So on a more serious note, while this build of the OS was far from stable, once we got Harvest up and running it was pretty amazing. The graphics were about the same as the Zune HD and framerates felt pretty consistent -- overall, we'd place what we saw next to the PSP, but obviously we didn't do any real testing or comparisons here. Controls were responsive and worked fine, although there weren't any accelerometer-driven actions -- you tapped on an enemy to fire at it, and double-tapped to super-jump. We also managed to trigger two Xbox achievements, which were totally fluid and integrated. Of course, none of this is final, and it's all subject to change, but its was certainly nice to actually use the OS to launch and play a game -- now all we need is a real device with a final OS and we'll be able to form some real impressions.
In talking to Microsoft's Andre Vrignaud
(who did us the solid of showing us the game in the second video), he made an important point: though The Harvest is an extraordinarily sexy way of demonstrating the kind of raw power Windows Phone 7 Series' standard spec is going to have, these kinds of games won't be Xbox Live's major focus out of the gate -- they're looking more toward so-called "mobile minute" games, casual experiences that you can call up quickly, take a turn, and move on with your life. Ultimately, of course, we'd like to see a proliferation of both styles -- and there were enough third-party developers listening in on the 3D game development sessions here at MIX10
this week that we're pretty confident we'll see that happen.