One of the disappointments in Microsoft’s new Windows Runtime platform is lack of support for XNA, a gaming/fast graphics API which wraps DirectX and is supported on Windows, Windows Phone and on Xbox 360.
Developer Alexandre Mutel has stepped up to fill the gap with the open source SharpDX, which also provides access to the DirectX API from C#, supports both desktop and Windows Runtime development. One of the first games to use SharpDX, ARMED, has already arrived in the Windows Store.
In addition, Mutel says “it will certainly be possible to use ShardDX from Windows Phone 8”.
SharpDX was made possible by a custom tool called SharpGen which generates the .NET API automatically from the DirectX SDK.
The puzzle is why Microsoft did not make more effort to support XNA in Windows 8, or failing that to provide an alternative for .NET developers.
If you want to use SharpDX, be prepared for considerable effort learning the API, as there is little documentation so far. Still, it will likely be easier than learning C++, which is the official solution for DirectX on the Windows Runtime.