Windows Phone 7 is still having trouble maintaining a firm grip on the mobile marketplace - mainly due to the Operating System's stubborn refusal to back up slick style with real substance. However, the Mango Update is slated for release this autumn - and with it, an improved games hub. Expect 3D avatars, integrated achievements and a reskinned, slicker experience. Oh, and if the update doesn't include custom ringtones, I'm going to forcibly insert my Optimus 7 into Steve Ballmer. Full details (of the games hub update, not my idle threat) below.
First things first. The Games Hub will be given a professional new look; using lists instead of large icons that have to be tediously scrolled through after big amassing large collections. A 'Recent' list will allow users to access their favourite games much quicker than before. Importantly, the achievements lists and player profiles have now been integrated directly into the hub rather than requiring the download of a standalone app (a bizarre weakness of the original OS).
An improved Xbox Live messaging interface will allow for a more convenient way of sending abuse to people on your friends list - and in what is technically known as a stupid gimmick, your avatar will act out emoticons. Avatars themselves have now been given "attitude" (sigh), with the ability to dance and leap around and respond to tilting by feeling a little sick. Keeping my cynicism in check, however, this is bound to be a fun little feature that will kill a little time.
You can read up on a few more choice details over at the Windows Phone Blog, if you're so inclined. Mango can't come soon enough.