As part of a series of previews, Microsoft on Thursday gave a closer look at the Games Hub in Windows Phone 7 Mango. The revamp brings some of the features that had previously been locked away in the Extras app and now has 3D, moving avatars that react, including in side-by-side achievement comparisons. The Collection view is now optimized for quickly finding a game over icon size and pushes recently played games to the top.
The consistency of the integration with Xbox Live is now better, Microsoft added: gamers can reply to Xbox Live messages sent from any other platform with emoticons passing over to the avatar. Xbox Live status is readily visible, and achievements get a detailed breakdown with comparison options much like on the Xbox. Game invites or other requests pop up as notifications and get a history in the Games Hub.
Players can now edit their profiles on-device and have a cleaner Spotlight section for the latest news.
Mango is due to reach WP7 phones sometime in the fall and is commonly thought to be arriving sometime in September or October.