Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7: The Three Pillars

Microsoft’s Andre Vrignaud has posted an article describing what he (and the WP7 team) thinks are the Three main Pillars of Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7:

The Three Pillars of Mobile Entertainment

Our vision for Xbox LIVE is to bring gamers the entertainment they want, with the people they care about, wherever they are. Three major pillars will guide our development efforts:

Simplicity Matters

Gamers who are familiar with Xbox LIVE on the console or Games for Windows – LIVE on the PC expect a consistent, unified experience for their gaming, and the mobile experience must be the same: everything must work as the gamer expects it, and must be seamless and familiar. Mobile gamers who experience Xbox LIVE for the first time should feel an instant appreciation for the simple, intuitive way that they can connect to and share their gaming experience with their friends.

Everything Counts

Any time the gamer spends playing a game, no matter how small, should be respected. Games should automatically save the player’s progress, and any actions taken in-game should be allowed to count toward the player’s larger goals in your title. For games that target multiple platforms, this might include adding benefits to console versions of the game when the player engages in short play sessions on a mobile device. It is important for the time that a player spends in a game to be both recorded and rewarded. Awarding achievements is a valuable way of rewarding the player for his or her efforts, and it is an essential part of the Xbox LIVE experience.

Let Friends Play Together

Games should make it easy for gamers to connect with their friends and to form deeper connections with them through frequent, shared, online experiences. Xbox LIVE allows gamers to participate in play experiences with each other through game invitations, leaderboards, and by comparing achievements and gamerscore. Deeper social bonds are promoted by displaying players’ status updates and their personalized Xbox LIVE avatars.

Though Xbox LIVE now has over 23 million members, it’s important to recognize that Xbox LIVE isn’t the only social network with a gaming audience. Games can connect with other social networks such as Facebook or Twitter and make it easy for players to share gaming experiences with friends (such as game invites or leaderboards) who might not have an Xbox LIVE account. Friends may be located in multiple social networks, and gamers should be able to play with them all.

I think that it’s universaly agreed that bringin Xbox live services to Windows Phones was long overdue espceially after the Xbox Live anywhere announcement back in 2006(this project never saw the light). On the other hand lots of people a fearing that this consumer centric approach is going to be the final nail in the coffin for Windows Mobile. For my part, I’ll just suggest to all the skeptics to wait until the OS is released and see how things turn out. Look at the iPhone look and the Nintendo DS, the XBOX etc… at the end of the day, people are not going to care if this or that feature is absent from the first release. They want games, apps, flashy graphics , these  are the things that are going to sell phones and this is what Microsoft is trying to provide. First establish a great software ecosystem and then refine it with new features.

Source: Ozymendias