At a presentation for developers in March, Microsoft showed a single Xbox Live game running on three different platforms. First came the PC, then Windows Phone 7, and finally the Xbox 360, each one picking up where the last left off. Developing games for all three would be a breeze, Microsoft promised, and it seemed that by connecting the three screens, the company’s gaming strategy would go where the competition hadn’t.
Five months later, Windows Phone 7 gaming is still somewhat of a mystery. Microsoft has missed a couple opportunities to show that Windows Phone 7 is a serious gaming platform. The phone was mostly absent from E3, a major video game industry trade show, and when several publications tested Windows Phone 7 prototypes in July, the Xbox Live section was an empty shell, with no actual games to speak of.
Microsoft still has until the holiday season to impress gamers with Windows Phone 7, but there are a lot of blanks to be filled in. For now, I’ve learned enough to paint a blurry picture of what Windows Phone 7 gaming will be like.