Microsoft is reportedly porting its Silverlight application development framework to the Xbox 360, which would enable developers to port their games from Windows Phone 7 to Microsoft’s console.
A report on WinRumors claims that the feature has been in development for several months and may take the form of an app store on Xbox 360, providing deeper integration between the console and Windows Phone 7.
WinRumors spotted a job listing last November in which Microsoft called for developers to handle the delivery of “features for Silverlight on the Xbox as part of the next wave.” It has since been told that Scott Guthrie, corporate VP of Microsoft’s .Net development platform, will officially announce Silverlight for Xbox 360 at next week’s MX11 conference in Las Vegas.
Essentially Microsoft’s answer to Adobe Flash, Silverlight offers cross-platform streaming media, graphics and animation development tools, as well as being one of two frameworks used in development of Windows Phone 7 software. While the technology is already used on Xbox 360 for the provision of dashboard advertising, the impact of full Silverlight support across the console could be significant.
It would represent not just an extra distribution opportunity for independent developers, but also boost Xbox 360’s multimedia capabilities. While PlayStation 3 has until now led the pack with a variety of on-demand media services, giving Xbox 360 Silverlight functionality – and therefore access to the likes of UK catch-up TV service ITV Player – would present an opportunity for Microsoft to level the playing field somewhat.