XNA Game Studio 4.0 announced: Windows Phone 7 & Visual Studio 2010 support

As expected Microsoft as finally announced XNA Game Studio 4.0 at GDC today. This new version new lets developers develop games for Windows Phone 7, Windows PC & Xbox 360 (note the missing Zune HD…) and adds the following features:

- Hardware accelerated 3D API’s on Windows Phone 7 Series
- Visual Studio 2010 integration with our toolset
- Added buffered audio support to the Audio API’s
- And much, much more!

It will also include deep XBOX Live integration to enable seamless gaming on the 3 support platforms (as seen in this video)Another important point noted by Microsoft’s Michael Klucher, is the fact that the Zune HD (and original Zune) won’t be supported in 4.0 so those who still want to develop for it will have to use the currently release 3.1 version. Remember that “every Windows Phone 7 Series phone is now a Zune”..:

When we first announced XNA was a development platform for the Windows Phone 7 Series last week and followed up with some real-time Twitter Q&A (@WP7Dev), we got a lot of questions about Zune/Zune HD and how that will work with XNA Game Studio 4.0. Development for the Zune and Zune HD will continue to exist in XNA Game Studio 3.1, however, in XNA Game Studio 4.0, we’re encouraging you to migrate your games over to the Windows Phone 7 Series platform. We tested this a lot during development and had games like Hexic and Goo Splat up and running in an hour or so, it’s very easy! Finally, we learned some valuable lessons on launching a development platform. One of those lessons is that you need a way to bring your ideas to consumers at launch. All of us at Microsoft have heard that feedback, and I will say that it doesn’t matter what type of game developer you are, you’ll be able to find the perfect audience on Windows Phone 7 series. I know you’ll have a lot of questions about how this will work so I urge you to stay tuned to MIX ’10 where we’ll be streaming sessions live to the world and ready to answer more of your questions.

For more info head over here and here.

Microsoft aiming to take advantage of the Apple vs HTC suit

Looks like my thoughts/predictions are turning out to be true. In my post titled “Apple vs HTC: Why not sue Samsung & LG ? Is it good news for Microsoft?” I suggested that Apple’s attack against HTC/Android can be seen as an oportinity for Microsoft to promote the new Windows Phone 7 Series OS:

….what’s interesting to me here is Microsoft‘s new position in this case. One thing that HTC isn’t happy about lately is the fact that they can’t add their Sense UI on top of the newly announced Windows Phone 7 Series OS, but this could be a “good thing” for them in the long run if Apple manages to stop them from selling devices featuring Sense (in the US). The most logical “solution” for them would be to develop Windows Phone 7 Series handsets (no Sense or any other OEM UI on there). Unless Apple decides to go against Microsoft this is a win-win situation for the software giant. Microsoft can now say to OEMs all over the world that if they don’t want to get in trouble with “sue-happy” Apple they should use WP7on their smartphones and ditch Android.

This has now been confirmed by Oppenheimer’s Yair Reiner who issued a behind-the-scenes report on the Apple vs HTC story:

Even before the lawsuit, handset makers were having second thoughts about Google, which with the Nexus One had become a direct competitor. Now their faith in Android as the easiest and cheapest way to counter the iPhone has been shaken, says Reiner. The unintended consequence, he suggests, is to send them into the arms of Microsoft (MSFT) and Win7 Mobile.

“Our checks,” writes Reiner, “indicate that Microsoft has been quick to sniff out this burgeoning opportunity and has begun to aggressively promote the strength of its own IP portfolio, as well as its willingness to join battle with customers that come under IP attack.”

An other thing I I talk about was the reason why Apple attacked HTC:

Apple isn’t going to commit suicide and sue the companies that help them build their own products, that’s why they decided to attack a company that is in no way related to them.

Reiners take on this :

Why pick on HTC? Reiner speculates that as the earliest and most aggressive user of Android, HTC was the perfect proxy for Apple’s real target: Google (GOOG). It helped that Apple and HTC didn’t have any supplier relationships that could be disrupted by a protracted legal battle.

You check out more of his thoughts and background on the whole Apple vs OEMs subject here

Blurry video of the HTC Supersonic

The Blurry Cam Man did it again…this time it’s the HTC Supersonic turn. Not much can be said about it other than it looks (as expected) like the HTC HD2 but will run Android 2.X instead of Windows Mobile and be WiMax compatible. The Supersonic aka A9292 is expected to launch on Sprint this Summer if all goes as planned.

Source: Youtube

T-Mobile’s HTC HD2 launch event taking place in NY on March 16th

T-Mobile US just sent invites to a couple of US websites for their HTC HD2 launch event taking place in New York city on March 16th. What everybody wants to know is if the handset will be upgradeable to WP7 especially given the date of this event (it’s taking place right after the start of Microsoft’s MIX event in Las Vegas). Let’s all wait and see (and try not to get our hopes up..). According to Mobi.tv which has an app on the HD2, the official launch date is March 23rd.

Source: Engdaget