Windows Phone 7 gaming sales "disappointing"

If reports on PocketGamer.biz are to believed, gaming related sales on Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 handsets have been very disappointing. The site has spoken to various developers who have been working on the platform with most stating that “The number of sales is a bit disappointing so far”.

The developers, who did not wish to be named, went on to say that the conversion rates from trial/demo versions of Xbox LIVE titles on Windows Phone 7 to fully paid versions of the same games have been very low, with one saying "We are seeing a conversion rate of 10 percent, and the sales are still far from the numbers we are seeing on iOS,"

The article went on to say that even though developers that have integrated Xbox LIVE support into their titles have seen slightly better sales than those without, they are still far from impressive. Microsoft has been keen to push Xbox LIVE integration with Windows Phone 7 handsets, though this does mean that indie developers get less of a look in than they would on Android or iOS devices.

A number of Windows Phone 7 users have said that they have been disappointed with the higher cost of titles on the Microsoft service when compared to those on iOS or Android handsets, even similar titles can sometimes be up to four times the cost of those seen on the iTunes App Store.

The other reasoning behind poor gaming sales could also be the unknown consumer sales of Windows Phone 7 devices; this could, in theory, mean that weak sales of hardware have hampered marketplace sales.

Hopefully things will pick up gaming-wise in the coming months as Windows Phone 7 can be a great gaming device if it is managed correctly, but if Xbox LIVE promotion continues to hold back indie gaming development, then those developers may start to look elsewhere.

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jasqid said,
Sorry M$, but $5 a pop for a game is 2x too rich for me. It's a phone game.

You obviously have no idea as to the time & effort involved in develop games; hell you don't even sound like a gamer. Gaming costs money, good games cost money. If you want to play games for free, go play games on android. Have fun with choppy frames per second and adverts popping up over the game every 5 seconds.

I think the pricing is the key. I have dozens of XBOX Live titles on my phone in trial mode and I don't intent to purchase any of them. Somehow, Microsoft thinks that adding achievements and points justifies all this excessive pricing but it won't wash with me. A mobile game is something I dip in and out of, I have no real attachment or investment in it. This is where Google has got it right with the Android.

In the next few weeks Angry Birds is going to be released on WP7 as part of a spring wave of new game titles. It's been sucked into the XBOX Live family, developed by Microsoft Game Studios and Rovio (the original developers) aren't even mentioned! AB is free on Android and only £0.59 on iPhone. I have a sneaky suspicion that we'll see this released for no less than £2.49.

as 'thenetavenger' above. Verizon doesn't even have the Windows 7 Phone yet. These numbers are kinda pointless until all the big carriers actually are selling the phones. Myself and my coworkers, are waiting for the Verizon release of WP7!!! And I can already tell you, I probably will be buying some games.

Brian Jackson said,
as 'thenetavenger' above. Verizon doesn't even have the Windows 7 Phone yet. These numbers are kinda pointless until all the big carriers actually are selling the phones. Myself and my coworkers, are waiting for the Verizon release of WP7!!! And I can already tell you, I probably will be buying some games.

Yea, because no single carrier has ever launched a phone OS to the top of the sales charts with just a single handset available? Well, there was this one...

I'm pretty sure Chicks and Vixens would beg to disagree I wouldn't be surprised if the developer is sitting on a load of cash because other developers sat on their ass.

Well to be honest, I have been using my samsung omnia 7 for 2 months now, after losing my iphone 4. First I was little bit happy, probably because it's new, then I had to buy an ipod, to be able to actually listen to music (7gb memory is a killer). And now I am thinking of actually switching back to iphone 4 after realising that I am not using my phone at all, other than the occasional phone calls. I miss my apps on iphone.

MS blew their initial efforts between confusing ads (why do I want a smartphone I don't want to look at), horrid update strategy and this continued dishonesty about overall platform sales figures. Glad I sold my Focus, might revisit Windows phone in a couple years, but this attempt is already blown.

I don't have time to play games on my WP7 device. I download the trials to have a quick play with them and that's about it! I use the phone for like, actual phone stuff?

WTF else do they want? They didn't advertise it as a gaming platform and still, those who like games still have to like the OS looks first.

thartist said,
WTF else do they want? They didn't advertise it as a gaming platform and still, those who like games still have to like the OS looks first.
They advertise it as one of the main windows phone 7 features

To be honest its too late for me (a Focus owner). The OS just isnt mature enough & neither is the hardware. But the real reason im buying iPhone4 (again) is get this: there is no armband for a Focus. I listen to music at the gym and hate fumbling around my pockets to get my phone. Hence I stopped listening to music > stopped using my phone. Its the one feature that MS has that Apple doesnt (Zune kills iTunes IMO).

MikeInBA said,
To be honest its too late for me (a Focus owner). The OS just isnt mature enough & neither is the hardware. But the real reason im buying iPhone4 (again) is get this: there is no armband for a Focus. I listen to music at the gym and hate fumbling around my pockets to get my phone. Hence I stopped listening to music > stopped using my phone. Its the one feature that MS has that Apple doesnt (Zune kills iTunes IMO).

