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Windows Phone 7 dated, publisher support detailed

EA first to offer games for Microsoft's iPhone/Android rival, due this month

Multiple handsets have been revealed as Microsoft prepares to confirm the release date of the impending Windows Phone 7.

The first devices will be shipped to European and Asian retail on October 21, with Samsung, LG, HTC, and Dell all announcing units.

A US release will follow on November 9, with most of the major operators confirming that they will offer Windows Phone 7 devices.

In terms of gaming, the phones' Games Hub will offer purchasing and community features, and employ Xbox Live features such as Avatars, Achievements and friends lists.

At its press conference today, Microsoft demonstrated Avatar customisation on the phone, with Achievements being awarded for certain outfit combinations.

Also revealed was a new title, Elio and Meilo, developed using XNA and due for release on both Windows Phone 7 and XBLA.

"These phones are going to be amazing game machines," claimed Joe Belfiore, corporate vice president for Microsoft's Windows Phone Program.

EA has confirmed a number of games for the platform, all of which will boast Xbox Live support. Named so far are Need For Speed Undercover, Tetris, Monopoly and The Sims 3.

"Our collaboration with Microsoft brings EA's world-class catalogue of global game franchises to Windows Phone 7, offering a unique set of gaming features perfectly suited to the deep, innovative experiences we value at EA," said Travis Boatman, vice president of Worldwide Studios for EA Mobile.

"We see consumers deeply integrating devices into their lives and entertainment in new ways every day. Challenging your Xbox LIVE friends to an EA game from the phone in your pocket keeps you connected and having fun no matter where you are."

Added Microsoft's general manager of Xbox Live Movile, Ron Pessner, "This is a new and major games platform for Microsoft, and we look forward to the amazing games EA will deliver over the coming years."

Also intending to release game for Windows Phone 7 are Microsoft Game Studios, Gameloft, Konami, Namco Bandai, PopCap and THQ.

Microsoft promises new titles every week, and support for demos. Xbox franchises such as Halo and Crackdown are promised for the new mobile platform in time.

Outside of games, Microsoft talked repeatedly of "smart design" in its press conference for the new mobile operating system, with the interface split into six 'hubs' to group related functionality.

All phones will have physical back, start and search buttons, but the UI itself is customisable thanks to 'Live Tiles.'

"We have a beautiful lineup in this first wave of Windows Phone 7 handsets," said Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer.

"Microsoft and its partners are delivering a different kind of mobile phone and experience - one that makes everyday tasks faster by getting more done in fewer steps and providing timely information in a 'glance and go' format."

Alec Meer avatar

Alec Meer


A 10-year veteran of scribbling about video games, Alec primarily writes for Rock, Paper, Shotgun, but given any opportunity he will escape his keyboard and mouse ghetto to write about any and all formats.