XNA Game Studio 4.0 is the latest iteration of Microsoft’s developer tool set for Windows PCs, Xbox 360 and Zune. With Version 4, XNA Game Studio gains support for Windows Phone 7 Series, but nixes support for the Zune HD. XNA and Silverlight are the two major new development platforms (new to Windows Phones, anyway) that we will be seeing a lot of going forward, and the two platforms are being discussed in-depth at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) this week and MIX10 next week. (Look for more from us on that front from TiPB's Rene Ritchie.)
What this means for Windows Phones is that we can expect 3D gaming to be the rule, not the exception. Yeah, I know, you’ve heard that before; but between the high level minimum specifications mandated by Microsoft’s reference chassis, Xbox Live integration and the introduction of XNA Game Studio 4 early enough that developers can get a jump on the Holiday 2010 release of Windows Phone 7 Series I would say that this is pretty much a sure thing.
Throwing that much firepower at the gaming segment makes you wonder if Microsoft is not just targeting the iPhone/Android market, but also homing in on the PSP/Nintendo DS segment. If Microsoft is able to get similar 3D performance from a Windows Phone as competing mobile gaming consoles, it would have a major leg up because of the media playback and connectivity with other Microsoft services. One thing is for sure: It’s a good time to be a Windows Phone user. [via ZDNet]