Microsoft Brings Tablets into the Xbox 360 Universe with SmartGlass
After announcing SmartGlass at E3 this past June, Microsoft has been mum on the new technology that will bring games, music, TV and movie experiences off the Xbox 360 console and onto devices including the NVIDIA-powered Microsoft Surface Tablet.
“Not only do we have major releases coming to the PC, tablet and phone, but we have worked extremely hard to ensure those screens work together with the other major screen in peoples’ lives, the television,” said Yusuf Mehdi, Chief Marketing Officer for Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Division. “We are bringing Xbox Entertainment off the console to your phone, tablet and PC to deliver great games, music, TV and movie experiences. And as a part of this effort with Xbox SmartGlass we are going to introduce amazing multi-screen entertainment experiences.”
The launch of Xbox SmartGlass will expand the reach of Xbox entertainment from more than 67 million consoles to hundreds of millions of devices worldwide. Microsoft is also expanding its international reach from 35 countries to 222.
“For us the decision to have Xbox stand for our broad entertainment efforts was a simple one,” said Mehdi. “It is a natural evolution of our consumer offering. Even as Xbox has become the number one game console in the world, and continued to deliver arguably the best line up of games in our history, we have seen the use of Xbox broaden to watching TV/movies and listening to music.
Microsoft now has over 62 TV and entertainment partners. Mehdi said Xbox Live subscribers now spend more time enjoying entertainment apps than multiplayer games.
“We live in a multi-device world,” said Mehdi. “The millions of people enjoying entertainment on their Xbox are doing so within arm’s reach of another device. We believe your entertainment should travel seamlessly across devices, that devices should work together to make your entertainment more accessible and create entirely new experiences.”
Xbox SmartGlass is a free downloadable app that takes your Windows 8 and RT tablets and PCs, Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android devices, and converts them into smart second screens for the Xbox gamers. Gaming will be a big part of Xbox SmartGlass. Players can turn their phone or tablet into a virtual GPS in Forza: Horizon. Players can queue up new songs for Dance Central 3through a mobile device. In HomeRun Stars, gamers can use SmartGlass to throw a surprise pitch to a friend up at bat in front of Kinect. Halo 4 players will be able to pull up detailed stats on how they’re in the game or check up on friends.
“We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible,” said Mehdi. “In the future, new games will be created, TV shows and movies will be re-imagined, and sports will be broadcast from the ground up with Xbox SmartGlass in mind.”
Players can also use their smartphone or tablet touch screens as remote controls for their Xbox. In addition, Xbox Video allows people to start a TV show or movie on a Windows 8 tablet and finish it on the big screen through Xbox 360. Xbox SmartGlass will open up dual-screen sports viewing on ESPN, UFC and NBA with access to real-time stats, player bios, news and highlights.
“The Web comes to TV like never before with Xbox 360 and Xbox SmartGlass,” said Mehdi. “With your smartphone or tablet, pan or pinch and zoom to explore the Web on the largest and best screen in the house, enjoy easy text entry with the keyboard on your tablet or phone, and then move your browser back to your device to take it on the go.”