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Microsoft announces WSOP: Full House Pro for XBLA and Windows 8 but not Windows Phone

World Series of Poker: Full House Pro XBLA

We dished out praises like crazy to the original Full House Poker game for Windows Phone. It was the first Windows Phone 7 game to have proper avatar support and is still the only one, really. A picture of the user’s avatar on their stats screen like AlphaJax and Wordament have doesn’t really count; users want to play games as their avatars.

Full House Poker also synced up with the XBLA version in a meaningful way, sharing all experience and money earned or lost between the two games. Check out our review for more details. It really made true on the promise of Xbox 360 and Windows Phone connectivity that we all once believed and would still like to believe in.

Sadly, the first Full House Poker currently occupies the Windows Phone 8 incompatibility list. And the XBLA game itself (I would argue) ended up a disappointment due to slow animations and poor net code. Still, Microsoft has just announced a free-to-play Full House Poker sequel called World Series of Poker: Full House Pro. Now here’s the bad news: WSOP will be coming to Xbox 360 and Windows 8/RT only. Notice a pattern here?

Return to the poker table

Before we talk about what the shun means, let’s look at the game itself. Like the first Full House Poker, WSOP: Full House Pro allows players to play as their Xbox Live avatars in single-player and online multiplayer poker games. The presentation has received a huge facelift as it now carries the World Series of Poker branding and two authentic announcers.

The biggest change however is the move to a free-to-play structure (the first XBLA game costs 800 MS Points/$10). Without the barrier of buying the game, a huge number of people will give Full House Pro a try. (Note that the Xbox 360 version's online multiplayer still requires an Xbox Live Gold membership, just like Happy Wars.) How long they stay remains to be seen, because players only get a fixed number of free chips every day. Run out and more can be purchased for actual money.

World Series of Poker: Full House Pro XBLA

That’s not an entirely bad thing, because the fixed amount of daily chips could actually do wonders against cheating. In many poker games like the first Full House Poker, cheaters like to spoil everything by going “All in” repeatedly instead of playing strategically. That goes against the spirit of the game and kills the enjoyment for anyone playing against them. Full House Pro’s daily chip allowance will inspire most players to think more carefully about going all in. Anyone who doesn’t will run out of chips before and lose their ability to troll (for free) for the remainder of the day.

Windows Phone not invited

Full House Poker

WSOP: Full House Pro sounds like great fun for Xbox 360 and Windows 8/RT users. But the absence of a Windows Phone port is telling. Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are quite similar, making the porting of games between the two platforms a snap. If Microsoft wanted to make WSOP a full three-screen experience, they could do so with minimal costs. Windows Phone 8 certainly needs the games.

How cool would it be to not only have an online poker game for Windows Phone with Xbox support, but one that ties in with your Xbox 360 and PC/tablet as well? Because this game is freemium, it would circumvent the issue of paying for the same game multiple times that Skulls of the Shogun faces. You’d have to stick your fingers awfully deep into your ears to interpret the decision not to release WSOP: Full House Pro on Windows Phone as anything but a vote of no confidence in Xbox games for Windows Phone.

If you think this game should be released on Windows Phone as well, let Microsoft know! As we suggested in yesterday’s article about the lack of Xbox games for Windows Phone, there are several ways to register your concerns with Microsoft. Vote for this suggestion at User Voice, comment in this Xbox forums thread, and by tweet @Xbox, @XboxSupport, @WindowsPhone, and any other public faces at Microsoft. Also, you can reach the developer Pipeworks at @pipeworks, but remember that the decision to port to Windows Phone rests on Microsoft’s shoulders, not theirs.

