Microsoft Announces DirectX Kernel for Windows Phone 8 Gaming

Microsoft is holding a press event right now to show off the future of the currently struggling Windows Phone platform. With Apollo, aka Windows Phone 8, coming this year, Microsoft has begun to show off some of the top features. Users and potential new buyers will be seeing dual-core support, MicroSD slots, better screen resolution, a shared kernel (linked to DirectX) between desktop and phone, and the just announced shared driver between Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8.

Microsoft says this will help devs using Windows 8 have a much easier time porting over apps to the phone. The main focus here is an almost seemless transition from desktop to phone. We were told that were are some amazing games headed to the WP platform in 2012.

A game called Marble Maze was shown off on a Windows 8 tablet. They then showed the same exact game on a Windows Phone 8. Microsoft said there are “very few code changes” between the two apps. The game played as smooth on the phone as it did on the tablet. The same will happen from desktop app to tablet to phone. That, I’m sure, is subject to how intense the game will be. Marble Maze isn’t exactly Mass Effect 3, afterall.

Later on in the event, we saw a demo presentation of the Havok engine suite coming to WP8. This promises to deliver “fast vehicle dynamics, unique user-controlled gameplay moments, fast 3D physics and collision detection on mobile, physics for engaging 3D gameplay, high octane cinematic destruction, dynamic deformation and fracture, advanced character animation with ragdolls, rich dynamic environments, richer character simulation , realistic characters, simulated character clothing, and cinematic 3D graphics.” This is the same stuff we’ve been involved with huge console games like Assassin’s Creed.

Gameloft and Big Fish have a lot of titles coming soon for WP8. They showed off quick logos and fly-bys for Asphalt 7, NOVA 3, and Fairway Solitaire. Also announced were Zynga games Draw Something and Words with Friends having ports coming to WP devices.

More details will come soon.


Image credit to Engadget who is live blogging the conference.