Porting of a existing XNA Windows Phone Game to Windows 8

Windows Phone Win8_logo

Basic considerations

Typically, you develop an application for Windows Phone 7 by using Microsoft Silverlight  and one of the managed programming languages—usually C# or XNA.

There are two main Windows Store app development approaches that you can use when migrating your Windows Phone 7 app: XAML, and JavaScript with HTML5. You develop Windows Store apps using C++, C#, or Visual Basic by using one of those languages with XAML, whereas you develop Windows Store apps using JavaScript with JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5 along with the Windows Library for JavaScript.

Porting to a Windows Store app using XAML

A Windows Store app using C++, C#, or Visual Basic, using XAML, is the preferred model for ports from Windows Phone 7. If you are familiar with Silverlight, you can port to a Windows Store app using XAML by using familiar languages like C# or Visual Basic, and a similar set of UI elements and APIs.

For more detail about porting a Windows Phone 7 application to XAML, read Migrating a Windows Phone 7 app to XAML.

Porting to a Windows Store app using JavaScript

A Windows Store app using JavaScript is another model for Windows Phone 7 ports, and may be better suited for simple UI-based apps or to full-screen web apps or clients.

However if your a game developer then you can move your existing Windows Phone XNA using Monogame.

Porting to Windows Store app using MonoGame

For some background you can read these posts:

During the ThreeThing Game event, Dean Ellis @InfSpaceStudios  talked through the porting of a one of the teams Windows Phone game, Shear Carnage to Windows 8, the initial port took 7mins 47seconds, which is pretty impressive stuff!


Some of the key features, the team now need to work on now to get the app store ready is..

  • In app advertisement
  • Windows 8 Store app contracts and charms settings to allow the tweeting and sharing of results
  • Development of a online leader board
  • A ensuring the app functions is both landscape and portrait modes.

Overall this is pretty stunning for existing Windows Phone developers taking existing or new phone apps to both the Windows Phone Marketplace and Windows 8 Store.

Comments (6)
  1. Could have added some code snippets.

  2. Lee Stott says:

    Srigopal if you want code samples see the three step guides above.. source code and examples included.

  3. Xin says:

    So the subtle suggestion here is that XNA is dead and we should abandon using XNA for something else in order make it to the windows store???

  4. Lee Stott says:


    We have already stated that XNA is no longer supported for Developing Windows 8 Store or Windows Phone 8 apps see msdn.microsoft.com/…/jj207003(v=vs.105).aspx

    However we are supporting the development of XNA Apps for Windows Phone 7.x see msdn.microsoft.com/…/ff472340(v=vs.105).aspx

    However you can use Monogame to wrap exisiting XNA assets for use in Windows 8 apps see the tutorial 3 step guide above there lots of Windows 8 games in the Windows App Store which have used Monogame including ARMED.

  5. Florian says:

    Why support Microsoft doing stupid things? Microsoft abandoned XNA for Windows 8 and don't give a solution for XNA Developers. This is very bad practice!

    Monogames aim was to port XNA to other Platforms than Windows.

    I suggest all people to port XNA -> Monogame and than go with Linux or MacOSX until Mircosoft adds XNA support to Visual Studio 2012 and Windows 8.

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