Silverlight vs XNA for WP7 Games

I found this useful overview comparing the pros and cons of each platform :

XNA Benefits

  • Great support for 3D
  • Superior performance when many elements moving or being added/removed
  • Built in game loop
  • XNA’s polling based input generally a better fit than Silverlight’s event based input for games
  • XNA content pipeline makes handling large stores of content easier
  • More image formats supported
  • Can make game for both Xbox and Phone
  • Graphics blend modes (Silverlight only has alpha blending)
  • More GPU acceleration built in
  • Lighter memory footprint for bitmap based games
  • Superior shader support
  • Drawing with a “tint” easier

Silverlight Benefits

  • Vector graphics (XNA has some very basic line drawing support)
  • Vector drawing of text (XNA text is bitmap based)
  • Can make game for phone and web
  • Storyboard animations
  • Visual states and behaviors
  • Navigation framework
  • Controls (button, listbox, user controls, etc)
  • Expression Blend design support
  • Event based model is more familiar to many developers
  • Data binding can come in handy in some scenarios
  • VisualTreeHelper useful for determining what element is being touched

Check out the whole article on Silverlight-Games101

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