I bet that there are armbands the Focus would fit in. Just not one marketed as "for the Focus"…

MikeInBA said,
To be honest its too late for me (a Focus owner). The OS just isnt mature enough & neither is the hardware. But the real reason im buying iPhone4 (again) is get this: there is no armband for a Focus. I listen to music at the gym and hate fumbling around my pockets to get my phone. Hence I stopped listening to music > stopped using my phone. Its the one feature that MS has that Apple doesnt (Zune kills iTunes IMO).

You've got to be joking. That's ridiculous. You're an early adopter.

You will get good sales when you have lots of consumers to buy them. You will get lots of consumers when the platform offers more functionality to make it more attractive and run on better hardware. More functionality comes when MS gets off their butts and opens up the platform, quickly and not at the glacial pace they are running at now. If WP7 had real time multiplayer, real cross-platform gaming with the 360 (not just some weak exchange of data like with Fable coin golf), enhanced functionality through better API's for developers, you would see better games, better applications, better hardware and that will attract users who will buy more games. Seems pretty clear to me, MS has to move faster. If they dont, bye bye WP7.

efjay said,
You will get good sales when you have lots of consumers to buy them. You will get lots of consumers when the platform offers more functionality to make it more attractive and run on better hardware. More functionality comes when MS gets off their butts and opens up the platform, quickly and not at the glacial pace they are running at now. If WP7 had real time multiplayer, real cross-platform gaming with the 360 (not just some weak exchange of data like with Fable coin golf), enhanced functionality through better API's for developers, you would see better games, better applications, better hardware and that will attract users who will buy more games. Seems pretty clear to me, MS has to move faster. If they dont, bye bye WP7.
NM

1) Until now only available on a few carriers. (Sprint, Verizon just now starting to get WP7)
2) Devices sold, even if using the best numbers of shipped phones from Microsoft is less than 1% of the iPhone and and Android devices out there.
3) Developers trying to pass on the cost of developing the new platform to the consumers.
4) XBox Live features still not fully in place, that many games in development are waiting on.
5) Developers still not even 'getting' the concept of free and trial, and getting scared that if they don't do the free limiited version with a bait and switch mentality they won't get sales.
6) Developers jacking up the price compared to the other platforms.
7) Developers are not using the features of XNA to offer XBox 360 versions or integration.


And we get a story that quotes anonymous developers that seem to think they should be getting sales they can get on the iPhone?

Really?

Android is also hurting for sales all around, with the lack of securing Apps that is keeping large game publishers away, is hit hard by copycat titles popping up for free with advertising, has a large 'black market' community with unlocked copies of Apps available for free, and a large portion of the consumers that expect everything to be FOSS.


Instead of getting quotes from developers and presenting this as a problem with WP7, this should instead be an article that looks at the real problems and also has the nerve to readdress the developers issues back to them asking why they are jacking up their prices on WP7 and why they are not using the free/trial model properly, or why they are not using XBox Live, why they are not offering XBox 360 versions like XNA is designed to do, and why they are not adding anything to the WP7 versions when it has more gaming capabilities.


When it comes to WP7 itself, its gaming capabilities are solid offering more features and more performance than Android and iPhone on many levels, which should remind people this is more of an issue with market saturation of the devices and failings of the developers themselves.

All WP7 devices even with their current lower end GPUs are shoving higher graphics quality and are able to do so at 5x faster than the iPhone or even the fastest Android device with a much faster CPU and GPU. Yet developers are slapping the same old assets into the WP7 versions, and not even considering using the extra range they can offer in graphics, let alone the extra gaming features like XBox Live.


Game sales that are doing well on WP7 are XBox Live enabled, use the avatar if it fits, and also have XBox 360 versions or counterpart games on the XBox 360. The developers know this, and yet ignore this at their own peril.


WP7 is not going anywhere, and like the Original XBox is having a shaky start with availability problems, but I think the XBox did ok, and I think WP7 will do ok too, even with a snowstorm of doom and gloom articles about WP7.

PS...
I swear I will choke up a lung if I see one more doom and gloom article about the 'update' process on WP7, without mentioning the problems that iPhones had over the years or the fact that most Android users will NEVER get an update.

thenetavenger said,

When it comes to WP7 itself, its gaming capabilities are solid offering more features and more performance than Android and iPhone on many levels, which should remind people this is more of an issue with market saturation of the devices and failings of the developers themselves.

All WP7 devices even with their current lower end GPUs are shoving higher graphics quality and are able to do so at 5x faster than the iPhone or even the fastest Android device with a much faster CPU and GPU. Yet developers are slapping the same old assets into the WP7 versions, and not even considering using the extra range they can offer in graphics, let alone the extra gaming features like XBox Live.

Isn't this just in theory - I thought "The Harvest" was one of those real show off titles - yet you can find better looking titles on the iPhone...probably on Tegra 2 powered Android phones now too. Microsoft have published a lot of the Xbox LIVE titles on Wp7 - so surely the blame for lack of decent feature sets and graphics lays with them too.