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Microsoft announces WSOP: Full House Pro for XBLA and Windows 8 but not Windows Phone

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I don't think this FUD at all. I mean c'mon folks, BB10 is right around the corner and this kind of BS from Microsoft is not going to win people over. I've been holding off and holding off on going in on a WP8 and I love this platform. However, I'm really getting to the point now where I'm starting to feel like I actually don't want to jump onboard what seems to be fast turning in to a train wreck.
I follow a LOT of different tech sites, bloggers and tweeters for all different platforms as I'm somewhat platform agnostic (typing this on my iPad), but I think this tweet from someone I follow and generally have quite a lot of faith in just about sums up the impending BB10 release and MS's current seeming lack of faith in its own platform. And I quote (loosely) "just had hands on and demo with the new BB10, Microsoft should be shitting itself right about now".

If I was to jump ship I wouldn't jump to another OS with very little marketshare.  I am interested, but I am always interested in all tech devices and new OS's.  I would go to something with little risk of dissapointment if I left my beloved OS.

I see this as a trend to expect..WP8 Is so easily ported to from XBLA and Windows 8 that we will see lots of titles not backwards compatible. Good for the future of WP, but also kinda expected for WP7.*.

Yes but expect it none the less. As speculated, it could easily be ported, though not announced as in the works, it's something we could expect for WP8, but less so for WP7.

...no, that's the point. We CAN'T expect it. By not announcing it, MS apparently believes WP to not be worth the tiny bit effort porting would require...

But that's the thing to consider. MSFT doesn't port games, third party developers do. What's worse is that they have a third party who approves Xbox titles for the WP and its not done in house (which needs to change). The reality is that it's easy to port to WP8 and I was stating that we should be optimistic that these titles will frequently become available on this platform, but not WP7. Especially if MSFT does the approvals in house.

This is a Microsoft-published game of a property that Microsoft owns entirely. The decision whether or not to fund a Windows Phone port rests entirely on their shoulders. The developer isn't going to say no - they love getting more work. And there are also plenty of different developers who'd be happy to take on the Windows port if the devs for some reason couldn't handle the relatively minor work involved.

I think cross platform play can only work with the free to play model. I'll have to play over $25 if i want to play across my devices. Which i'll probably end up doing 

there's too much speculation going on here.  Can we just see what they have to say at MWC and not second guess everything?

@expectafight "there's too much speculation going on here."

What speculation? This was all fact. Microsoft announced WSOP for Windows 8/RT and Xbox 360. Windows Phone 8 is not supported nor announced. Cite where we speculate, please. There's no "second guessing".

Why would MS announce this suddenly at MWC as oppose to today's announcement? It's not like it'd be a groundbreaking, huge thing...they did this all before.  Is Windows Phone soo important that it needs a big reveal?

Personally, I think a lot of you are putting to much faith into MWC, expecting a huge MS announcement. I'm of the opposite opinion.

Daniel, you know I personally respect the hell out of you and your writing (and Rene's writing on his side of the house for that matter) but I think it's high time I addressed this issue. 
 
You wanted to know to know where I think the speculation comes from? Start with an excerpt from the article:

Now here’s the bad news: WSOP will be coming to Xbox 360 and Windows 8/RT only. Notice a pattern here?
(bold emphasis, mine)

Now move to the articles about the possible reasons for no xbox live games the past 4 Wednesday's like this one by Paul, even though the Nokia exclusive Blobster, released earlier this week is an Xbox live title.  The interesting thing about the it is that Paul wrote 2-3 articles about what might be going on and there was no Rum-o-meter for any one of them which is strange considering that a dev speaking under condition of anonymity was a source.  Now add that none of you have heard anything from MS about this "issue" and you have speculation.  When I said the other article gave off a WMPU, I meant that twisted Pradeep logic of  "the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence." 
 
We don't know enough to know anything definitively.  So to Nrask7's point, until we hear from MS about the incompatibilities and support for the game titles and what truly caused them (if it is in fact a native code issue or something else) and we hear from them about the Xbox Live app program, it's kinda wrong to have speculative speech about it. 
 
Finally, I am expecting MS to have something important to say during MWC.  I also expect their partners to have something to say worth while as well.  I know said that they are moving away from having a big presence at these events so I doubt that they will have a keynote but again, I do expect MS to say something.  I'm curious to know why you don't. 
 
