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Windows Phone 8 entices game devs with new features

Windows Phone 8 entices game devs with new features

June 20, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Windows Phone 8, Microsoft's new mobile operating system releasing this fall, will feature Native Code C and C++ support that is designed to make it easier for developers to bring their PC games and apps to Windows Phones.

Microsoft's current mobile OS, Windows Phone 7, has trailed rival smartphone platforms like Android and iOS when it comes to the amount of apps it offers, but this WP8 initiative could entice more developers to release their games to the platform.

This native development platform, which is based on DirectX, enables developers to write the same game for Windows 8 desktops and Windows Phone 8. This will be possible because the same DirectX components and graphics support on PCs will be available on Windows Phones.

During a presentation for the platform on Wednesday morning, Microsoft showed how developers could also take their games created for other mobile platforms, and port them to Windows Phone 8 in as little as two weeks thanks to Native Code support.

"A game developer who authors a detailed rich immersive compelling experience for PC, has a super easy port of their game to phone," said Windows Phone corporate vice president Joe Belfiore at the presentation. He predicted that visually impressive titles would begin appearing on the platform before the end of the year.

Microsoft announced a number of middleware partners that will offer support for Windows Phone 8 in their technology and tools: Havok, Audiokinetic, FMOD, and Autodesk.

The company revealed a couple of game publishers who've already signed up to bring games to Windows Phone 8, too: Gameloft (Asphalt 7: Heat, N.O.V.A. 3) and Big Fish (Fairway Solitaire).

Zynga will also bring its popular iOS and Android titles to the platform for the first time later this year, with Draw Something and Words With Friends.

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