Windows Phone 7 Series to support HVGA screens

In terms of Windows Phone 7 Series news, this week’s Game Developer Conference (GDC) has been a warm up for the main event at MIX next week. We’ve seen Microsoft release XNA Game Studio 4, which can be used to develop games for 7 Series devices. We also got a chance to talk with Loke Uei of Microsoft about development for 7. (By the way, if you haven’t seen them yet, Engadget got their hands on some screen shots from a couple of prototype games that the Windows Phone team has been showing off.)

The latest bit of news from Shawn Hargreaves of the Windows Phone 7 Series development team comes from a post on his blog about XNA Game Studio and Windows Phone. Much of the post is talking about capabilities that developers can expect to be able to utilize. Shawn does mention that 7 Series devices will ship with WVGA (800x480) displays at launch, but a future update will add support for HVGA (320x480) displays. Hopefully this will lead to a lower starting price point for Windows Phones without compromising too much on quality.

[via Engadget]

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

  • HVGA seems something of an odd resolution to have support for going forward but i'm sure MS has done enough research to make it a more viable resolution than say, VGA. i'm curious as to how games will be rendered on devices on each resoution. This also gives me a little more hope for a front facing QWERTY candybar chassis.
  • Each WP7s device will have a auto scaler so regardless of the res you set for your game it'll make it match the phone.
  • But those are two completely different aspect ratios. i'm pretty sure i read there'd be a letterbox when going between versions. i imagine this will hurt HVGA users more than WVGA users given the lead time the former res will have with devs, and the likely fact that the WVGA devices will be preferred among gamers.
  • I thought this had more to do with programs rather than hardware. Meaning, you program a game for HVGA and some internal scaler will bump it up to WVGA. Much like many 360 games aren't 720p native, but scaled up. This allows the developer to allocate resources as they see fit.
  • "At launch, all phones will have a 480x800 (WVGA) display resolution, but we will add 320x480 (HVGA) in a future update." - Shawn Hargreaves
  • That doesn't make any sense unless he is referring to the mysterious chassis 3. In that case, it would be a blackberry form factor as HVGA is close to the screen resolution they offer (360 x 480 on many BBs). The keyboard obviously limits the size of the screen.
  • Stupid, stupid, stupid... WP7 will (ok, should) be around 2 years from today.
    Do YOU want a HVGA screen in two years when we already have screens now that completely dwarf it? That's besides the fact that this has a different aspect ratio than WVGA... the exact problem they were trying to fix with required screen sizes!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sure WP7 will most likely be able to rescale the OS and programs, but they don't look how they were intended. Developers don't want to deal with this problem. I hope this plan gets ditched by release time.
    It'd be better to neglect front-facing keyboards than to create a problem with HVGA. Besides, side-sliding keyboards are bigger and generally better.
  • Bigger question is, why would we want those lower DPI screens anyway? My canon camera even has a 640x480 screen, and it is tiny.
  • There's a reason I picked Win 98 and Win 7 for my analogy. 6.5 and 7 share almost nothing in common, they don't even use the same version of WinCE.
  • Actually, when you really think about it, this resolution makes perfect sense. Currently, all iPhone and most Android games are coded in HVGA as that is the native resolution for those devices. Creating an HVGA standard makes it that much easier to port existing iPhone games to WP7S.