- Fight

I agree with Daniel, if MS was going to announce it for WP8 they would have done so already.
I don't know what idiot is running MS at the moment because they seem to be in a self destructive mood. Crap WP xbox support, killing off two major PC franchises in the last year (Flight Simulator (Flight), and Age of Empires), waiting to the last possible moment to announce official release dates for major products like Surface RT, Surface Pro, Office 2013, WP7.8 update,... people like to plan ahead and not wait 2 days before the actual release.....ok there is other crap as well, but end of rant for now.
 

Not interested in begging Microsoft to support their platform. If they themselves won't try to make the platform competitive and more attractive to new users then WP rightfully deserves to die and Microsoft deserves to fail. I'm not aware of another mobile platform where its users have to plead with the OS maker to support it, why should we have to?

Of course they should support their own stuff, but giving them actual feedback is still very important. Someone calculated that Xbox WP support doesn't matter, and the only way to prove them wrong is by telling them so.

Paul, I personally think that it's a great idea - you putting all avenues to communicate to Microsoft i n your posts; I think it would be good to put contact info in each of your posts for the developer and Microsoft so that we can communicate either way. 
 
And I agree - it's not begging, just folks communicating to Microsoft that 'Hey, WP needs these games as well'.  When I learn how to tweet, I will jump on the bandwagon :)

I agree with everything your saying. However shouldn't it be obvious to Microsoft, to make this available without us telling them?

Of course it should be obvious to them. But despite that, they've chosen to do something different. All we can do is try to make things better in our own way, which is giving them feedback. Walking away from Windows Phone just reinforces in their minds that putting money into WP games would've been a bad idea.

Why not include individual managers in the list to provide comments and suggestions? Anyone from Ballmer down. Silly thought perhaps.

Go to Twitter.com and set up an account. Then create individual tweets directed at the accounts we listed. It's very easy. PM me if you have any trouble.

Not cool Microsoft, not cool at all, I hope the wp8 incompatibility gets fixed and second, I agree with Ricardo. Hope ios and Android get this second and third after wp8.

I hope everyone is tweeting the heck out of Microsoft. I'm bout to troll the heck out of them for not supporting their own product.

Man trolling is hard, especially when its something you love. School of hard knocks baby!! Kick them cause you care.

How the hell does Microsoft expect other companies to port their apps if they themselves don't even care to port apps to windows phone!!!!????

The Windows Phone division should be under Xbox/Entertainment division.
I'm getting sick of this...

All xbox games, aracde, W8, WP should all be under one division and worked on exlusively by them.  When an arcade title, especially from MS studios, is released on Xbox it is also being released on W8 and Wp8.  Who is to blame for this? Ballmer?  My degree is not in business but the lack of vision and poor decisions appear to be business 101. 
@wpfan-I can see the interest in BB, but switching from WP to BB means you are going to even less apps and less marketshare which means same complaints and concerns. Right?  At least that is my thought.  15,000 apps touted for BB10 release. 

I think this is the game which was being demoed at CES on the all-in-one PCs.  Meaning, this game will also have local multiplayer support, where your phone with smartglass, is used to "hold" your cards.  
The original press release also says:
"· Pick up and play across Xbox 360 and Windows 8 platforms. This means you can resume your game anytime, anywhere."

Part of me wonders if there is an issue in getting WP games to play with XBOX or Windows 8 games. Like how Wordament shows up as two separate games.

There could be backend infrastructure work going on that will make the seamless play between platforms easier, and releasing the games now could mean more work in the long term.

Agree, I think we all know the port of many games is simple from windows 8. I am thinking the holdup is network and infrastructure related. Synchronized payments, achievements, multiplayer, smooth integration between all platforms. Part of it might be the new Xbox as well. This is certainly a big, ambitious project, and I expect it to take some time to get it right. Add in Skype integration and there is a whole hornet's nest of issues to work out.

