Having officially lifted the lid on its ambitious Windows Phone 7 plans to the global tech media yesterday, Microsoft has quietly re-branded its indie dev operations to incorporate its new portable gaming aspirations.
Anyone now visiting the home page of the XNA Creators Club, the home of Microsoft’s indie games development platform, will now see that it’s had a change of name – it’s now called the App Hub.
And it sports logos for both the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7.
Though Xbox 360 still forms part of the offer, the angle of the entire page now very much seems geared towards portable apps. Some tutorials formerly about Xbox 360 are now exclusively about Windows Phone 7.
The integration of some aspects of Xbox Live into the new mobile phone offering is now very much the portable Xbox that many have been predicting for years.
Breaking Apple’s grip on the portable games market may seem like an impossible task. But the exact same thing was said about Sony PlayStation when Microsoft launched the original Xbox in 2001. Now just nine years later Microsoft has pulled ahead of its competitor. Could it do the same in the handheld market by the end of the decade?