Microsoft Unveils Mango’s New Games Hub Features And Xbox Live Titles

Windows Phone Mango is already primed and ready to compete with iOS and Android, but that doesn’t mean Microsoft is resting on its laurels. Quite the opposite actually. As anticipation builds, Microsoft continues to add features to make this platform even better than what was expected. Today, the company added a handful of new features to the Games Hub, along with the announcement of 14 new Xbox Live titles.

You’re likely already aware of the avatar integration coming with Windows Phone Mango, but today Microsoft announced Avatar Awardables, which are virtual badges that represent gaming achievements. The more you win, the more your avatar begins to look like an Eagle Scout’s merit badge sash. Microsoft also introduced what the company is calling Game Add-ons, which are basically just in-app purchases for games, like buying new weapons or levels.

The next new feature will please parents more than anyone else, as Microsoft has included parental controls within the Games Hub. As soon as Mango arrives, parents will be able to decide what types of content their children are allowed to access within the Marketplace. Microsoft also integrated a feature called “Fast Async,” which, in the words of Microsoft, “improves gameplay for multiplayer, turn-by-turn (or asynchronous) Windows Phone games.”

The new Xbox Live titles are listed with full descriptions on the Windows Phone Blog, and will arrive in the coming months, likely alongside Mango.