Some new things at E3 will work with both used and refurbished cell phones, which is a great surprise! A couple days ago I let you all in on what Nintendo showed off at this years E3, the Wii U tablet controller console. One question I asked was what Microsoft or Sony’s response would be to this game changer. Well, seems Microsoft didn’t just have a response, they had a counter! Microsoft has really been pushing the Xbox as an all around media hub for your household, but it normally stopped in your livingroom… Not if Microsoft has anything to say about it.
What is SmartGlass?
Microsoft showed off their huge counter to the Wii U’s tablet like controller, but not by releasing their own tablet controller, by making every touch screen device you may own a tablet controller. A New Used or Refurbished cell phone will work. SmartGlass isn’t a new device, it’s a new app! This app will be downloadable on to Apple, Android and Windows handheld devices such as tablets and phones. From there you are connected to your Xbox 360 through whatever device you may choose to use. But it isn’t simply a controller, like a glorified remote, it’s a connection to that media hub. think of the Xbox as the brains and your handheld devices as limbs.
One example they showed in their tech demo was a girl listening to music on her Android device, pausing, and continuing the music on the same playlist on her Xbox. Another example is in the reverse, a girl is watching a
movie when she has to leave with her family. With a press of a couple buttons her movie transfers to her tablet exactly where she left off, and she can continue watching it in the car (obviously with tablets that have 3g or 4g support). Those two things are fairly exciting, but one example got me personally excited for this new app.
Disc Extras Make a Comeback On Digital Content
Disc extras are one of the big reasons I continue to purchase bluray’s. I love watching behind the scenes shorts and any other extra goodies jammed on those discs. With digital content you rarely get anything beyond just the movie. The example they showed was watching Game of Thrones (one of my favorite shows) on your TV while your tablet is connected. Through the tablet, it showed a map of Westeros with info on the show, characters and where the characters were physically located on the map. All while you watched the show on your HDTV. This is an amazing development and really got me excited for this app.
Used or Refurbished Cell Phone? No Problem.
This is a major kink in Nintendo’s new console. While the Wii U requires you purchase their special tablet like controller, this app doesn’t ask you to buy anything that you may not already have. Already have an Android, iPhone, used or refurbished cell phone? You’re all set to connect. What if you have an iPad? No problem, just download the app and you’re ready to go. SmartGlass is a cross platform app that works with what you have, which can potentially make your phone a mouse pad for surfing the web, or your tablet into a controller for games. One example Microsoft explained, without a physical example, was playing a baseball game. The pitcher would use the tablet to select where the pitches would go, hidden from the other player who is using a regular controller while up at bat.
I can’t wait for this app to be released later this Fall. This doesn’t stop any excitement in Nintendos direction, but this may put a hamper on their release this holiday season. We’ll only know for sure when both of them release later this year to see who comes out on top.
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