If the Adreno 200 GPU is the one in your WP7 - then its also in the Nexus One etc and outperformed even in a Samsung Galaxy S with the SGX 540.

I don't pretend to know a lot about GPU power in mobile devices, but I've yet to see any sign that a WP7 device will ever outperform an iPhone or a new Android device with decent GPU in games. I personally hope they do, but I can't see it happening in Windows Phone 7 - maybe a future version....they should have got Epic to do something spectacular

Byron_Hinson said,

Isn't this just in theory - I thought "The Harvest" was one of those real show off titles - yet you can find better looking titles on the iPhone...probably on Tegra 2 powered Android phones now too. Microsoft have published a lot of the Xbox LIVE titles on Wp7 - so surely the blame for lack of decent feature sets and graphics lays with them too.

If the Adreno 200 GPU is the one in your WP7 - then its also in the Nexus One etc and outperformed even in a Samsung Galaxy S with the SGX 540.

I don't pretend to know a lot about GPU power in mobile devices, but I've yet to see any sign that a WP7 device will ever outperform an iPhone or a new Android device with decent GPU in games. I personally hope they do, but I can't see it happening in Windows Phone 7 - maybe a future version....they should have got Epic to do something spectacular

The iPhone has a better GPU and lower level access to the hardware. So the highest-end games will likely be more advanced as far as graphics.

Android is weird in a way. While the newest handsets have awesome hardware, a developer looking at having any chance of earning money will need to target as wide an audience as possible. And much of Android's install base is filled with people that have low end devices. So while it's possible for Android devices to have games that surpass the ability of WP7 devices, it's not likely to happen very often.

Byron_Hinson said,

If the Adreno 200 GPU is the one in your WP7 - then its also in the Nexus One etc and outperformed even in a Samsung Galaxy S with the SGX 540.

I don't pretend to know a lot about GPU power in mobile devices, but I've yet to see any sign that a WP7 device will ever outperform an iPhone or a new Android device with decent GPU in games. I personally hope they do, but I can't see it happening in Windows Phone 7 - maybe a future version....they should have got Epic to do something spectacular

Like you say, WP7 has nowhere near the graphical power that iPhone, and some Andriod games can aim for.

But the biggest curse is also what they advertise as their greatest blessing - their reliance on XNA, even for Xbox Live submitted games. Although it makes it easier to get started with, you just won't get the same level of performance out of an XNA game as you would with a native C++ written game, or even objective C games as written on the iPhone, so we'll never be able to match that level of performance.

Whilst I think it's probably good to give the general public and developers XNA to work with, I really think we should give Xbox Live developers access to write their games in native code - this is also the reason Epic don't want to write an engine for it yet. XNA just doesn't allow them the performance options they need.

Byron_Hinson said,

Isn't this just in theory - I thought "The Harvest" was one of those real show off titles - yet you can find better looking titles on the iPhone...probably on Tegra 2 powered Android phones now too. Microsoft have published a lot of the Xbox LIVE titles on Wp7 - so surely the blame for lack of decent feature sets and graphics lays with them too.

If the Adreno 200 GPU is the one in your WP7 - then its also in the Nexus One etc and outperformed even in a Samsung Galaxy S with the SGX 540.

I don't pretend to know a lot about GPU power in mobile devices, but I've yet to see any sign that a WP7 device will ever outperform an iPhone or a new Android device with decent GPU in games. I personally hope they do, but I can't see it happening in Windows Phone 7 - maybe a future version....they should have got Epic to do something spectacular


I have never seen a decent android game

Byron_Hinson said,

Isn't this just in theory - I thought "The Harvest" was one of those real show off titles - yet you can find better looking titles on the iPhone...probably on Tegra 2 powered Android phones now too. Microsoft have published a lot of the Xbox LIVE titles on Wp7 - so surely the blame for lack of decent feature sets and graphics lays with them too.

If the Adreno 200 GPU is the one in your WP7 - then its also in the Nexus One etc and outperformed even in a Samsung Galaxy S with the SGX 540.

I don't pretend to know a lot about GPU power in mobile devices, but I've yet to see any sign that a WP7 device will ever outperform an iPhone or a new Android device with decent GPU in games. I personally hope they do, but I can't see it happening in Windows Phone 7 - maybe a future version....they should have got Epic to do something spectacular

It is less about the GPU and how you get to the GPU.

People love to look at Mobile GPU technology and the theoretical fill rate as the measure of how powerful the GPU is. However, this is 'theoretical' for a reason, as getting the pixels to the screen and how it gest the pixels to the screen is a lot more complicated.

So keep this in mind, and let's look at a couple of things specific to WP7 and then the GPU technologies and how this works out.

WP7 advantages:

1) WP7 has a highly optimized WinCE kernel and driver model, that is far lighter than the Linux kernel on Android and the iOS kernel. This translates into a very big speed difference.

2) Microsoft focused on the Adreno GPU because it is ATI technology and has a lot of similarity with the Xeno GPU in the XBox 360.

3) XNA - it is mobile DirectX that uses a managed language through .NET. At first glance people see managed and .NET and want to dismiss it by thinking it has extra overhead. This is not how it works, as the developer side is managed code, but a very traditional DirectX interface to the driver model and GPU.


