Windows Phone 7 devices launched today, and users who are booting up their phones are being greeted with a good number of apps and games available on day one. We've heard from quite a few iOS indie developers that they were going to dabble in Windows Phone 7 development to test the waters of a brand new app market. Currently, there are around 400 games available. However, we suspect that much like the numbers that Apple boasts regarding the number of apps on the App Store, significantly less are likely worth playing.

XBOX Live integration comes standard with Windows Phone 7 instead of Apple's Game Center, and I really can't wait to see how this all gets leveraged with the existing XBOX Live functionality that's baked in to every XBOX 360 game. You're able to access your existing XBOX Live profile, and any achievements you earn get applied to your existing XBOX Live gamer score. Although, of those 400+ games available, only 26 actually use XBOX Live currently.

Another nice perk of the platform is how streamlined the demo process is. The Windows Phone 7 store allows for the download of demo versions, which are then upgraded to full versions of games and apps without needing to worry about separate full and lite versions like we do on the App Store.

Regardless of how you feel about Windows devices, it's great to see more competition in the smartphone market. It's hard to say if Microsoft can catch up to the momentum Apple has built up for itself, but it sure would be nice to see some of the better things about Windows Phone 7 eventually leak over to the iOS platform.

Up until now, mobile game porting seems to have been a one-way affair with most popular iOS games extending out onto other platforms. If Windows Series 7 does attract a new core of game developers, maybe we'll see that trend in reverse.

  • Anonymous

    WinPhone 7: The YAWN heard 'round the world!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_E5RCQWDFIGXLC64YBCS62SQTBA Kontar

    Boring... if I wanted weak mobile games, I'd buy an iPhone. If I want the best phone, I'd buy an Android (especially the EVO 4G).

    If I wanted both, I'd wait for the Playstation Android Phone.

    • Anonymous

      Do you live in an area with 4G network availability?

      • Skavinger

        He lives in Never Never Land.

  • TheOrioles33

    The only cool thing about Windows 7 phones is the XBOX intergration.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Robson/543560150 Michael Robson

      The devil's in the details. Achievements are shared, basically.

  • Anonymous

    windows phone 7 and no one cares, well not me anyway

    • http://twitter.com/ScottColbert Scott Colbert

      And yet, you cared enough to make a pointless post. Good for you!

      • lagano

        you go Scott Colbert

  • http://www.alienspacegame.com AlienSpaceDev

    I'd love to port my game to Windows Phone 7. All I need to do is snap my fingers and magically convert all my code from C++ to C#. Here I go. Ok... wait... it's not working. Damn!

    • JC

      I so understand your pain. Why are you doing this MS, ok, I know you want to impose your C## language, but this is such a bad mistake. Give us back C++.

      JC

      • http://www.alienspacegame.com AlienSpaceDev

        Indeed. Say what you will about Apple and ObjectiveC (which I'm not a fan of), as long as I can keep my codebase 95% cross-platform code and 5% Apple-specific, it works out well. Forcing me to rewrite my entire codebase to work with just your device? No thanks MS. (and a real shame 'cause I love developing for Xbox360. Uhmm, I mean real Xbox360 development, not XNA)

      • Gregsci

        I really don't know what is happening with these companies trying to change or beloved C++ to aberrations like C# and objetive-C... really. We are using C++ from decades and now M$ and uncle $teve want to impose their sh*tty languages on to us to make it industry-standard and be one step ahead the competition, it is just lame, and the people that pays are we the developers needing to port or stuff in 4, 5 different languages...

      • Sticktron

        Objective-C has been around as Long as C++. C# is new. Either way both are only slightly different than C and the little learning curve is well worth the payoff in frameworks you can then leverage.

  • http://dear-apple.com/ DearApple

    While Apple is just printing money, Microsoft is learning from their mistakes it seems... Better Game center, Apps Demo...

  • Anonymous

    I'd especially like to see the XBLA model for game sales be adopted. All games and apps would have a required free demo with in-app unlock of the full game, and with the App Store showing the app as having a free demo and the price to unlock. Get rid of separate "Lite" and "Full" versions, and require all games and apps to have free demos. That is how it should be. End of story.

