New Windows Phone 7 developer beta enables hardware graphics scaler

Windows Phone 7 has a hardware scaler too. One of the Xbox 360’s secret weapons against the PS3 was its hardware scaler chip, which allowed the games console to create great-looking HD games despite having a weaker processor than the Cell in the PS3.

The latest beta of the Windows Phone 7 developer tools also enables support for this Windows Phone 7 feature, allowing developers to code high performance XNA games for resolutions as low as 240×240 and have it upscaled beautifully with no speed or battery penalty all the way up to 800×480 resolution.

Shawn Hargreaves notes:

  • 800×480 is a lot of pixels!
  • Comparison: Xbox 1 games usually ran at 640×480, so the phone has 25% more pixels to fill
  • But the phone has a less powerful GPU than Xbox 1 did…
  • 800×480 provides awesome visual crispness for browsing the web, reading email, and simple games with cheap shaders and not much overdraw
  • More complex games can trade resolution for framerate
  • Consider: 600×360 requires only 56% as many pixels to be rendered

Read more about enabling the feature at MSDN here.