Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7

January 25, 2011, By Christian Cawley

Mobile gaming has come a long way in the last 5 years, mostly thanks to the advent of the Apple iPhone.,

Ten years ago, games like Sim City were available for Windows CE-based PDA devices, while the common monochrome Nokia phones were pre-installed with games like Snake. However with improvements to mobile technology it has been possible to take mobile gaming further than this to the point where first- and third-person, 3D perspective games are now available.

Many games are already available for the relatively new Windows Phone 7 platform, largely independent, but the new mobile platform has a unique selling point specifically targeting gamers.

Windows Phone 7 offers remarkable integration with Xbox LIVE, a feature that is accessible via the Games Hub and if used will allow you to improve your Gamerscore!

Xbox LIVE on Windows Phone 7

Xbox Live on Windows Phone 7 – Games

One of the first things you will want to investigate on a new Windows Phone 7 device is the Games Hub, where integration with Xbox LIVE can be found. After entering your Xbox LIVE Gamertag and password the account will be synchronized with the details already held for you, and you will be able to view your avatar and your current Gamerscore.

Listed here will be any currently installed games – more of which can be found on the Windows Phone 7 Marketplace. Currently popular Xbox LIVE titles include Assassin’s Creed: Altair’s Chronicles and Rocket Riot, and success at unlocking achievements on these titles will (and other Xbox LIVE games for Windows Phone 7) will improve your Gamerscore.

Further Interaction on Xbox LIVE

While basic functionality is available included with Windows Phone 7, further Xbox LIVE features are available via the Xbox LIVE Extras app.

This includes the ability to edit your avatar, check messages and view any achievements available with the games on your phone and console. With Xbox LIVE Gold membership you can also send messages to your friends on the Xbox LIVE network, while the Privacy Settings (available by dragging up the ellipses (…)) will allow you to specify who can see your online status, game history, etc. All of these privacy options can be specified as Everyone, Friends Only and Blocked.

The Achievements tab allows you to view both the unlocked achievements of games on your phone and the locked and unlocked achievements of games you’re playing on your console. If anything looks as though it isn’t up to date, all you need to do is tap the Refresh button!

You can edit your Xbox LIVE Profile via the Xbox LIVE Extras app, as well as Customize your avatar, where styles and features can be adjusted just as they can on the main Xbox LIVE screen on your games console.

Xbox LIVE Integration – the Future

As things stand, Xbox LIVE integration with Windows Phone 7 is limited to editing your profile and avatar, messaging friends and checking achievements, along with adding to your Gamerscore via certain mobile games.

However there is every chance that this is just the beginning, with games set to be made available that are mini versions of the full console release. This might enable you to unlock special achievements while mobile or even engage in missions from your Windows Phone 7 device.

Certainly localization has already been featured in one Windows Phone 7 Xbox LIVE game – Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst utilises your current GPS location on Bing Maps to place you in the thick of the action!

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