    • http://www.mooedia.co.uk Tom - mooedia

      It would clear up alot of peoples iPhones if apple took this route! Stop all the tons of games that have both lite and full versions. Great idea. I like it. Listen up apple :)

  • Ise7en30

    Should be interesting.. but i can't see it succeeding due to the PHONE and Console market, whereas apple/iOS is bringing gaming to Multiple markets (iPad, iPhone, iTouch, now MAC)

    • Anonymous

      so very true.

  • http://twitter.com/NoSuperMan ImNoSuperMan

    Assuming Microsoft is able to get a few big devs to get serious on mobile gaming, I really doubt they wont have exclusive contracts with them. If they dont, then M$ probably isnt serious about Win 7 mobile gaming like they are with Xbox.

    • AttackOfThePwned

      They already do. Halo is going to have a companion Win Phone 7 game in their marketplace which is exclusive to Win Phone 7. There are a couple other exclusive titles I've seen as well. With the developer community that is apart of Xbox I can easily see more exclusive games for Win Phone 7 in order to compete and differentiate itself from iOS. Also Gamecenter is pretty pathetic at this point compared to Xbox LIVE. LIVE has been out for a while now (I think about 5 years) and Apple has some ground to make up in that aspect of their iOS offering.

      • Kalvin

        Where did you hear this? Halo on Win7 might just push me in the direction of getting one...

  • HallMall

    Since when Microsoft pays TouchArcade to post news?

    • Sticktron

      Since when Mommy let play on computer?

    • Anonymous

      well microsoft paid a lot to get everyone including Oprah to talk about kinect, its the same with windows phone 7

    • Gregsci

      LOL so true, well, this is called "toucharcade", not "iphonearcade", I really see no problem with this site evolving to include phone7 and iphone games reviews, as long as they keep real bringing us the real stuff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Grant-Butler/529725117 Grant Butler

    game center has no functionality

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Werner-Ruotsalainen/685558551 Werner Ruotsalainen

      Well, it does. It's just that it's really new and few devs know how to use it. For example, upon preparing my Game Center training courses (see my Pong source codes at http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=72325 ), I could only find one (!) real-world, working source demo for Game Center. In addition, while the p2p gaming it offers is MUCH better than I expected, probably many developers don't know its merits.

      • Gregsci

        To tell you the truth... GameCenter is crap, really, even OpenFeint if cooler than GameCenter.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WVR5PCMARKTAITRTFZEXVKZ3SE Me

    I'm actually really interested to see how the Windows 7 phone does. My friend has actually worked at two internships (one for Apple, the other for Microsoft), and he was actually on the Microsoft Windows Phone 7 team and was very happy with the UI.

    I'm also curious how companies like Unreal will fare, and if they can create a cross-platform compiler so code can be developed in one language and ported simultaneously to iOS, Windows, and Android phones.

  • Sticktron

    As a recent convert to Mac OS I've noticed that every piece of paid software I have needed/wanted to install has been time-trial-with-unlock-key based. PhotoShop, Transmit, Candybar, Textmate, iStatMenu, JunXion (yes I play Wii drums in GarageBand), Little Snitch, etc.

    Its a real contrast coming from the iOS app market. I'm surprised Apple didn't have a trialling system devised at the onset.

  • MicroByte

    I'm intrigued by the Windows 7 Mobile and Android OS, but what I wonder is why neither release a device comparable to the iPod Touch? I know there is a market in that and would love to have the ability to pick up something comparable.

    I thought Zune HD would cater to that, but it's received very little app support. I wouldn't mind having another device that can run apps without needing the phone functionality.

    • Fygo

      You cannot use the android store on devices with wifi only, Google doesn't allow that. The device must be capable of 3G or so.

      • MicroByte

        Thanks. Never looked into it before and that seems like such a limitation.

    • Gregsci

      Android is dead, really.

  • Mrnohnaimers

    Hopefully they can bring it some heavy weight blockbuster type games. The mobile gaming market is in some dire need for high quality games not quantity, I don't want to see another dual stick shooter (take your pick there are so many already), time management (airport terminal etc), simplistic time wasters ( Angry bird etc), simplistic racing, action adventure games with idiotic plots ( corporate fury etc) or watered down versions of console games ( resident evil, street fighter 4,

  • Jeremy Tylanol

    I'm kinda shocked to see hardly any apple fanboys doin the hate dance, thats all I really came here to see and I was denied... other than that it will be interesting to see how it does!

