Hands-on with Windows Phone 7's games

If you had a chance to play some of the game titles available, on your Windows Phone 7, you'd have noticed that the Windows Phone 7 is a quite capable platform for games. This point is extremely important, because games in general- and the Windows Phone 7's Xbox Live tie-in specifically - will have to be a key selling point if Microsoft is to become a key player in the ultra-competitive smartphone market

Microsoft seems to have a range of styles from hard-core games, to phone staples like Bejeweled to kid-friendly games like Max and the Magic Marker; even a version of Crackdown that lets you defend your tower against freaks, using any location from Bing Maps as the setting! Microsoft has also done some neat things with the Xbox Live avatars. Not only can users create, outfit, and manipulate their mini-me, but the avatars also show up on other applications, such as a flashlight, coin-flip program, and a level.

A worrying note, is battery life. Without doing any gaming or much in the way of music streaming, the battery seems to last only a few hours. This may also depend on the type of phone, and the fact that mostly prototype-phones are available currently. But, assuming the final devices have enough battery life to do so, it looks like there will be plenty of gaming fun on the phone.

While Microsoft has been working on its next-generation smart phone system, the iPhone and devices running Google Inc.'s Android system have exploded in popularity. Apple, in particular, has advertised its iPhone and iPod Touch - essentially an iPhone without the phone - as ideal mobile gaming devices.

Microsoft is bringing its video-game expertise to the forthcoming Windows Phone 7 line

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