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Will Microsoft's use of C# nerf the quality of Window Phone 7 games?

Will Microsoft's use of C# nerf the quality of Window Phone 7 games?
There's currently a lot of speculation whirling around concerning Microsoft's new Windows Phone 7 platform.

One area of particular interest is at what level Microsoft will let developer code.

Recent leaked specs suggest applications can either be written using Silverlight (Microsoft's version of Flash) or XNA (its prosumer C#-based environment launched for the Xbox 360). Use of native C++ code will be restricted to carriers and handset manufacturers.

Going native

As one developer told us however, such limitations would limit the performance of high-end games.

"I would be very surprised if Microsoft shut off the C++ path for everyone, particularly major games publishers," our source said. "Microsoft obviously wants Windows Phone 7 to shine, and that means games will have to stack up against the best native games on iPhone 3GS."

"The majority of triple-A games content Microsoft will want to see on the platform will be coming from C-based codebases, from iPhone SDK, Xbox XDK or other C++ platforms. C# is not a platform for pushing cutting edge games and my bet is that it never will be."

One workaround would be to allow anyone to develop games using C#, but there being a stricter official registered channel for developers who want to run native applications and games; much as now happens on Xbox 360.

Presumably we will know a lot more when Microsoft gives its Windows Phone 7 sessions at the Game Developers Conference in March.

editor-at-large

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at PG.biz which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.

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Stefan Knorr
Limiting to C# and DirectX is a show-stopper, no secrious developer will care to rewrite their applications for just one single small platform. On iPhone/iPod touch/iPad you just need a few lines of Cocoa to interface with the system, and can keep all your C/C++/OpenGL code from other platforms. Adding hurdles before even being halfway successful is not really the way to go.
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