The UpStream (Page 285)

Microsoft Shocks With Xbox SmartGlass's Usefulness

posted Monday Jun 4, 2012 by Scott Ertz

Microsoft Shocks With Xbox SmartGlass's Usefulness

Yesterday I reported on the rumored Microsoft Smart Glass technology that was expected to be shown off today. All signs pointed to a product designed to compete with Apple's living room business strategy. The service would give the capability of streaming a video from your phone or tablet to your television through your Xbox 360. It would have been a major head start on Apple and their desire to control your life. The service that was actually announced, however, was a little different and infinitely more useful.

Xbox SmartGlass, as the service will properly be called, is an extension and major enhancement of the Xbox LIVE Connector, the app on Windows Phone and Windows 8 that allows you to control certain aspects of your Xbox through your alternative devices. There are two aspects to the service: gaming and media (big surprise there). Let's cover gaming first. SmartGlass will allow game developers to enhance the gaming experience in a way never quite explored. It is building on the concept of services like Call of Duty: Elite, but making them part of the game. One great example shown off during their press conference was an interaction with the new Halo 4. When a new waypoint is reached, your phone or tablet can light up and let you know information about where you are, such as maps or personnel. While the game is totally capable of being played without this, an enhancement of this type is a great way to make it feel more like you are IN the game world.

Gaming isn't all that Xbox offers. Hit the break to find out how Microsoft plans to enhance the media side with SmartGlass.

Microsoft's Entertainment-Focused Keynote Still Had Room for Video Games

posted Monday Jun 4, 2012 by Jon Wurm

Microsoft's Entertainment-Focused Keynote Still Had Room for Video Games

Not unexpected this year, Microsoft came out strong by announcing right away that entertainment is the primary focus with the Xbox Live living room experience. Alas, gamers shouldn't be too disappointed with the video game showing, however, even though no matter how much they give us, we will always want more.

I'm going to give a quick breakdown of what we saw first hand and fill you in with more details throughout the week so be sure to keep plugged in. If you've managed to make it this far why not press start to continue and read on after the break.

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