So the conferences have come and gone, and what I released it that it’s the same old thing. Like previous years, Microsoft was pushing the Xbox 360 as the living room device, while Sony continued to cater the “core” gamer with lovely exclusive titles and Nintendo finally getting into the HD era with the Wii U; surprisingly they still suck with third party titles. Nothing grand happened during the conferences but, there were some interesting tidbits here and there.
With the imminent release of Window 8 for PCs and tablets, Microsoft is trying to bring it all together with the Xbox SmartGlass software platform. SmartGlass is designed to allow tables and phones to connect with the Xbox 360. The example they gave was a Windows 8 tablet transferring a movie from its screen to the TV connected to the Xbox 360. Nothing revolutionary but it is nice to see a big company like Microsoft add on features to an already decent experience. They also gave examples of SmartGlass functioning with games, although in concept form, a thought came to mind that SmartGlass would be used to combat the Wii U tablet controller functionality.
For example, a tablet could be used with the Madden NFL series to create custom plays on the fly or hot swap in players before a snap. In Halo 4, it was used as a platform to review the schematics of weapons and to see your friends and join their games on the fly. All neat ideas but, unless the tablet is baked on a screen I cannot really see a lot of people utilizing it unless they already owe the hardware. When you have to use another device besides your game controller, it does not seem to work. Hell, people do not want to talk to their Kinect let alone pick up another piece of hardware. Regardless I think the ideas are cool but I do not know how successful it will be until they can create an experience people cannot do without.