Microsoft’s biggest showing this year, if you don’t count Halo 4 gameplay and a CGI Gears of War: Judgement trailer, was Xbox SmartGlass. SmartGlass supposedly will change the way you enjoy media on your 360 and while you’re out and about. Microsoft want to take over your smart phones and tablets, in a big way.
As well as offering a way to control your 360’s dashboard and films directly from your smart phone, SmartGlass goes above and beyond that. Whether it’s providing additional material to benefit fans of a series (the example used was an interactive, digital map showing hotspots of action for Game of Thrones) or just as another way of exploring films starring a certain actor, Microsoft wants SmartGlass to change the way you think about digital media on (and away from) the 360.
Perhaps the biggest advantage of SmartGlass is that Microsoft aren’t being picky about who gets the tech. iOS, Android and, of course, Windows phone devices will all be able to take advantage of SmartGlass when it launches later this year, meaning that a huge amount of 360 owners already have everything they need to try it out.
For some, this is an excellent way for Microsoft to extend the brand. Others are only interested in its application to games, something that was only brushed upon during the conference. If developers decide to take it up, they have the potential of building a DS-like interface of dual screens available to almost all their user base. There’s no reason to believe developers are interested though, if it was getting widespread support, it would have had a much bigger place in the conference.