options, you can take a game made with XNA that runs on Windows and turn it into a game that runs on XBox. Definitely not too good to be true, in my opinion.


    I agree. In theory, the games will work in WP7 with few extra codes. However it does not mean the interface/UI of the game can just jump from XBOX gamepad to touch screen control flawless.
    While it will be easier than completely rewriting the game code, the programers still need to work on the UI to make it touchscreen friendly.
  • 1 Hide
    joytech22 , June 30, 2010 9:21 PM
    I hope Futuremark releases a Benchmark for Windows Mobile 7, that would be the coolest thing to show how good the games could look on a phone!
  • 0 Hide
    dragonsqrrl , June 30, 2010 9:56 PM
    Yaa... the dirty little secret we're not being told is that Microsoft has basically dumped development support for their Zune HD "beta testers", sacrificing a good portion of their loyal fan base in order to accelerate the development of their Windows Phone 7 OS and hardware platform. Much of the UI is merely an evolution of the one found in the Zune HD, but the apps and games created and ported to this new WP7 platform using XNA 4.0 will not be compatible with the Zune HD. And yes, that includes the recently announced Xbox Live Arcade games.

    It really sucks, but I think Microsoft has made a huge mistake in overlooking the Zune HD like this, a device that isn't even a year old. I can't imagine what would've happened if similar actions were taken against the Moto Droid (people would probably think twice before buying the Droid 2).
  • -2 Hide
    gm0n3y , June 30, 2010 10:29 PM
    FPS + Touchscreen controls = Fail. Maybe if I could carry around my a bluetooth controller to play, but that would be larger than the phone and kind of defeats the purpose.
  • 0 Hide
    sidran32 , June 30, 2010 10:36 PM
    gm0n3yFPS + Touchscreen controls = Fail. Maybe if I could carry around my a bluetooth controller to play, but that would be larger than the phone and kind of defeats the purpose.

    I don't know, they could potentially do it well. Maybe by making areas at the bottom corners of the screen touch controls for the two joysticks, though as far as the rest of the buttons would go, that is a good question. :p 
  • 3 Hide
    borisof007 , June 30, 2010 11:02 PM
    TRIALS HD YEAHHHH!
  • 1 Hide
    gm0n3y , June 30, 2010 11:26 PM
    sidran32I don't know, they could potentially do it well. Maybe by making areas at the bottom corners of the screen touch controls for the two joysticks, though as far as the rest of the buttons would go, that is a good question.

    If they put R and L buttons (or multifunction buttons that could be used like them) to act as triggers it could work. It would be kind of weird to have buttons located on the top and bottom on the right hand side of the phone though.
  • 1 Hide
    alextheblue , July 1, 2010 12:19 AM
    zaznetNow if the ported games allow me to download for free if I own the same Xbox 360 Arcade game then I'd be quiet pleased with this feature.
    I think that's probably up to the developer, but if they do this on even SOME of the titles... Hell. Yes. I'm thinking Castle Crashers and MTG would be nice to have on the go.
    Frag MortuusThat would be awesome for new games like Risk: Factions or other board-game type applications. But, for games like Super Street Fighter 2 HD Remix, it will be pretty unlikely. The potential is awesome, though!
    Actually the hardware will be pretty beast, and at the resolution of the screen, it should be able to run just about anything. Maybe with some reduced settings in some cases, but everything should look and run great. XNA will take care of a lot of the heavy lifting in the porting process, too.
    sidran32This is very likely. But it does all hinge on how they adapt controls.
    Well, I would hope that at least one phone manufacturer releases a game-centric phone with a slide out "gamepad" and a couple of trigger buttons. But there's always the possibility of lock-on external controllers, that would transform your phone to and from a handheld gaming device in a snap. Lots of options aside from strictly touchscreen controls.
  • 0 Hide
    kinggraves , July 1, 2010 12:20 AM
    dragonsqrrlYaa... the dirty little secret we're not being told is that Microsoft has basically dumped development support for their Zune HD "beta testers", sacrificing a good portion of their loyal fan base in order to accelerate the development of their Windows Phone 7 OS and hardware platform. Much of the UI is merely an evolution of the one found in the Zune HD, but the apps and games created and ported to this new WP7 platform using XNA 4.0 will not be compatible with the Zune HD. And yes, that includes the recently announced Xbox Live Arcade games. It really sucks, but I think Microsoft has made a huge mistake in overlooking the Zune HD like this, a device that isn't even a year old. I can't imagine what would've happened if similar actions were taken against the Moto Droid (people would probably think twice before buying the Droid 2).


    Zune HD and other "portable media players" have become obsolete. Smartphones can handle audio, HD Video, games, and many other things easily. Some of them can even make phone calls. Microsoft saw the quickly increasing smartphone market and changed focus. Most MP3/MP4 players have not been getting support as of late, they aren't useful anymore. There's still a market for cheap and durable MP3 players, as many people don't want to risk breaking an expensive phone while working/jogging, but the higher end models are being phased out. People want one device that can do everything for them now, not several that serve a special function.
  • 0 Hide
    r0x0r , July 1, 2010 1:19 AM
    Bluetooth controller.

    Also it would be good if you can hook the phone up to your 360 and get the game from there rather than using your 3G connection due to download caps.
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