Owing to their proliferation, and recent increases in graphics processing power, mobile devices have become an increasingly popular gaming platform; the critical success of Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery at this spring’s Canadian Video Game Awards is a fitting testament to this.
The inclusion of DirectX support for Windows Phone 8 is part of Microsoft’s strategy for a shared kernel in all variants of the OS: Previously, Windows Phone has relied on the Windows CE kernel. In addition to Direct X support, Windows Phone 8 will have native support of the C and C++ libraries, as well as support for SQLite.
Having a shared API with the Windows and Xbox platforms will allow for developers to port their games with relative ease, a point that was eagerly highlighted by Microsoft representatives.
“Basing Windows Phone 8 on the Windows core will unleash a new wave of amazing apps and especially games,” Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore wrote before the show on the Windows Blog.
“Windows Phone Marketplace has officially hit 100,000 apps and games-a milestone we reached faster than Android, and a testament to the thousands of talented developers around the world who’ve supported us since launch. Together they deliver more than 200 new titles, on average, each day.”
Microsoft has brought on board the game engine manufacturer Havok, who showed off the Havok engine running on the platform (the engine is already available for iOS and Android). Microsoft also said that Autodesk Scaleform, Audiokinetic Wise and Firelight FMOD wil also be supported.
“Developers will be able to leverage one codebase to drive an application,” said Larry Lieberman, a senior product manager at Microsoft. “They can use one code base to build applications that will run across Windows Phone and Windows 8 devices.”
“This means is that it’s going to be radically simpler for games studios to port their games to Windows Phone,” continued Mr. Lieberman. “Developers will be able to build games for Windows and Windows Phone at the same time.”
Windows 8 Phone is expected to launch this fall, however it is unclear at this time which hardware manufacturers have pledged support.