SmartGlass Gets A Virtual Controller Update
We all heard about SmartGlass for the Xbox 360 at E3, since Microsoft didn’t actually seem to have much else worth talking about. Recently, more information about the SmartGlass system has been released and it’s actually starting to look exciting (why didn’t they talk about this at E3?)
For those who aren’t aware of SmartGlass technology – it is an app that allows you to link your iPad, other tablet or smartphone with your Xbox in some pretty impressive ways. A simple tap can transfer a movie from your iPhone screen to your Xbox, and the phone will begin to act as a secondary screen that displays information about the movie and the cast. Exploring a new area in Halo 4 would unlock a Waypoint that might show you some of the new Halo lore on your secondary screen, and things like that. Essentially, it tells you things you didn’t know you wanted to know, but now you know anyway. Yay, knowledge!
The SmartGlass really just expands upon any information your Xbox can give you. Essentially, this is Microsoft saying, “Hey, Wii U! Cute idea, how much does yours cost?” along with totally finalising their transition from ‘gaming’ to ‘home entertainment system’. In reality I doubted I’d use it very often – until earlier today, when it was announced that there is more to SmartGlass than just controlling your dashboard with it. Perhaps, Microsoft really do care about us gamers, instead of just paying attention to their all-out world domination scheme… In home entertainment.
The term ‘virtual controller’ has been thrown around, with a set of figures and descriptions being leaked that imply the smartphone or tablet itself can become your controller. Soon enough, it’s looking like you may be able to play games entirely with whatever device you have in front of you, if you and your controller are having some marital issues (or you can’t find it and you’re too lazy to look – guilty).
Think of it quite like the Wii U (exactly like the Wii U… yeah), in that your iPhone or iPad will be able to completely transform into a portable gaming device much like a PSP. The screen will have controls in each corner, and a display for whatever game you’re playing will be in the middle of the controls. The cool part is that you can play Xbox games on it even when you’re on a road trip – so long as you have internet connection, it would seem. Now that is something I would use, particularly since I don’t need to buy another console; I can simply use my phone or iPad.
The documents that have been released are only patent documents instead of a complete strategy, but either way, it seems like Microsoft is really one step ahead for the next generation of consoles.