So if we take these basic of WP7, it is going to get far more out of the GPU because of the WinCE OS and GPU driver, the GPU seems weak, but is using technology Microsoft knows (in fact Microsoft designed the core technology), then add in XNA's advantages over OpenGL ES and the fact XNA has been being used for XBox 360 development and working directly with the Xeno GPU technology in the XBox 360.

So if you look at this, there is a lot of performance potential in WP7, and it also makes sense why Microsoft pushed for the Snapdragon with the Adreno GPU in the first generation, as XNA was already optimized for this type of GPU technology and gave them a head start as they could modify XNA and offer a rich and mature gaming framework geared for the GPU in the Snapdragon.

So WP7 is going to get more out of hardware than Android or iOS on several levels.

Now if we talk Mobile GPU technology...

This is where people get suckered into fill rates and even posted numbers from the GPU MFRs.

So let's look at some common thinking and what in theory should be, but isn't always accurate:
• The Adreno 205 is in theory 4 times faster than the Adreno 200
• The PowerVR SGX 5xx series is in theory 2 times faster than the Adreno 205

So if we look at this alone, the PowerVR SGX540 for example should be 8 times faster than the Adreno 200.

And if we look at the raw numbers from the MFRs, they are pretty close to what they say is the 'fill rate' should be.

Here is where this fails miserably...

In application level benchmarks, the Adreno 205 nearly matchs the PowerVR SGX 540, which means it is performing faster than the PowerVR SGX 535 in the Apple iPhone4.

So this doesn't work out like it should in 'theory'.

So now we have to look at a few aspects of why...

1) The MFR benchmarks are usually done on a generic Linux, and this means these numbers are constrained by the Linux drivers and Linux driver model. So at first glance, the 'potential' of the GPU is inaccurate and even possibly less than its full abilities.

2) When we get to the Game and Application layers in Android and iOS, there is a lot laying under this, from a heavy kernel model to less than gaming optimized video model.

3) OpenGL is what Android and iOS are using for gaming, and even on the highly optimized desktop version of OpenGL it lags behind DirectX fairly significantly in performance and also functionality. The mobile OpenGL ES is even worse in lack of features and speed.

XNA is far more capable than OpenGL ES in features and performance. It also has a very brilliant twist in having the developer code portion in managed .NET. This means that creating a game for XNA is beyond traditional portable concepts and even Java portability, yet are high performanced games using hardware abstraction layers.

4) GPU Design is complex, and especially in the mobile device world, where some GPUs are still using concepts from the 90s or an evolution of their 90s model mimicking more modern functionality.

The PowerVR GPU is a good example of this, as it is using a base concept that is old, and only mimicks newer GPU features like certain shader features through drivers. The PowerVR Series 5xx is the same GMA 500 that Intel uses in Atom based netbooks, and it is not providing all the features of DirextX or OpenGL in the GPU, instead using drivers and the CPU to create these abilities. This is can create a massive dip in performance when using the 'simulated' features, especially when the CPU is already being pushed to its limits.

5) The Adreno GPU is ATI based technology that was designed by Microsoft's hardware engineers, this is why it shares features with the Xeno internally that is used in the XBox 360 and is also the basis of all modern PC GPUs. This is why XNA runs well on WP7 initially, and was easy for Microsoft to get out the door.


So when you get to the end of all of this stuff, WP7 can shove the Adreno 200 to its full potential, not just what it can do when using Linux or iOS, as WinCE really is faster and has a far faster video driver model and level of optimization. It is using XNA that even if WinCE was already jumping the performance, would be besting OpenGL ES games, and out of the gate the GPU technology of the Adreno is a current generation design instead of a GPU using old processes and supplementing the OpenGL or DirectX features in drivers and using the CPU.

This isn't just about WP7, as it plays out between the Android and iOS as well. Android is heavier than iOS and its video model is less suited to gaming, even though they both use OpenGL ES for gaming. This has to do with how the Linux video model works, how OpenGL works on the OS and tons of other factors.


----


Additionally, back to 'fill rate', this doesn't say anything about the polygon rate, or other speed aspects of the GPU. As you look at things beyond 'fill rate' you will notice the iPhone 4's GPU is slower on than even the Adreno 200. (Remember some of this comes from the fact the GPU itself in the iPhone4 is simulating operations in drivers/software instead of being handled in the chip.)

Now if you look at what gets to the screen and how fast, this is how some common mobile GPUs stack up, notice how the OS changes things:

Adreno 200 on Android 2.2 - 1.0x
Adreno 200 on Android 2.1 - 0.7x
PowerVX SGX535 on iOS - 4.0x
PowerVX SGX540 on Android 2.2 - 4.0x
Adreno 205 on Android 2.2 - 5.0x
Adreno 220 on Android 2.2 - 7.0x

Adreno 200 on WP7 - 7.0x

And this is in far contrast from what people would expect just looking at fill rates of the GPUs. Notice that on Android how much more GPU is needed to get to the iPhone performance levels and especially the WP7 performance levels.


