SmartGlass Will Evolve with the Xbox One
The Xbox One is bringing a host of improvements over the Xbox 360 when it helps usher in the next generation of console gaming in November. Until now, we hadn't heard much about SmartGlass' future, but Microsoft has finally spilled the beans on how the second-screen tech will work on the new system.
Over on Xbox Wire, Xbox Live General Manager Ron Pessner talked a bit about how SmartGlass would change with the arrival of the Xbox One.
"SmartGlass is maturing with the evolution of Xbox 360 to Xbox One," Pessner said. "Xbox One was designed from the ground up with SmartGlass in mind, and an immediately noticeable difference with Xbox One SmartGlass compared to Xbox 360 SmartGlass is the connection speed and performance."
That improved speed and performance will come in handy for at least one specific feature--matchmaking. "A core feature that was super important for us is that gamers can use SmartGlass for matchmaking on Xbox One," Pessner said. "If you’re in the middle of game on your console, you can begin matchmaking for a multiplayer session through SmartGlass and you won’t interrupt your action on the big screen."
Additionally, four times as many devices can be synced with SmartGlass on the Xbox One. Why you'll need 16 different phones or tablets going at once for the Xbox One is certainly an interesting question, but at least it's something Microsoft is thinking about. There will also be a unique help feature available, which can instantly detect where you are stuck in a game. "If you’re having trouble in a game, you can tap a Help button in SmartGlass that will give you contextually aware information for whatever you’re playing," Pessner added. "During gameplay, SmartGlass follows your progress and knows exactly where you’re at and where you’re having trouble, so that when you hit the Help button you’ll be given the tips you need. It’s a really cool additive experience to your gameplay and a way for developers to use additional screens to enhance the experience of playing games on Xbox One."
SmartGlass will offer some other functionality as well for television watching and away from home, but the key features are definitely those that work in conjunction with the actual games. We've yet to be impressed with SmartGlass' offerings on the Xbox 360, but maybe Microsoft can change our minds with the Xbox One.