Microsoft's also planning to leverage its existing console IPs with 'companion titles' for games such as Halo: Waypoint and Crackdown 2, extending the console experience and making the phone immediately appealing to anyone with an Xbox 360. Users with an Xbox Live account will be able to access try-before-you-buy demos, Xbox Live leaderboards, turn-based multiplayer, Achievements, customize avatars, access messaging features and more -- all from their cell phones.
When it comes to gaming, Microsoft's already well ahead of rivals like Apple or Google. The company's Xbox Live service currently boasts some 25 million users so it makes sense that they're throwing a lot of weight behind this for their upcoming mobile platform. Whether Windows Phone 7 smartphones can stand up to the competition in other fronts remains to be seen. You can check out some hands-on action with Windows Phone 7 and Xbox Live over at Engadget.