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Epic: "We've yet to see the real value of the second screen"

Epic vice president Mark Rein on the mobile market and the impact on consoles

Whether it's for navigating menus, selecting plays in a sports title, or providing additional in-game information (maps, etc.), second screen usage via tablets and smartphones has become much more prevalent among console titles today. While some are "convinced" that second screen gaming is "the future," others aren't so sure. In a recent interview with the [a]list daily, Epic Games vice president Mark Rein shared his thoughts.

"I think we've yet to see the real value of the second screen idea, if you're talking about SmartGlass and companion apps and things like that. But that doesn't mean that it won't be big one day. I don't really know what it is yet," Rein commented.

"Where I really use SmartGlass is for choosing things from the menu and navigating the store instead of using the controller. It's great for watching a movie and then continuing it on my tablet when I walk away. There are lots of great uses and applications," he continued. "Where it fits into gaming, I don't know. I'm not sold on picking up my tablet to choose my play and then putting it back down and picking up my controller. It's kind of a wonky way to choose a play, so I don't know if that's how it's going to go or not."

"Developers should try everything and have lots of fun with it, and sooner or later there will be a killer app for that sort of thing, too."

Rein also said that people need to stop thinking of tablets and mobile as being in competition with consoles, stating that he doesn't believe "the whole 'one defeats the other' really is a thing."

"They're never going to be a one-to-one console to tablet because one you plug into a wall, one you carry around with you. That doesn't mean that they won't have the same amount of power and you won't be able to plug your tablet into the wall and add a controller and play it like a console. I think that's inevitable. I think Apple's now embraced having a controller," he said.

Read more from Mark Rein at our sister site the [a]list daily.

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James Brightman avatar
James Brightman: James Brightman has been covering the games industry since 2003 and has been an avid gamer since the days of Atari and Intellivision. He was previously EIC and co-founder of IndustryGamers and spent several years leading GameDaily Biz at AOL prior to that.
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