That could well be a reason, but the fact that Microsoft is the largest and most diverse software company on the planet makes it a bit sad that they can't get their act together.

My guess for the XBL games drought on WP is the usual internal MS politics nonsense. That can be the only reason why there has been only one AAA Xbox franchise released onto Windows Phone (Fable Coin Golf), which itself was of course released on iOS as well, just like Kimectimals and the forthcoming Wordament.

I suspect with the rumours of Windows Blue that this is probably the case. I don't think MS are abondoning it at all, that's a view of focusing on the negative when the positive growth areas of the platform suggest this just isn't true. At a guess I think MS probably have some fairly large plans when it comes to games on all 3 platforms and simply can't speak about it yet until the W8 Blue and 720 reveal.

I am not as hopeful. The next xbox is a different division and would have little influence on wp, I suspect. Until they fix structure this is what you get. Nintendo finally placed wii-u and ds under the same umbrella to work together and have more unity. Ms should take note.

MS seems to be more supportive of rival platforms than it's own. At least they can't be accused of pulling a Google.

Is it sad that I, ready Togo all in on Xbox and Windows 8, but somewhat reserved about doing the same on windows phone 8.

Oh we will get it eventually. Right after Android and Iphone.   Sometimes I dont get MS at all. I want to obviously root for them but at times, they dont exactly seem to do the right things.  If this is a management issue, then fire someone and get the right people in there. But it needs to get corrected, or at the very least, seen as a problem.

Who knows. Maybe Microsoft knows windows phone is about to tank. There is no other logical explanation to abandon gaming in windows phone. Poker should be on WP too. But seriously. As far as games go, typically only like a few hundred people purchase a windows phone game out of the true achievements pool. If achievements are as big of a selling point as everyone thinks they are, then that group should have a high adoption rate for windows phone. Assuming every one of TAs 150,000 members has a cell phone and WP market share is 2%, then 3,000 people gave windows phones on the site, but only 10% of those people buy any given game.

Basically what I am saying is most games on windows phone prob only sell a few thousand copies at most. I am sure it is not enough to be sustainable. Nokia and Microsoft have been hemorrhaging money to sustain the gaming end of the platform. Microsoft appears to have given up. I presume Nokia will be soon to follow ☹

But it is not about to tank.  Sales have increased, Nokia is selling very well in several countries.  I think achievements are a small percentage of what gamers are looking for when they see Xbox Live on WP.  I suspect what is more important is being able to play MS studio- published titles and franchises.  Halo, Forza, Gears, etc.  What is even more important than achievements, for me, is MS exclusive titles and the ability to play multiplayer.  Basically taking my xbox with me in my phone.  Achievements are awesome and are a HUGE bonus, but I would rather have the exlusive and awesome games and multiplayer first and foremost. 
My thought is if they poored resources into WP like it was their handheld device, MS's DS/Vita, then I believe a high percentage of millions and millions of households that have an xbox 360 and kinect in their homes would be in line waiting to buy these devices.  As of right now there is no reason the people that play Halo and Call of Duty on their xbox 360's to drop their iphones or Galaxy III for a Lumia or HTC 8x.  WP can set itself apart not by just the OS, but with the exclusive content no other OS has nor can replicate, period.  This will be a missed opportunity especially since android is heading in the direction of better gaming on their OS.  I think the Sinofsky leaving put a hitch in the WP plan. Just my thoughts, which doesn't mean much.  

WTF is MS thanks thinking? After announcing to the world their "Three Screens" strategy, something that only they are currently in a position to offer, they seem to be running away from it. And it certainly looks like this is due to cataclysmically bad business judgments, letting the individual divisions with MS decide whether to get with the program.
The Board should drop Balmer and anyone involved in deciding to kill Zune before a viable replacement was in place. And the bozos at Xbox who are making no effort to see that gaming on WP8 is more fun than iOS must go, and fast!

