February 15th 2010 3:00 pm PT

Xbox LIVE coming to Windows Phones 7 series


Earlier today at Mobile World Congress, Steve Ballmer announced that when Windows Phone 7 series ships later this year, it will come with Xbox LIVE support. Specifically, the Windows Phone 7 Games hub will allow you to:

  • Collect Achievements and build your Gamerscore
  • View Xbox LIVE leaderboards
  • See your Xbox LIVE Avatar
  • Access Spotlight feeds, including the latest tips and tricks, game news, updates and more
  • Add Xbox LIVE friends to your friends list while out on the go
  • Turn-based (asynchronous) multiplayer gaming

I’ll have more details of this over the next few months and I’ll get some folks on from the mobile team to come on my show to answer some of your questions.

Until then, keep an eye on this site where later today we’ll post the video of Steve Ballmer’s press announcement. Here is the official press release.


Edit: The Windows Phone blog has posted a video demo of the new Windows Phone interface



Gadgets By Larry Hryb, Xbox LIVE's Major Nelson

  • UberToast

    Nice to see this ~FAINLLY~ coming – it’s been talked about for far too long. Too bad I’ll need a new device to take advantage of it.

  • AriesDog

    I remember when they talked about Xbox Live on phones years ago. Surprised it took this long.

  • AriesDog

    From the pictures I notice the Windows 7 phone has a lot of the look and feel of the Zune.


    Really? XBL on the go? Cool!

  • The Bill Payer

    Agreed, this would of been nice years ago and when Window’s Mobile was at it’s game. It’s all about iPhone OS and Android now. It would probably be in Microsoft’s best interest to release apps for both.


  • a peeking duck

    Ah yes, because that’s what your average Xbox gamer has – a Windows Phone. :P

  • onemorechanc

    This sounds neat, except for the phone part. I would probably buy a Zune for portable media and games, but not a cell phone. The idea of getting locked into a cell phone plan just to play some portable games kills this for me.

  • GamingTailor

    Achievements anywhere is nice. I’m hoping it’s getting released in Europe with this functions.

  • Hoffer

    I love me some Xbox Live and achievements. Being able to get achievements on my phone sounds too good to be true.

    My only problem is I have an iPhone and love it. I’ll switch to a Windows Phone if it is equally awesome.

  • ImaginedBug

    Does that mean Microsoft’s not going to make the mobile version of xbox.com (xbox.mobi) actually useful by letting you log in, read & send messages and see who’s online?

  • MathGuy42

    It would be nice to have interoperability with XBLA games that would work on a phone, like Bejeweled 2. Probably too hard to program for old games like that, but it would be nice to work on my Endless achievement whenever I had a couple minutes with nothing to do.

  • KM3K

    If this is an app that is only for Windows Mobile 7, this is very lame. Microsoft really need to be cross-platform for this to be successful. Where’s the Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows Mobile <=6 support?

  • batkinson001

    its a microsoft product, no way its going cross platform… if it was 3rd party, maybe.

    Shame, I just re-upped for another 3 years and got a Samsung Impact (Highlight in the USA)…

  • rogXue

    What’s this about no Mac support/sync.

    No Mac = fail for a nice chunk of us… Some of us like Apple computers but are not a fan of the iphone you know ;)

  • Logic Squirrel

    That does seem cool but I be mixed up to the neck on the apple products now, oh well.

  • Quicksilver4648

    Okay, if I can have one friend on Xbox, one on PC, and me on Windows Phone 7 all in the same game of Uno then I will be very, very happy. Seriously, make it happen and you could very well have a sale. I don’t own an iPhone or Android phone but they are both very appealing. If Microsoft is able to include excellent Xbox Live functionality with a full app store then I might just make this my first smart phone.

  • Quicksilver4648

    Sorry for the double post:
    I read some of these users comments an most don’t seem to ‘get it’. This isn’t just some app you download, this is full Live network functionality coded into the phone’s OS. You can potentially play XBLA games, with achievements, and etc. Also, you will never see this on another platform. Microsoft is trying to take back the mobile phone OS market after losing it to everyone else. Live functionality is their ace-in-the-hole simply because no one can simply copy it.

  • Ark Hunter

    Yes, I hope I can play at least some of the XBLA games I own with out having to rebuy them. Now they just need to make some well thought out and implemented Hardware/software to compete with iphone and android.


    I watched the conference demo for XBL in the new OS and it looks like the multiplayer is all turn-based and you’re basically playing tag back and forth with your turns in-game. If that’s the way all the XBL multiplayer games are going to be in Windows Phone 7, then I think I’ll pass tyvm.

  • WinterSnowblind

    Shame it’s taking to so long to get something like this out, I was very surprised to see the Zune lacked any kind of XBL compatability, but I’m glad to see we’re finally getting somewhere. Now how about a release in Europe?


    Anyone remember Live Anywhere? =D

  • ImaginedBug

    @Quicksilver4648: nobody will buy a new phone and scrap their current one (unless it’s up for replacement) just because the new one will have some basic Live features that should’ve been available cross-platform via either Java-applications or the xbox.mobi site.
    Microsoft is grasping at straws here because of the iPhone, Android and the new venture by every major phone manufacturer. They’ll be a niche player, at best.

