Microsoft has yet to announce European plans for the company's iPod competitor, Zune, but XNA boss Chris Satchell has told Eurogamer that proof-of-concept game development for the handheld media device is progressing very nicely.
"That touchpad is great," said Satchell, who demonstrated a basic Zune shoot-'em-up called Zauri at GDC in February. "I'm used to mobile games and it's always terrible. Not the games, but the input. And so this sort of blew me away."
"Imagine bowling, where you swing across it, or anything that requires a physical dexterity gesture," he added. Apparently someone even ported a "Wolfenstein-style renderer" to Zune, which ran at 30 frames-per-second and could be played with the Zune's portrait perspective screen turned on its side.
Another thing that excites Satchell at the moment is co-operative games played over Wi-Fi. "One of the things we talked about was the network play, and we've had people doing prototypes internally of multiplayer shoot-'em-ups both in versus and co-op," he said.
"I'm really looking forward to people using their networking ability to use peer-to-peer games," he added. "I'm sure we're going to see some peer-to-peer race games, kart-style games - those are going to be fun."
Mind you, all of this will depend on the next big XNA release for developers later this year, which is likely to happen in December. Hopefully by then we'll also be able to buy the handheld in Europe although, when we inquired, a Microsoft spokesperson told us: "We've made no announcements on that outside of the US."