Angry Birds Space becomes the first Xbox Windows Phone 8 game this week
With the news that Windows Phone 8 devices will officially launch this Friday, November 9th, it probably wouldn’t hurt for Microsoft to have a WP8 game available for users to purchase. It just so happens that this week’s Xbox Live release will require Windows Phone 8. Not only that, but it’s a pretty popular title: Angry Birds Space from Rovio Entertainment.
Lost in space
Angry Birds Space’s path to Windows Phone has been an interesting one. Just a few days before Rovio launched the game on iOS and Android, they basically declined to announce a Windows Phone version when asked. This led to widespread speculation that Rovio was snubbing poor little Windows Phone 7. Sensing the bad press afoot, the developer officially announced a WP7 port on the iOS version’s launch day.
Fast-forward to October 27 and Angry Birds Space launched on Microsoft’s new PC and tablet OS, Windows 8. Code is highly portable between Windows 8 and WP8, hence Rovio chose to pass on Windows Phone 7, despite their previous announcement. Let’s hope WP8 also makes publishing updates easier, considering the original WP7 Angry Birds lagged behind every other version with only one meager upgrade to its name.
Break in your Lumias and 8Xes
While several Angry Birds titles that came out between the original and Space never made it to Windows Phone, Space is the first true sequel, making it worth the wait. Since the 150 included levels now take place in space, gravity no longer affects birds. They now fly in a straight line instead of downward. Some stages will have moons and other objects with their own gravity though, altering the dynamics of their puzzles. Two new bird types round out the list of improvements.
Angry Birds Space will cost 99 cents when it launches on Wednesday. Remember, you’ll need a Windows Phone 8 handset in order to play it.
There will not be a Windows Phone 7 Xbox release this week.
Update: We were slightly misinformed about this week's release. WP7 does in fact get a release, Cut the Rope, for 99 cents.