    • Carl

      There WAS some hate in here. I kind of agree with you though since I browse almost all the Mac news sites every day and see some form of Microsoft hate in every form.

    • Kalvin

      I can't speak for everyone, but the reason I use a iPod Touch is because it has the best games. If MS comes out with a phone that has better games, I might switch.

  • DotComCTO

    I think everyone should take this launch seriously. In the land of the videogame market there Sony upended Nintendo with the Playstation; then Microsoft came in with the XBox as it's first iteration and then the XBox 360 - which became a major platform. Then Apple comes in with a sneak attack on the portable market with the iOS platform.

    So, now Microsoft is coming back into it with a renewed focus using their new mobile platform. I expect they'll look at this just the same way they did with the XBox (and yes I understand they've been there a long time with Window CE & Windows Mobile). The first iteration of the new platform is solid but aimed at learning the ins and outs of this marketplace, and iterations 2 & 3 will become a serious player.

    Should be interesting to see how this progresses!

  • Buklau

    I'm glad this site isn't posting about other phones just to bash them. Now I know this isn't a fanboy site.

  • ChicaritoRocks

    I actually like the UI of Windows Phone 7 having tried it first hand, I've had the iPhone 2G, 3G, 3GS and currently use the iPhone 4, but in terms of sheer ease of use WP7 is far better organised and straightforward than Android, which I think is kinda crippled by all those attempts by the likes of Motorola, HTC, Samsung etc who impose their junk UI's over stock Android, it's way too inconsistent and messy. Microsoft have done well by insisting on minimum specs, so hopefully games should work fine across varying devices. I'm not sure how it is in the US, but in the UK some of these WP7 phones are way cheaper than the iPhone, and actually they even undercut top Android phones like the Galaxy S on some networks in terms of price and monthly price plans. It's way too easy to hate on Microsoft but I think they;'ve done something right here, I can't see Windows Phone 7 making a dent on the iPhone but I definitely can see it eating up some of Nokia's global market share and even taking a cut from Android, as it's the next the best thing to the iPhone

  • tsharpfilm

    An article about the perks of Windows Phone 7 on an iOS gaming site? And of the "perks" listed, I'm really not impressed. I've never "worried" once about downloading a lite version of a game. I either got it, or I didn't get it. And if I liked the lite version, I got the full version. And if Apple had a game console, I don't see any reason why it wouldn't be integrated with iOS.

    • Eric5h5

      Having a demo that you can easily upgrade to the full version is just a better experience. Since Apple is usually about better experiences, I'm totally baffled by their resistance to demos. I don't see anything else interesting about Windows Phone 7 right now, but at least they're doing demos right.

      • tsharpfilm

        I've used a Windows 7 Phone. The only thing that kind of impresses me about it are the live tiles. They're cute. And I can see how upgradable demos can provide a better experience. But if those are the only improvements I can look forward to on a Windows phone, I see no reason to even look that way.

        The one thing I do agree with is the goodness of competition. Apple has already been doing a great job, but the competition will make them do even better.

  • gfxdaddy

    A lot of uninformed responses here. First off, the WinPhone 7 "Metro" interface is nothing like the iphone or anything else out there. I actually think it's the best interface on any mobile device, period. Also, if you have seen any of the games quite a few of them are actually VERY attractive, some looking better than anything on iOS right now. One thing I will say that is definite: all the launch games I have seen look far better than any of the iOS launch games. Apple makes good product, so does Microsoft and Google: I love technology and good tech is good tech regardless of the brand. I'm not a child so I personally can't wait to what good things Microsoft brings to the table.

    • http://www.mooedia.co.uk Tom - mooedia

      Completely agree here. Used to love win mobile, then loved the smooth and sleek iPhone OS, now Microsoft may well of out sleeked and out smoothed the rest of the OS makers out there!Also agree with someone else who posted earlier, a device without a phone, eg the Zune would be perfect for this OS. No monthly contract, yet serious mobile gaming on the go. Xbox Live Style. I like it!Interesting to see how the platform develops. I love new tech so will be keeping my eyes seriously peeled!