I encourage anyone to explore this for themselves, and stop paying attention to only fill rate, look at poly rates, memory speeds, and the device OS.

Side Note, go look at the new gaming Playstation Phone from Sony, notice the GPU, and also notice that reviews are saying things like 'Games look good and are smooth, but are nothing like WP7 or even iOS games.' This is a failing of Android and the Linux video/driver model, not the GPU it is using, as its GPU is truly faster than the WP7 GPU, as it is the same family.

In the end though - have you seen any WP7 game that outdoes anything on iOS, not slating wp7 at all, but I haven't so far and if it was that easy to do, shouldn't there already be titles up.

Agree with your points about Android though, yet to see a great looking game on there.

It's good to see someone commenting on a wp7 blog post who actually sounds like they know what they're talking about.

Byron_Hinson said,
In the end though - have you seen any WP7 game that outdoes anything on iOS, not slating wp7 at all, but I haven't so far and if it was that easy to do, shouldn't there already be titles up.

Quality games are *not* easy to make - you need art, sound effects and music, all the other content, they basically have to be shipped 100% complete and 'bug-free', and that's on top of all the programming required. Even then, tons of commercial games that have all of the above fail miserably due to the simple fact the game sucks. EA just buys out all the game dev studios and they go to franchised ****. Call of duty, final fantasy, basically every game that was *ever* good eventually gets sold out and goes to ****. Game development studios no longer care about the quality of the game, or if the game is actually a complete, polished product before releasing their titles anymore - they have a deadline, they have a budget, they *have* to get that game out the door by that date, with that amount of money. And the game ends up sucking.

Blizzard entertainment is one of the very few game development studios that still actually cares about living up to their reputation of putting out quality games. Why? It's because they don't rush their games out to release, they tell people "it's done when it's done", and with games, that's really how it should be (and *has* to be, in order for a game to be successful).

Maybe if Win phone 7 was available on CDMA yet they would have more sales. Ive been sitting on a 2.5 year old phone waiting till a WP7 handset is available. That in my eyes was the biggest failure. ATT sucks and Im not switching just to get a phone.

BrewNinja said,
Maybe if Win phone 7 was available on CDMA yet they would have more sales. Ive been sitting on a 2.5 year old phone waiting till a WP7 handset is available. That in my eyes was the biggest failure. ATT sucks and Im not switching just to get a phone.

Am I missing something? HTC Arrive runs on Sprint's network and Sprint is a CDMA carrier.

This has no evidence, it's just a random site saying a random statistic, yet everyone believes WP7 is failing. Not only is WP7 not iOS yet, it doesn't have the sheer volume.

Owen W said,
This has no evidence, it's just a random site saying a random statistic, yet everyone believes WP7 is failing. Not only is WP7 not iOS yet, it doesn't have the sheer volume.

Hmmm pocketgamer are pretty in with a lot of mobile developers.. i don't think they said WP7 is failing, they said the marketplace setup isn't the best, which anyone can see right now. If developers are unhappy, things will change in the end.

Owen W said,
This has no evidence, it's just a random site saying a random statistic, yet everyone believes WP7 is failing. Not only is WP7 not iOS yet, it doesn't have the sheer volume.

But if developers are criticising the trial to buy ratio, does that not indicate that the problem lies somewhere other than volume? Perhaps it's the price, marketplace user experience, or simply the lack of choice of games compared with Android and iOS.

Flawed said,

But if developers are criticising the trial to buy ratio, does that not indicate that the problem lies somewhere other than volume? Perhaps it's the price, marketplace user experience, or simply the lack of choice of games compared with Android and iOS.

+1. Criticism from those who are vital in building the end-user experience should always be taken seriously. Regardless if they provide statistics or not.

Owen W said,
This has no evidence, it's just a random site saying a random statistic, yet everyone believes WP7 is failing. Not only is WP7 not iOS yet, it doesn't have the sheer volume.

That and the fact that it hasn't been pushed internationally yet - I'd say that when the first big update for WP7 is released at the end of the year with hardware accelerated browsing you're going to see Microsoft push it strongly. It is about playing your cards right and knowing when to push the envelop with marketing and when to hold back and wait a while.

For $0.99 to $2.99, I'm willing to take a gamble on a game for my iPhone if the description sounds interesting and the reviews are mostly good. Any more than that, I'm going to be hard pressed paying for w/o a trial or demo. The reviews will have to be overwhelmingly positive and plentiful.

warwagon said,
I think Steve Ballmer really has got to go.

Microsoft is pretty strong in every-other-sector. But the fact is, they are very weak in the Mobile market (handhelds/tablets). Which is sad since they had a relative head start with PocketPC and later Windows Mobile smartphones AND with tablets. But instead of pushing for newer and better they became complacent and let the competition fly pass them in the later half of the 00's.

Shadrack said,

Microsoft is pretty strong in every-other-sector. But the fact is, they are very weak in the Mobile market (handhelds/tablets). Which is sad since they had a relative head start with PocketPC and later Windows Mobile smartphones AND with tablets. But instead of pushing for newer and better they became complacent and let the competition fly pass them in the later half of the 00's.

