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Microsoft appeals to game devs with Windows Phone 8

"Based on the same core tech that powers Windows 8."

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Microsoft is making a big push to attract game developers with its upcoming Windows Phone 8 OS coming this Autumn.

Officially revealed this morning at the Windows Phone Summit, the Windows Phone 8 will feature a host of new tools to make it a more attractive gaming platform.

"Windows Phone 8 is based on the same core technologies that power Windows 8," said a company rep on the Windows Blog. "Basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games."

New features include full C and C++ support as well as native DirectX-based game development. This will enable developers to more easily write apps for multiple platforms.

Additionally, WP8 will support middleware such as the Havok Vision Engine, Autodesk Scaleform, Audiokinetic Wwise, and Firelight FMOD.

Titles confirmed so far include massively popular Zynga games Words with Friends and Draw Something, both due later this year.

Gameloft is also developing versions of Asphalt 7: Heat and N.O.V.A. 3 Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance for the platform (too many 'Windows Phone's).

Microsoft also announced that the Windows Phone Marketplace hit 100,000 apps before Android, with more than 200 apps added to the marketplace each day, on average.

Additional Windows Phone 8 features include:

  • Multi-core processor support for smoother performance.
  • Two new screen resolutions: 1280x768 and 1280x720.
  • MicroSD card support.
  • Near field communication wireless sharing, simplifying file sharing.
  • Internet Explorer 10, which contains anti-phishing features to protect from malware.
  • The new "wallet" feature keeps credit card info, coupons, and other important documents on hand for quick transactions at the touch of the screen.
  • Better maps and directions with Nokia mapping, which allows users to store map date on their phone, so they can pull up routes offline.
  • In-app payments so developers can sell virtual goods within their apps.
  • Integrated Internet calling, enabling app creators to create VoIP apps so internet calls can be answered like phone calls.
  • Support for location-based apps like exercise programs that can run in the background.

This is apparently just a taste of what's to come, with more details to be revealed throughout the Summer.

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