GEOLOCATION LINKED GAMING is being proposed for the Windows Phone 7 tie up with Xbox Live, with potential sponsorship from retailers whose brick and mortar outlets could trigger in-game features.
Visiting a location, a handset's GPS capabilities could trigger new abilities or access to weapons for in-game characters, giving players an edge over their rivals. Beyond simply visiting a location a game level might have to be completed there to allow access to unique game features or simply to progress.
However a games developer might also direct players to a location where a game's level has to be played at a certain time to obtain the weapons or abilities. Such a time constrained location activity could see flash mob events at locales like Trafalgar Square. While Windows Phone 7's multi-player capability is currently asynchronous, with turn based gaming, future flash mob game events could see those at the same location playing against each other in real time.
Another geolocation option might be that a game is sponsored and the sponsor would give discounts when a game level was completed at one of its stores. Geolocation could also trigger in-game product placement.
The gelocation gaming options for the Windows Phone 7, Xbox Live tie up were outlined to The INQUIRER in an interview with Microsoft's independent software vendor developer evangelist Paul Foster and OS and mobile product manager lead William Coleman. However Foster and Coleman added that it was up to the game developers and their commercial partners to make the most of the Windows Phone 7 tools, if such geolocation related discounts or product placements were to be created.
The final Windows Phone 7 developer tools will be released on 16 September and the first wave of Xbox Live associated games for the handsets was announced on 16 August. The games include Rocket Riot, Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst, The Harvest, Ilomilo, Bejeweled and Max and the Magic Marker. µ