There on the back foot in the on-line sector as well, Azure's doing quite well but other than that there in trouble, Microsoft's on-line division hasn't made a profit in years

thealexweb said,
There on the back foot in the on-line sector as well, Azure's doing quite well but other than that there in trouble, Microsoft's on-line division hasn't made a profit in years

But that is due to Microsoft in the past trying to take everyone on where as they've finally realised that they'll never beat Facebook, Wordpress or YouTube (which they tried to take on by providing their own service) and instead are now integrating into these said services. Btw, YouTube doesn't make money for Google, Facebook's profit per user is incredibly low and Wordpress finances are unknown by me. When it comes to online services selling virtual services it isn't as easy as an organisation selling products online and ship a physical product to an end customer.

Lower prices, and release the phone on more carriers. I know many verizon users who would love a Windows phone, but they had to go with android or iOS instead.

Ruran said,
Lower prices, and release the phone on more carriers. I know many verizon users who would love a Windows phone, but they had to go with android or iOS instead.

In the US the phones are 1 cent to 99 on contract, already "Cheaper" than iPhone

I walked in to the AT&T store a few days ago looking to upgrade my phone but not sure which direction to go, android or wp7, the sales team did everything they could to steer me away from any and all wp7 devices citing that they had a high return rate.
Of course that only left one other option and I left the store with a shiny new HTC Inspire.

James Riske said,
I walked in to the AT&T store a few days ago looking to upgrade my phone but not sure which direction to go, android or wp7, the sales team did everything they could to steer me away from any and all wp7 devices citing that they had a high return rate.
Of course that only left one other option and I left the store with a shiny new HTC Inspire.

Rubbish, 93 per cent of WP7 owners would recommend phone to others they clear just didn't want you to get one for other reasons.

James Riske said,
I walked in to the AT&T store a few days ago looking to upgrade my phone but not sure which direction to go, android or wp7, the sales team did everything they could to steer me away from any and all wp7 devices citing that they had a high return rate.
Of course that only left one other option and I left the store with a shiny new HTC Inspire.

If my experience is anything to go buy, the sales reps are confusing Windows Phone with Windows Mobile, and citing high return rates of Windows Mobile against Windows Phone 7, presumably due to a lack of training.

~Johnny said,
If my experience is anything to go buy, the sales reps are confusing Windows Phone with Windows Mobile, and citing high return rates of Windows Mobile against Windows Phone 7, presumably due to a lack of training.

Which is no different to the experience Apple used to have when they had to resell through PC dominated stores - the staff on the floor ignorant of Macs would push customers to PC's but Apple has since responded with their own network of stores.

Maybe what Microsoft need to do is the same thing by selling WP7 in their Microsoft stores rather than relying on clueless minimum wage AT&T staff to do their job properly.

Gaffney said,

Rubbish, 93 per cent of WP7 owners would recommend phone to others they clear just didn't want you to get one for other reasons.

I'm sure it's all part of a conspiracy...

"the sales are still far from the numbers we are seeing on iOS,"

Really? Perhaps that's because there are 2, maybe 3 million WP7 phones on the market and about a billion iOS phones (yes I'm exaggerating).

I don't really mind paying up to $5 for a game on my WP7 phone if I'm going to be playing it quite a bit.

And speaking of games, I though Angry Birds was supposed to hit WP7 last week. Anyone know anything about it?

spenser.d said,
"the sales are still far from the numbers we are seeing on iOS,"

Really? Perhaps that's because there are 2, maybe 3 million WP7 phones on the market and about a billion iOS phones (yes I'm exaggerating).

I don't really mind paying up to $5 for a game on my WP7 phone if I'm going to be playing it quite a bit.

And speaking of games, I though Angry Birds was supposed to hit WP7 last week. Anyone know anything about it?

you have a point, i belive iOS has been out for three years plus.. WP7 has been out for just over 6months, of cause there will be less buyers,

spenser.d said,
"the sales are still far from the numbers we are seeing on iOS,"

Really? Perhaps that's because there are 2, maybe 3 million WP7 phones on the market and about a billion iOS phones (yes I'm exaggerating).

I don't really mind paying up to $5 for a game on my WP7 phone if I'm going to be playing it quite a bit.

And speaking of games, I though Angry Birds was supposed to hit WP7 last week. Anyone know anything about it?

Think you are exaggerating the WP7 sales too! unless you mean shipped!

Yeah the release of Angry Birds seems to have been delayed for some reason. Bit behind unless they release all of them in one go.

I still think its silly buying games for $5 if you can get them for a $1 elsewhere - but not everyone has the luxury of multiple handsets.

It is kind of hard justifying the cost of a lot of games when there are free games available that have nice graphics and sound and play mechanics. I have seen several games that I would like to buy, but because of the costs, I've shied away from them. At most, I could only afford 1, or maybe 2 games a month...

I agree that most of it has to do with prices.

