Microsoft SmartGlass aims at Wii U, Apple TV

New feature is designed for true cross-platform functionality with tablet, smartphone support

Microsoft today officially revealed details for its rumored SmartGlass control and app service. The cross-platform feature is designed to work on Windows PCs, Windows Phone, and the Xbox 360 and will also have support for Android and iOS.

Users will be able to experience something like a movie on one platform and then send it over to their Xbox 360 to resume the playback. It also offers detailed media information on TV and movies playing on the big screen at home or on the go, an example given was displaying a map of Westeros while the second season of Game of Thrones played.

Another major feature is the ability to use SmartGlass to use a mobile device to communicate with an Xbox 360. An example was given was modifying a play call using a mobile phone in Madden NFL 13.

Users will have access to Internet Explorer on the Xbox 360 as well. Using a tablet or phone as a keyboard and UI device, users can browse web pages with relative ease.

Smart Glass seems designed to counter both Apple's AirPlay and Nintendo's Wii U controller. The service is expected to release later in 2012.

Latest comments (13)

Jack Lee5 years ago
The tacit understanding is that this will work with all devices, but did they get specific as to what tablets/phones would be supported? I.e. did they confirm support for iOS devices? One wonders how Apple will feel if MS puts a free app on the App Store that turns any iOS device into this.
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Joe Winkler trained retail salesman, Expert5 years ago
@ Jack
they said it will work on an iPAd/iPhone so I guess iOS is on board. Finally Microsoft managed to keep track rather than trying to get in to the tablet/phone/mp3player market. The Zune player didn't work out and Windows phone didn't took much share of the market either. So it is a good step to be part of the gadgets without forcing people to buy new devices.
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This just seems like FUD to me, in response to Nintendo's controller design. It might work for web browsing (Kinect surely will not!) - but it wouldn't work for games. Try juggling a 360 controller in one hand, and a iPad in another for touch/display.

The great thing about the WiiU design, is the "out-of-the-box" solution - every WiiU gamer has it, and every game can make use of it.

And there is still no way to *just* play 360 games off the TV (unless you go through some boot via TV, run game, switch controller, etc operation first... which may still not work).

Did they announce *how* it works? Wifi? Or does it work through the internet?
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Show all comments (13)
Mats Holm Technical Writer, Electronic Arts5 years ago
Well played MS, with cross platform support (Android, Windows, iOS), the install base will be massive, and most smartglass devices will have better resolution then the Wii U controller, and support multitouch. One could argue that this is not a response to Wii U, but a challenge.
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Matt, I challenge them to provide me with 2 extra hands to hold both an iPad and an X360 controller.

I also challenge them to do all this lag free.
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Greg Wilcox Creator, Destroy All Fanboys! 5 years ago
As someone who likes to FOCUS the hell on what I'm PLAYING, not sit there and fiddle with distractions outside the game world, I find this tech 100% useless for my gaming needs. When I game, my phone is off and in another room, I don't "share" my every deed online and don't give a rat's ass what YOU do at the same time in the same game, folks. I just want my privacy back and the ability to play what I want when I want to and not have to deal with anything interrupting me.

What, I'm suppose to keep pausing to look at a damn piece or art or watch some video supplemental on another device? Hell no. Man, I'd rather see that stuff on my own time as an on disc extra or youtube video, so no thanks. How does anyone actually appreciate an actual game, TV show or movie these days when they're busy NOT looking at it as much as a developer or director wants them to?

That said, this Glass deal IS a good idea for those that like this sort of thing, but as noted, I prefer watching games and movies as presented so I can enjoy them. All that other content can wait until I'm not trying to get to the end of a level.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Greg Wilcox on 5th June 2012 8:34am

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Stefan Pettersson Specialist Consultant, Fat Tuna5 years ago
SmartGlass ain't a controller, it's a killer app with a HUGE installed base from day one. Just think about combining SmartGlass and Kinect, didn't Wii U just die a little?
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Jim Webb Executive Editor/Community Director, E-mpire Ltd. Co.5 years ago
Stefan, if death comes in the form of holding an X360 controller in one hand and an iPad in the other, we're all doomed.

Let me make you guys look at it from a different perspective. If the fact that a different console is trying to emulate a feature of another console, does that mean that the second console is killing the first one? So the PS3 should have killed the X360 because it played games online and offline with a dual analog controller just like the X360 did. I suppose The Xbox should then have killed the PS2. And so on and so forth.

Come on, guys. A poorly emulated feature from the competition does not bring about death to a console. If that were the case, then every console that brings out a feature already implemented elsewhere should be killing off the originating console.
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James Wells Gaming Contributor - 5 years ago
...I don't get it.
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Craig Page El Presidente, Awesome Enterprises5 years ago
I think it would be fun to pilot your star ship or airplane using touch screen controls on a tablet. Imagine a four player co-op game where one person pilots the ship, another controls weapons, and the other two can monitor life support systems and the engine.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 5 years ago
I'm surprised at the vehemence of some of the posts here: it seems that some people think that if it doesn't do a perfect job of doing what the Wii U controller does, it's completely useless.

No, it won't give you a controller with a screen you can hold in your hands. But it can give you some parts of that functionality that would still be useful (such as having a touch-screen interface into some games) and a lot of other features that the Wii controller simply can't do it all. I think it's an incredibly narrow point of view to think of this as something designed only to compete against the Wii controller.

As for not being able to "just play games off the TV," Michael, it's hardly an insurmountable technical problem. Sony's had working remote play of a PS3 on the PSP without having to turn on your TV for years now.
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Bruce Everiss Marketing Consultant 5 years ago
This is a huge announcement and points to a future of platform integration across the desktop, living room, mobile and tablet.
No other technology company in the world has the presence in all four areas to compete with Microsoft.
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Stefan Pettersson Specialist Consultant, Fat Tuna5 years ago
@Jim Webb, the Wii U is basically a pc from 2007/2008 and it will mostly attract fan boys and children, two categories who buys very few games/year and then mostly first party.

SmartGlass ain't a controller, it's a killer app. What devs do with it is yet to be proven. I'd put my money on Microsoft in the next round since Nintendo is old tech aimed at kids and Sony is pretty much broke...
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