      • Hg

        Initially I was quite excited by the Zune HD. I was looking into developing on it but then they killed the SDK with the new release of Visual Studio. Microsoft completely funked that one up. I decided to get an iPod Touch instead and have been happy. I deplore iTunes though.

      • http://www.mooedia.co.uk Tom - mooedia

        Yeah I know what you mean. iTunes is such a slow and annoying process. Bring back the days of turning your phone into a mass storage device, dragging and dropping your music across and job done! (that's never gonna happen tho!)

      • Gregsci

        Oh yeah... is so nice to dream *sigh*

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Grant-Butler/529725117 Grant Butler

    I wanted Windows mobile to be Windows on a mobile, instead I got a crappy locked down OS : Once Android picks up speed with hardware and software then I'll be moving onto that.

  • Robotron2084

    I have nothing against this new platform. Good luck to it.

    But I personally refuse to pay expensive cell phone bills. Therefore I use a pay-as-you-go cell phone, not a smart phone. I don't spend more than $10/month. And it does all that I want in a phone.

    So for everything else that a smart phone offers, I use an iPod Touch. And so far, Microsoft has no viable alternative to it. Now, maybe they'll do a WP7 version of the Zune or something, and that will be good. We'll see. I'm not a fanboy of any platorm, and will gladly jump the Apple ship if Microsoft (or any company) builds the better mousetrap over the coming years, But it will have to be as versatile as the Apple devices, and have a similar app store with high quality and fair prices.

  • That Guy

    Hmm.... read through the article... still trying to figure out why I should care or why its on this site.

  • Silentcorp

    If it had a real dpad I'd be interested. I'd love to play some XBLA games on the go, getting achvmnt points too boot!

  • Ga Syder

    The demo idea is good but the Android is better you can actually buy the full game or app and if within 24 hrs you decide you dont like it you and uninstall and get your money back straight away

  • Anonymous

    Meh. Used to be a fan of Windows Mobile, but I'm completely unenthused by WP7. Really dislike the UI, not particularly impressed with its features or the hardware ... it's just not at all interesting to me. I'd take an Android phone over this any day.

  • x999x

    Minesweeper... Finally... oh wait

  • Aer2

    this has the same aroma as the super duper ultimate zune hd. that turned out to be a pile in a bag. i expect this to be another bag, full of the same material, from a different animal this time.

    • Gregsci

      I would like to see some real competition to the Iphone/Ipod Touch and Itunes in general (the store, apps, etc.). Apple owns currently the market and they feel like kings, with tight restrictions on their store, crappy rules and restrictions to us developers, and more monopoly-like strategies. That's the only stuff I don't like of Apple... and that's why I jailbreak my Ipod Touch without thinking twice. Some head to head competition will lower Apple from their greedy cloud.

  • http://twitter.com/appstoregamer Mike

    The way I see it, all the haters here are just jealous they can't afford the taste of both worlds. Haters gonna hate!

    • Rob

      So true.
      I'll leave the hating and bickering to everyone else. The truth is, I'll spend my time doing stuff that is actually more fun like playing around with my HD7 with WP7, my 16GB iPad, and 16gb iPod Touch. Oh and maybe we will throw in a Blackberry Playbook in the mix.

  • Dannytime

    I enjoyed seeing this article, as well as the intelligent conversation that it's sparked here in the comments. I hope Windows Phone 7 sees success. If this takes off and the iPhone does indeed launch on Verizon, I'm curious what Google's next move will be.

  • http://www.mooedia.co.uk Tom - mooedia

    I cant see apple changing many of the features in the new 4.2 iOS update, but after this update I wonder what improvements we will start to see? It just goes to show that sitting on your laurels in this day an age is not a good idea. Improvements are what customers want and with Windows Phone 7 and Google, there is some healthy competition out there. This can only be a good thing for consumers. Good luck MS

    • Guest

      That's right, we really NEED competition so Apple can awake from their greedy, monopoly dream they are currently keeping us with their cool (I don't deny it) iphone. GO M$!!!