It's not necessarily that the games aren't worth the price. But if the same game is offered elsewhere for $0.99, then why would I consider buying it for $4.99?

i have brought six games all with Xbox live on , and only 2 none, due to the lack of decent non xboxlive games and how poor they look

It is absolutely down to pricing. Most of us with WP7 will know someone, somewhere with an iPhone and we're simply not going to pay 500% the cost for a game when compared to iPhone. We are just collectivley sitting and waiting for the pricing model to be adjusted and I'm utterly convinced we'll jump in.

My wife has an iPhone and at 59p in the UK for a game it is almost a no-brainer to go ahead and purchase. The pricing model for WP7 makes me stop and think and so I don't buy.

I can't believe it could be any more simpler than that. Drop the pricing, get people buying, don't have an obvious reason for people to negatively compare WP7 casual gaming against market leading devices, get more developers involved, get more games published, get better sales for WP7.

spc1972 said,
It is absolutely down to pricing. Most of us with WP7 will know someone, somewhere with an iPhone and we're simply not going to pay 500% the cost for a game when compared to iPhone. We are just collectivley sitting and waiting for the pricing model to be adjusted and I'm utterly convinced we'll jump in.

My wife has an iPhone and at 59p in the UK for a game it is almost a no-brainer to go ahead and purchase. The pricing model for WP7 makes me stop and think and so I don't buy.

I can't believe it could be any more simpler than that. Drop the pricing, get people buying, don't have an obvious reason for people to negatively compare WP7 casual gaming against market leading devices, get more developers involved, get more games published, get better sales for WP7.

Yep when I had my WP7 I bought one game for it, that was it - not due to any reason other than price. Max and the Magic marker - WP7 £2.99, iPhone £1.19. Great game on both devices - so why pay over 2x the cost. You just wouldn't

"If reports on PocketGamer.biz are to believed"; I can confirm, I heard it from a Twitter insider.

Sam said,
"If reports on PocketGamer.biz are to believed"; I can confirm, I heard it from a Twitter insider.

It's been common knowledge that games (other than live! titles) haven't sold well. The developers are more open to leaking these details than MS are right now thats for sure, would you expect MS to come out and say that games are selling poorly on their format.

Byron_Hinson said,

It's been common knowledge that games (other than live! titles) haven't sold well. The developers are more open to leaking these details than MS are right now thats for sure, would you expect MS to come out and say that games are selling poorly on their format.

Who controls what the apps cost? If its developers then they have to look at themselves to find the answer as to why the conversion rate it low. This is my frist smartphone yet I've only purchased 4 fames the reason is not price ..... its the simple fact that I don't play may games. My phone spends more time playing back music than anyting else. I simply don't care much for games.

NPGMBR said,

Who controls what the apps cost? If its developers then they have to look at themselves to find the answer as to why the conversion rate it low. This is my frist smartphone yet I've only purchased 4 fames the reason is not price ..... its the simple fact that I don't play may games. My phone spends more time playing back music than anyting else. I simply don't care much for games.

I'd say its more controlled by the MS side than anything like iOS is - Xbox LIVE titles for example are more than the indie ones.

Or maybe they should stop selling apps for much more simply because it has "Xbox Live Integration" when they sell them for 59p on the iPhone.

It's the one thing that bugs me about WP7 right now and the games.

Let's look at one example - Flight Control. When I bought it on iPhone, it was 59p (or it could have been £1.29). It has been updated so that it has achievements too, still the same price. 59p is hardly anything, definitely impulse buy price, especially as I doubt I'll spend more than a couple of hours overall playing it over the next 6 months (it's mainly played when I was bored, on a train etc).

Now lets look at WP7 - its £2.49. Why? When it is still 59p or whatever on iPhone? I'm not going to spend that. Whereas you could probably buy both Crazy Birds and Flight Control for 59p each on iPhone, I bet you'll have to spend a fiver on WP7 (I would guess that Crazy Birds is £2.49 when it is released in a few weeks time).

And that is why I will not buy many games.

Developers - keep the prices the same across all OS's!

astroX said,
Reason: High Prices!

Yep still feel that myself, my biggest issue with Windows Phone 7 apps was and still is the price of apps. If you want to compete with iOS and Android, they have to be lower - don't throw in comments like "Xbox LIVE" means they should be higher priced - thats rubbish as people will stay away when the same game can be found 4 times cheaper on a competing handset

astroX said,
Reason: High Prices!

Agreed. I have the HTC Arrive and to buy the Monopoly game it costs 5 dollars. You can buy the real game for not much more.

astroX said,
Reason: High Prices!
Quite right. There's no reason why a bad port of a badly coded game (Oregon Trail, in this case) should be $4.99 when it's 99¢ on the Apple app store.

astroX said,
Reason: High Prices!

Yep. Microsoft presume people are going to lap it up like the Xbox Live set up but in the same way they tried to push Games for Windows, Microsoft doesn't get the consumer base while others do like Apple/Android and Steam. I really don't like their Xbox Live business strategy, it's painful enough on Xbox, don't force it on everything else.

