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XBox SmartGlass Preview

/ Jun 6th, 2012 No Comments

XBox SmartGlass

XBox SmartGlass

XBox SmartGlass

Many analysts predicted the next-generation of consoles would be announced this year at E3. All the presentations have wrapped up without an unveiling of a PlayStation 4 or Xbox Durango. However, the future of console gaming has arrived with the launch of Microsoft’s Xbox SmartGlass.

During the Entertainment Evolved press conference, Microsoft showed off the latest technology for Xbox 360. The company is aiming to completely take over the living room. Microsoft emphasized new entertainment apps coming to Xbox 360 and improvements to some current apps. Most importantly, the brand showed off a new way to interact with the console through Xbox SmartGlass.

Xbox SmartGlass is a way to connect the gaming and entertainment experience on the Xbox 360 with the tablets and smartphones that people already own.

SmartGlass with Movies

SmartGlass with Movies

Microsoft spent a great deal of time on the stage discussing the entertainment aspect of Xbox 360. Xbox SmartGlass will feature integration with those apps. The example shown during the on-stage demo included a movie being paused on a Windows 8 tablet. When the user is ready to resume the movie, the Xbox 360 can pick up where they left off. The movie will play on the television screen while the tablet displays information and viewing options.

The technology will provide a true companion to television and movies. During an episode of “Game of Thrones” viewed through HBO GO on Xbox 360, a tablet or smartphone will automatically display information such as virtual maps to give viewers a better understanding of that episode’s events.

Xbox 360 will finally be getting an internet browser. The experience of using the internet through a console with a remote is not an easy task – at least not without Xbox SmartGlass. Browsing the web on a television screen will be user-friendly on Xbox 360. Through SmartGlass, users will be able to point, click, pinch, zoom, and type using a tablet or smartphone. An intuitive web browser is finally going to be available on the big screen.

Of course, Microsoft did not forget about the gaming element. Xbox SmartGlass will allow gamers to experience video games in a completely new way. The inevitable comparisons to the Nintendo Wii U will be made but Xbox SmartGlass already appears to have established its niche.

For most games, Xbox SmartGlass will allow players to use a tablet or smartphone as a companion app. Concept video showed off Halo 4 interacting on the fly with Halo Waypoint and allowing the player to jump from campaign to multiplayer at the press of a button.

SmartGlass with Madden 13

SmartGlass with Madden 13

Madden 13, which is due out in August, will be putting Xbox SmartGlass to good use. No specific details were revealed but a video showed the integration. A player can control the game with a tablet, selecting a play in secrecy. It is easy to select a play in many ways using drop-down menus, via formation or playmaker. In addition to Madden’s numerous play options, gamers will be able to edit the play with custom routes. Gameplay action can also be controlled right on the tablet screen.

Microsoft did not say exactly how the technology works but it is already assumed it will be connecting Xbox 360s and compatible devices via a wireless internet connection. The Xbox SmartGlass app will be available on Windows Phone or tablet and on other major platforms through the My Xbox app.

Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
Ryan Bloom

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