RipTen is lucky enough to have a loyal reader who works for a wireless provider.  He has demoed the much-hyped Windows Phone 7.  Our friend also informed us that while completely functional, the phone that they tested was not, “necessarily final”.  Enjoy the preview:

Up to this point, the iPhone has remained the undisputed king of mobile phone gaming. While Google and the Android Platform have made a promising showing, ever since the iPhone broke out the Unreal Engine, it’s been an uphill battle.  Microsoft’s platform has long been the king of PC gaming, one of the leaders in console gaming, and now with the new Windows Phone 7, they are looking to knock the iPhone off it’s throne.

The first thing I noticed with the windows phone 7 was it’s screen.  While not a retina display it still looked sharp and pretty.  The Touch was precise and accurate.  It reminded me of using the iPhone and that’s definitely a compliment.  The phone has a nice weight to it – neither too heavy nor too light.

The iPhone’s Game Center is a poor performer in comparison to Xbox Live. Windows Phone 7 looks to bring the full experience of Xbox Live to a mobile device. When you first boot up Xbox Live on the device, you’re greeted by your avatar from the console, as well as the last achievement you unlocked. (It’s pretty cool) You can view invites from friends as and some of the games you’ve downloaded. Your avatar is more than just a still picture; it’s the same 3D experience that you get on your console.

The phone’s Xbox Live is tightly integrated with the console version. Every game you download for your phone features 200 GamerScore (just like XBLA titles), and achievements carry over between the two systems to create a single cumulative score.  If you change something about your avatar on your phone, it is immediately reflected on your console as well. All in all, the integration is tight and it’s pretty awesome.

A great interface is fine, of course, but what about the core to any gaming platform: the games? Luckily, Microsoft is pushing a strong lineup right out of the gate featuring titles of such pedigree as Crackdown and Splinter Cell. From what we’ve seen so far, graphics are solid, gameplay is tight, and the Live integration is icing on the cake. It’s not quite a PSP, but will definitely be competitive with the iPhone. Check out the full list of launch titles and their developers below:

“3D Brick Breaker Revolution” (Digital Chocolate)
“Age of Zombies” (Halfbrick)
“Armor Valley” (Protégé Games)
“Asphalt 5” (Gameloft)
“Assassin’s Creed” (Gameloft)
“Bejeweled LIVE” (PopCap)
“Bloons TD” (Digital Goldfish)
“Brain Challenge” (Gameloft)
“Bubble Town 2” (i-Play)
“Butterfly” (Press Start Studio)
“CarneyVale Showtime” (MGS)
“Castlevania” (Konami)
“Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst” (MGS)
“De Blob Revolution” (THQ)
“Deal or No Deal 2010” (i-Play)
“Earthworm Jim” (Gameloft)
“Fast & Furious 7” (i-Play)
“Fight Game Rivals” (Rough Cookie)
“Finger Physics” (Mobliss Inc.)
“Flight Control” (Namco Bandai)
“Flowerz” (Carbonated Games)
“Frogger” (Konami)
“Fruit Ninja” (Halfbrick)
“Game Chest-Board” (MGS)
“Game Chest-Card” (MGS)
“Game Chest-Logic” (MGS)
“Game Chest-Solitaire” (MGS)
“GeoDefense” (Critical Thought)
“Ghostscape” (Psionic)
“Glow Artisan” (Powerhead Games)
“Glyder 2” (Glu Mobile)
“Guitar Hero 5” (Glu Mobile)
“Halo Waypoint” (MGS)
“Hexic Rush” (Carbonated Games)
“I Dig It” (InMotion)
“iBlast Moki” (Godzilab)
“ilomilo” (MGS)
“Implode XL” (IUGO)
“Iquarium” (Infinite Dreams)
“Jet Car Stunts” (True Axis)
“Let’s Golf 2” (Gameloft)
“Little Wheel” (One click dog)
“Loondon” (Flip N Tale)
“Max and the Magic Marker” (PressPlay)
“Mini Squadron” (Supermono Limited)
“More Brain Exercise” (Namco Bandai)
“O.M.G.” (Arkedo)
“Puzzle Quest 2” (Namco Bandai)
“Real Soccer 2” (Gameloft)
“The Revenants” (Chaotic Moon)
“Rise of Glory” (Revo Solutions)
“Rocket Riot” (Codeglue)
“Splinter Cell Conviction” (Gameloft)
“Star Wars: Battle for Hoth” (THQ)
“Star Wars: Cantina” (THQ)
“The Harvest” (MGS)
“The Oregon Trail” (Gameloft)
“Tower Bloxx NY” (Digital Chocolate)
“Twin Blades” (Press Start Studio)
“UNO” (Gameloft)
“Women’s Murder Club: Death in Scarlet” (i-Play)
“Zombie Attack!” (IUGO)
“Zombies!!!!” (Babaroga)

As someone who owns a few mobile phones and who has handled many, I’d have to say I was impressed.    This is the first time windows and a phone have impressed me … and I’ve seen a lot of phones.  I’d also have to say, as a gamer, the Xbox Live integration is impressive and something to look forward to.  Apple is going to have some major competition.