Microsoft SmartGlass to integrate Xbox with tablets and mobiles
Michael Plant is chief editor and writer of gaming ezine and blog GamesCatalyst.com, as well as editor of 'The Independent'’s games review printed in the Saturday supplement 'Information'. Established in February 2011, Games Catalyst endeavours to bring its unique brand of fact and satire to the videogaming community and, in tandem with 'The Independent', hopefully turn a few non-believers on to gaming while we’re at it.
Friday 08 June 2012
A free app available across all tablet and mobile devices, Microsoft’s SmartGlass technology, announced at this year’s E3 show, is another step along the path which console manufacturers are hopeful will lead to a revolution in your living room.
Described as an ‘extension’ to your Xbox 360, SmartGlass allows the users to push their Xbox 360′s video content from their TV to whatever mobile device they choose, simply by tapping on their tablet.
Movies can be transferred from one device to another on the fly, interactive features bring real-time information to your tablet such as cast lists, story summaries and time stamped data allows your tablet to embellish your favourite shows – the demonstration unveiling a map of Game of Thrones which snapped to the location of the current scene, ready and able to give an overview of the area as required.
SmartGlass works as a remote control for your Xbox 360 too, allowing gamers to control their console through their tablet – particularly impressive when used in conjunction with the newly announced Xbox Internet Explorer where SmartGlass was able to track the movement of your finger and relay that information to a cursor on the TV screen.
Games don’t miss out on similar forms of interaction either, EA’s Madden NFL 13 allowing the user to select plays via the device’s touchscreen for example. Microsoft relaying another simple but effective usage within an as yet untitled karaoke game, which allows those not singing to browse song choices and stack up tracks ready to go when the current number ends.
Microsoft were unable to state exactly which services and shows will provide data for SmartGlass once it becomes available, but confirmed they would be talking to their entertainment partners across the world in preparation for launch. What they were able to confirm was that their upcoming Windows 8 operating system would be compatible with the app.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
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