E3 2012: Microsoft’s bid for touch screen play is Xbox Smart Glass

e3 2012 microsofts bid for touch screen play is xbox smart glass smartglass

Microsoft lifted the curtain on its new Xbox SmartGlass initiative during the annual pre-E3 2012 media briefing at USC’s Galen Center. Xbox Live bossman Marc Whitten described the innovative new feature as a tool that allows users to link their Xbox 360 consoles with other devices, even if said devices aren’t running a Windows OS.

A number of potential applications were offered as possibilities for how SmartGlass will operate. The simplest example involves using your tablet — it could be iOS, or Android, or Windows Phone 7 — as a touch screen remote control of sorts for your Xbox 360 dashbaord. It sounds like Xbox SmartGlass support will be a cornerstone of the upcoming Internet Explorer console app, offering users full access to touch screen controls and a full keyboard through supported tablets and smartphones.

e3 2012 microsofts bid for touch screen play is xbox smart glass smartglass maddenAnother possibility involves using an external device as a sort of companion interface for the 360’s various entertainment apps. HBO Go already offers features like this for PC users; you can, for example, watch Game of Thrones via the app while simultaneously looking at a map of the fantasy world that keeps track of where each scene is unfolding. Through SmartGlass, those same features would be accessible on your external device in a link with the console HBO Go app.

Of course, the most exciting possibilities for SmartGlass are in the realm of how it makes nice with your games. While there aren’t any confirmed in-game SmartGlass features revealed, a pair of concept clips showed off what might be in games like Halo 4 and Madden NFL 13.

For Halo, SmartGlass would link up with the Halo Waypoint community app that was released on Xbox Live at around the time Halo 3 launched in 2007. SmartGlass would link the game with the app, allowing you to, say, check out location maps or receive an invite to a multiplayer match while playing in another part of the game. For Madden, on the other hand, you could potentially use the touch interface to direct the action on the field and even re-map plays on the fly with nothing more than your finger.

e3 2012 microsofts bid for touch screen play is xbox smart glass smartglass haloFor those who have been wondering exactly how Microsoft intends to address competition from the Wii U’s WiiPad and the PlayStation 3’s PS Vita connectivity, SmartGlass is it. It’s really rather brilliant when you think about it, since it doesn’t require any additional investment on the part of the end user. If you’ve got a tablet or a smartphone or similar touch screen-enabled device, you’re probably going to be able to link it up with your console.

We’ve got a lot more questions about the new feature that still need to be answered, but the core concept is sound and leaves us excited to hear more. Whitten offered no hint as to when SmartGlass will be fully implemented, but we’ll hopefully be seeing it sometime in the neighborhood of November, when Xbox 360 dashboard updates traditionally launch. Stay tuned for more from Digital Trends at E3 2012 all this week.

Gaming

Microsoft is reportedly planning an Xbox One without a disc drive for 2019

Microsoft is reportedly planning to release a new Xbox One model without a disc drive in 2019. The console will be significantly cheaper than other Xbox One systems, including the Xbox One S.
Gaming

These are the best Xbox One games available right now

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From 'Cuphead' to 'Halo 5,' the best Xbox One games offer something for everyone.
Gaming

Xbox One adds mouse and keyboard support, levels playing field with PC

The latest system software update for Xbox One has added mouse and keyboard support. The support is limited to Warframe and Fortnite at the moment, with more games coming in November and December.
Gaming

Xbox gaming chief has sights set on improving Microsoft Store experience

Xbox chief Phil Spencer acknowledged that the Microsoft Store still has a ways to go to become a solid platform for PC gamers. Microsoft promised to work toward improving the frequently buggy experience with gamers in mind.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Gaming

‘Gears of War’ designer Cliff Bleszinski says he’ll never make another game

Cliff Bleszinski, the game designer best known for his work on the Gears of War series, says he will never make another video game. His studio, Boss Key Productions, shut its doors earlier this year.
Gaming

‘Fortnite’ gifts perfect for the video game fan in your life

Chances are someone on your holiday shopping list is a fan of Fortnite. As the most popular game on the planet, there are plenty of Fortnite-themed gift options available for purchase in stores and online. Here are the best ones we found.
Deals

The Best Black Friday Deals from Best Buy in 2018

We've been hard at work assembling all the best Black Friday deals Best Buy offers in 2018 and putting them in one place to save you time and money this holiday season. From laptops to TVs, game consoles to smart speakers and much more…
Computing

HDR monitors are beginning to have an impact. Here are the best you can buy

HDR isn't the most common of PC monitor features and is often charged at a premium, but the list of available options is growing. These are the best HDR monitors you can buy right now.
Gaming

Every rumor about the PS5, including a new game from Luminous Productions

PlayStation 5 rumors have been circulating for over a year now but there's still plenty we don't know. Here's everything you need to know about the PS5, including rumors about its release, specs, and games.
Gaming

Nintendo and Microsoft say they’re all-in on E3 after Sony bows out of 2019 event

Shortly after Sony announced it will not participate in E3 2019 for the first time, Microsoft and Sony announced the show will go on as usual for each software giant. E3 2019 now presents a unique opportunity for Sony's major competitors.
Gaming

The best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.
Gaming

Here's where Xur is and what he has for wares this week in 'Destiny 2: Forsaken'

The weekly vendor in Destiny 2: Forsaken always brings Exotic weapons and armor, some of the toughest loot to find in the game. Here's everything you need to know to track down Xur: Where he is, when he shows up, and what he's stocking.