With the recent announcement of Windows Phone 7 Launch Game Line-Up it’s clear Microsoft wants WP7 to contend with iPhone as a serious gaming platform. I don’t think they have a chance.
“If looks could kill they probably will.” – Peter Gabriel
It’s all about looks and performance. The iPhone will be king of the graphics hill for a long time.
On the development hill, I’m excited about the Windows Phone developer’s tools because it brings the familiarity of Xbox Live game development to a mobile platform. Trust me, jumping from C# to Java for the Android SDK is a challenge, and breaking in to iPhone development in Objective-C is even harder.
The tools available for Xbox Live development should give WP7 an instant advantage over the anemic game selection on Android. But I doubt Microsoft will be able to compete effectively with iPhone as a gaming platform.
WP7 games will dominate Android games because:
- Xbox Live Arcade developers have already started porting their games from 360
- Potential for 3 screens: Start a game on Windows, Get serious on 360, share content on your phone
- Microsoft has a good set of development tools already
iPhone games will hold out to WP7 for the foreseeable future because:
- iPhone developers have a long head start
- iPhone has a higher bar set for minimum specs (games will run faster on iPhone)
- Apple quality control
I know it’s a sore subject, but I think game development on iPhone is so competitive partially because of Apple’s quality control. You wouldn’t see half of the junk that floods the Android Market if there was some sort of quality control beyond user ratings.
- Download the latest and greatest firmware.
ftp.clubimate.com has the latest iMate SP5m firmware (i-mate_SP5m_NRE_2.6.333.1.zip).
The WWE ROM is a “world” version. You’ll want the “Northern European” version because it’s slightly newer and easier to convert from UK to US locale. The iMate SP5 is the one without WiFi (same as the Cingular 2125). There is a newer firmware available from Cingular but it does not include WiFi support and there’s something wrong with the T9 feature.
- Unlock the phone for ROM upgrade.
Normally your new retail phone will be CID locked which will disable the ROM upgrade. Use the guide I found on the interweb to CID unlock the phone. You’ll need the SPVServices application found at http://www.spv-developers.com/content/SPV-Services.zip.
- Install the firmware.
Installation should be painless. Remember to back up.
- Unlock the phone for applications.
The iMate firmware is “application locked” which means you will not be able to install software that has not been digitally signed. To unlock the phone download the HTC signed regedit application from http://www.spv-developers.com/content/regeditSTG.zip.
Follow the instructions I found online to change HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESecurityPoliciesPolicies0001001 to 1 and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESecurityPoliciesPolicies0001005 to 40. Then restart the phone. Now download http://www.spv-developers.com/content/SDA_ApplicationUnlock.zip and run the SDA_ApplicationUnlock program. It is self explanatory. If you get a message that says the phone is not unlockable the registry keys have not taken effect. Verify that the keys are set correctly and restart the phone. Once the unlocker says the phone has been unlocked you can copy the cert.cab file from http://www.spv-developers.com/content/SPV-Services.zip onto the phone and execute it with the File Explorer.
I just got an Audiovox SMT 5600. I’ve got it running Windows Mobile 5 and here’s how I did it.
First I hit thepiratebay.com, searched for “windows mobile 5″ and downloaded Windows.Mobile.5.ROM.Pack.For.HTC.Typhoon.C500.SMT5600. The nfo file contains instructions for flashing the ROM however mine came with the latest Smartphone 2003 image and could not be upgraded. So I used a post at modaco.com to start the down-grade process. This article provides a link to an Orange ROM which was still too new to perform the Mobile 5 upgrade so I followed this article at mobismart.net to downgrade further to a 1.0 image. At this point I was able to reflash up to the Mobile 5 image successfully.
So far I have not found any software that works with this version but I’ll keep you posted.