I think msft is so big that each department is having trouble coordinating with each other...until I see 100% coordination between WP and w8 I ain't jumping ship from my MANGO!! IM JUST SAYING

All these comments need to be aimed at @Microsoft @WindowsPhone @Xbox @XboxSupport. I've been trolling them pretty hard. Keep up the fire guys. They shouldn't shit on their loyal customers.

These are the responses I have received from @XboxSupport.

@bushybro Thank you for your patience, we expect to see more options for WP8 as it grows. Tweet us if there are any other questions. ^CW
@bushybro Ah. Well we don't have specific info, but WP8 is young and has plenty of time to grow. Thank you for your patience. ^CW

@bushybro We don't have specific info on that. Are there any other Xbox support questions we can help with today? ^CW

Why not tweet and message individual managers and people with Xbox/WP departments? I doubt they all read their twitter accounts but if half of the people that took time to comment in this article tweeted, sent a message, to Ballmer and anyone that may have some clout will at least make some noise. I will send messages to Ballmer and why not Bill Gates (lol). Not a manager but Ben the PC guy and anyone else.

The celebs and pro athletes that they have touting the WP on commercials. They probably made their avatars and went to download a couple games and then thought, I thought Xbox Live had more games than this?! Cam Newton plays games, at least Madden ;).

I think some of us are in denial. We love WP so much that we do not want to believe one of the most important and beloved featues, Xbox gaming, is being ignored and possibley dropped. I am leaning to just a gaming 'hub' with no live support. So nothing to set it apart from other OS's.

I just counted and there are 130 Xbox games on WP. And I'm on WP8 so at least 20 Xbox games don't even show up. So overall that's over 150 Xbox Games in 26 months. That's an average of about 6 Xbox games a month. Some were launch titles, so the average is probably like 5 a month. Overall I think Xbox platform on WP is a success, and I'm not gonna whine about 1 game not being supported.

But you do want more games to come along too, right? At the current release rate (excluding Nokia games), we're looking at much less than 6 games being released every month this year. 2 games in December and 1 in January...

Joe Belfiore reads WPCentral. He's already given RT's from WPCentral on his Twitter account.
 
Hopefully he reads about this mess they are doing with games and apps...

By the looks of things, this will most likely be my last WP once my 1 year contract expires. If MS won't even support their own platform its already dead. Hopefully I'll get a Lumia "1020" with Ubuntu Phone in 2014

I'm gonna start boycotting the comment sections,in these type of articles. Too much crying about things that you don't have definitive proof of/answers to. The standard answer, from POTUS, to local businesses, when facing rumors, and FUD, is something like "It is our policy, not to respond to rumors..." You guys (commentors) are spreading the FUD, and so pessimistic, that it is really starting to sour my genuine appreciation of WPCentral. Daniel, Paul, you guys have really got to get control of this, and reign in some of the pessimism, that is seeping through, not only in comments, but in the posts themselves. If you are going to be the standard-bearers, for aficionados, of the platform, then give us, if not optimistic coverage, the at least fully objective coverage, without spin. If you throw out the suggestion that you think you know that MS is abandoning the platform, which is what some of your reporting sounds like, to me, then these lemmings start flinging themselves of the cliffs, as shown, in comments. All this negative speculation on here, made me start wondering if competing platforms, or their devotees, have started seeding comments with FUD, just to sow discontent, and make people abandon the platform. Just my two cents. Thes comments are lame, and depressing, and not based on ANY real knowledge of Microsoft's present/future plans, for WP. Reading these comments, is starting to be like reading a bad ripoff of a Dickens novel, or Poe. All gloom. No hope. So quoth the Raven...

I get where your coming from but i like the comments section as they reflect user opinion. For example, we know this game is not coming to WP8, I for one would like to know why that is, im not suggesting MS are ditching WP8 but in sure there is a reason this title and potentially others are missing, but as I said, I do understand your point.

Honestly, it'd be big, hefty words from the Business Division to put a block on Windows Phone getting proper Xbox support, considering that Xbox was a loss maker itself.