I'm sorry but a large section Console/Xbox gamers are a different breed and tend to happily take it up the rear to get their fix. That type of business model doesn't apply very well to other consumer markets and Microsoft misses the boat on that one time and time again. Sure, if it sticks, they are onto a Gold Mine like Xbox Live but they do have the blinkers on when the market blatantly points out their errors.

astroX said,
Reason: High Prices!

exactly, and why the hell would they expect sales to be comparable to iOS on top of that? given that WP7 sales are yet to catch up with iOS devices..

astroX said,
Reason: High Prices!

Reason 2: No way for anyone without a credit card and a contract - It's not that uncommon in Europe to buy a device without a contract - to buy anything from the store!

I think they are trying to get the update thing together and other minor things that are more important since they know the platform is their for games to take off.

xchaser said,
I think they are trying to get the update thing together and other minor things that are more important since they know the platform is their for games to take off.

Problem there could be that developers will jump from the platform before they get the rest together.

If Microsoft doesn't get their update strategy, and overall cohesion together for this platform, it's going to die. And I'm saying this as a proud Dell Venue Pro owner.

Hercules said,
If Microsoft doesn't get their update strategy, and overall cohesion together for this platform, it's going to die. And I'm saying this as a proud Dell Venue Pro owner.

How does this impact App sales? Does the average consumer base their decision on whether updates come timely? I use Android and have been waiting for the 2.3 update, but it did not stop me from buying a 2.2 HTC Evo.

bankajac said,

How does this impact App sales? Does the average consumer base their decision on whether updates come timely? I use Android and have been waiting for the 2.3 update, but it did not stop me from buying a 2.2 HTC Evo.


Who wants to buy into a platform where even the company that supports it isn't sure of its direction and forward momentum?

Hercules said,
If Microsoft doesn't get their update strategy, and overall cohesion together for this platform, it's going to die. And I'm saying this as a proud Dell Venue Pro owner.
Dell Venue Pro owner here too. The update fiasco was bothersome but my phone was fully functional so the wait for the update did not hinder my enjoying/loving my device and WP7. My phone was updated to NoDo a week after MS released it.

Hercules said,
If Microsoft doesn't get their update strategy, and overall cohesion together for this platform, it's going to die. And I'm saying this as a proud Dell Venue Pro owner.

Microsoft do have their update strategy together - and they also know what direction they're heading in.

~Johnny said,

Microsoft do have their update strategy together - and they also know what direction they're heading in.

The games are simply too expensive though for a mobile platform in my opinion, I won't spend £4-5 on a simple phone game when I can buy full blown computer games for a similar price on steam.

Saying that, some of the games do look pretty cool in that price bracket.

Hercules said,

Who wants to buy into a platform where even the company that supports it isn't sure of its direction and forward momentum?

That's complete crap. Andy Rubin came out last week and firmly stated that

Hercules said,
If Microsoft doesn't get their update strategy, and overall cohesion together for this platform, it's going to die. And I'm saying this as a proud Dell Venue Pro owner.

So apparently all the success or failure for Windows Phone 7 relies on game sales? I don't know about you but I've put my tentacles out there and found that the majority of the people who are purchasing WP7 devices where I live are business users who were at one point considering iPhone or are existing Blackberry customers who want to have better integration between their Windows back end and their mobile devices. Quite frankly games sales mean nothing just as they mean nothing when it comes to the number of games on Mac. WP7 will keep growing regardless of whether 1,000 or 1,000,000 games are sold each quarter because Microsoft has an already large enterprise customer base that they're catering for.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

So apparently all the success or failure for Windows Phone 7 relies on game sales? I don't know about you but I've put my tentacles out there and found that the majority of the people who are purchasing WP7 devices where I live are business users who were at one point considering iPhone or are existing Blackberry customers who want to have better integration between their Windows back end and their mobile devices. Quite frankly games sales mean nothing just as they mean nothing when it comes to the number of games on Mac. WP7 will keep growing regardless of whether 1,000 or 1,000,000 games are sold each quarter because Microsoft has an already large enterprise customer base that they're catering for.

If that's the case then that's pretty scary. What will these people do when they get their WP7 device and realize that it has worse backend integration than iOS. This is exactly what happened to my wife. I pushed her towards a WP7 device assuming it's exchange support would be at least on par with iOS. In the end it was completely unworkable because it didn't support simple things like multiple calendars or searching emails on the server.

bankajac said,

How does this impact App sales? Does the average consumer base their decision on whether updates come timely? I use Android and have been waiting for the 2.3 update, but it did not stop me from buying a 2.2 HTC Evo.

I think many consumers base their decisions on how long they will be using the platform. They consider app purchases an investment.

For example, I had a WP7 device from mid December until mid February. I didn't even get to the point where I added my CC details to Zune because I was unsure if I would stay on the platform. I knew it was missing features and the point of my trial period was to see if the OSes strong points would be enough to make me forget about the features I was missing. In the end it wasn't enough so I moved on to a Nexus S. I also consider this temporary as I don't particularly like android but it has some features I find indispensible. Similar to my time with WP7, I don't intend to purchase a single android app. I don't intend to purchase any apps until I'm on the platform that I feel I can stay on for a significant amount of time (1+ years).