  • Hoffer

    @MACPH1ST0: The problem is latency on a phone. You are not going to get good gameplay over the cellular network. The way things are now, the lag would be so awful that it would not be fun.

    If they only offer turn based multiplayer when connected to WiFi, than that is kinda lame. Either way, online multiplayer gaming on a phone is very much in its infancy. Give it some time and maybe one day we’ll all be playing Halo on our phones.

    @ImaginedBug: I’ve got an iPhone and this announcement has me very interested. I just might dump my iPhone for a Windows phone that offer XBL and achievements and such. I’m sure I’m in the minority, but Xbox Live is definitely a selling point for this phone for a certain demographic. I first need to see the entire package this phone offers. I’m not going to switch only for XBL. Being able to have Zune Pass on my phone would be cool as well. If MS develops a really good app store and some great games, that would help too.

  • ElektroDragon

    Looks like I might need to finally buy a smart phone! Can anyone recommend a phone with the cheapest possible plan that will work with Windows Phone 7?

  • Lucky 13 X

    Sounds like LIVE Anywhere is getting closer and closer.

  • TaygetaVendetta

    I have an ancient phone that can do little outside of dialing #s and texting and I’m happy with it. Achievements/Live on the go, though, that could change my mind and get me to buy a smart phone.

  • Helvedeshunden

    Windows Phone 7 series sounds cool enough, but having been exposed to PocketPCs, Windows Mobile etc. there’s just no way I’m getting one – plus Mac sync is a must.

    Like everyone says: Make it cross-platform and you have a winner.

  • Exu

    Yeah never mind making official Live support for a phone OS people actually USE.
    Still, it’s a start.

    Question regarding Live Anywhere, whatever happened to UNO being on PC? I could have sworn it was used to demo cross-compatibility with the 360. Being able to play UNO from the PC with people on Live would be nice.

  • AriesDog

    @Exu. Yes Uno and Geometry Wars were demoed. Unfortunately Games for Windows Live wasn’t ready at the time. Both games were released but not with Live functionality.

  • Golani 360

    Have not seen these phones before, but sure does sound interesting. I remember N-Gage also introduced an award system like XBL. I want to live in a world where my total reality and existence is via the Realm of Xbox Live.

  • Perixon

    Great news. What would make this even cooler is to see Xbox Live-support for Android-based devices, too.

  • Interceptor Lee

    What is it with Microsoft’s terrible naming conventions? I mean “Windows Phones 7 Series” doesn’t even make sense.
    MS just can’t seem to do sexy names for products.

  • Radical R

    shame its not actually any games though. just data feed of ur achievements etc

  • Whetzel

    I watched part of the press conference and I have to say, I’m not really impressed.

    I had high hopes for Windows Mobile 7 (being a WinMo user for some time now), but I’m afraid that when I upgrade my phone (currently using an HTC Touch Pro 2), I’m going to seriously look at an Android phone this time.

  • A Place for Us

    How about just have it on Zune HD?

  • Ganon255

    I want one.


    I really appreciate this, and I will be getting one of these when they come out so I will have constant access to my favorite thing, Xbox Live!

  • mccalejk

    Pass… for now at least. I’ve had the displeasure of dealing with several versions of Windows Mobile OS. It is always extremely buggy. I can’t imagine how bad a MS phone would be.

  • mchiefvs360

    Looks promising,would get a Windows Mobile Phone over an iPhone or its competitors any day.

  • waitfortomorrow

    Please make a controller for this. I have an Android phone and really dig the iPhone, but they’re touchscreen controls don’t cut it. For instance, Capcom announced SF4 for iPhone today. Can you imagine a fighter with touchscreen controls? You’re never going to be able to see your character. It would be awesome if you could sync your 360 controller with the phone through blue tooth and use it that way.

  • LittleBlueAlien

    Blackberry? iPhone?

  • Freaky Priest

    Please bringt it fast!

    I need to decide which phone I am goint to buy, soon.


    @ waitfortomorrow

    360 controllers don’t use Bluetooth, so an alternative would be required.
    But I know what you mean.
    I doubt any manufacturer would develop a solution due to a lack of demand, but it would be cool :)

  • AriesDog

    @Radical R. There will be premium games with achievements.

  • Mistercarlj

    It would be awesome if there was a game where it uses the GPS, and gives you achievement points for visiting certain areas like The Statue Of Liberty.

  • Blue Thunder28

    This phone combines Xbox LIVE and Zune! SO I MUST HAVE IT. Can’t wait.. But I know I’ll have to be heart broken when it launches exclusively in the US for a year or something >:(

  • waitfortomorrow


    Ah, I see. I just assumed it used blue tooth, hehe. I think that a controller would sell pretty decently. Most people knock games on iPhone, etc. because there’s no physical buttons. In the case of this new Windows phone, the 360 controller would be perfect since millions of people already own one (and are the likely purchasers of the phone).

  • RickTheMasta

    Major Nelson has a iphone or a mac. Cause he uses tweetie on his twitter. lol.

  • erka

    What about a Android client for Live as well?