Microsoft unveils SmartGlass and Internet Explorer for Xbox 360
Not every rumor is without merit. At their E3 keynote earlier today, Microsoft announced a new feature for the Xbox 360 known as Xbox SmartGlass. It's a mobile application that allows for virtually seamless integration between tablets or mobile devices and the Xbox 360. The application can be used as a remote control, allowing users to start playback on and stream video from their console. That's not the cool part, though.
In a move that I can't help but think might be at least vaguely inspired by the Wii U, SmartGlass devices will function as secondary screens, providing additional information and interactivity for whatever game or video the user is playing or watching at the time. At the keynote, Microsoft provided two examples.
If the user happened to be watching Game of Thrones, the application would display an interactive map of Westeros, detailing where in the world each scene was taking place. As for games, Madden 13 allowed players to draw out and execute plays, while Halo 4 showed stats and waypoints and let players initiate multiplayer.
Another cool feature of SmartGlass involves Internet Explorer integration. Microsoft's been testing a modified version of their web browser for some time now, and at their keynote finally revealed the fruits of their labor. Using SmartGlass, users will be able to surf the 'net on their Xbox 360, a feature which, until now, was noticeably missing.
SmartGlass will be available on Windows 8 tablets, iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. No release date yet, sadly, but it's a safe bet it'll be coming sometime before 2013.
Source: Microsoft E3 Presentation
Links: The Verge
A gamer at heart, Nick started writing when he was a child. He holds a BA in English, works as a freelancer, and loves every minute of it. One day, he hopes to net himself a career in game design - but that's something for the future.
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