Every year overweight sweaty kids go through to an event called “E3″ where they get together to salivate over previews of new games and gaming consoles. Those of you with friends, family or partners that play games will know: the Xbox is pretty much the coolest console currently out there. If you add in the Kinect motion controller with the Xbox Live online service it’s the console that gamers and casual gamers alike love.
Microsoft, in its quest to reinvent itself as cool (here’s looking at you Windows Phone and Windows 8) have come up with one of the most fascinating ideas I’ve heard in ages: Smartglass.
Instead of giving you a whole new peripheral to keep charged and stored Microsoft have extended your tablet and smartphone into becoming the second screen while playing a game or watching media on your Xbox. Tech site The Verge explains how it all works:
Game of Thrones was demonstrated as an example, with the SmartGlass app displaying an interactive map of Westeros, pinpointing where the action in a given scene was taking place. Developers will also be able to use it in association with games; a Halo 4 concept allowing players to view their stats, get notified of different waypoints, and initiate multiplayer gaming sessions from the app.
The actual platform has been developed by Microsoft but is going to be open to any developer so we’ll see some pretty fascinating titles coming soon. Best of all, it’s available for your iOS, Android, Windows Mobile and Windows 8 devices meaning no extra hardware. Of course the opportunity to tie this in with the Kinect motion sensor will be impossible for developers to resist but more importantly this second screen has huge potential when it comes to the Windows environment. Tell me you’re not excited by the thought of seeing your Excel formula on your iPhone while coming up with some epic spreadsheet?
Coming soon, Smartglass looks to make the upcoming Nintendo Wii U console look like a joke and Sony’s Playstation a very distant third.