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Xbox SmartGlass will link Microsoft's console to tablets

Category: Business

Published: 4th Jun 2012 19:33:25

Microsoft has unveiled SmartGlass: a service to allow tablet computers and smartphones to communicate with its Xbox 360 games console.

It allows users to control games on the touchscreen devices and can show extra information about progress.

It also lets the handhelds act as controllers for the firm's Internet Explorer web browser, which will launch on the console later this year.

The move poses a challenge to Nintendo's Wii U Game Pad.

While the Japanese company's product is specifically designed to enhance the experience of using its next-generation console, Microsoft is offering users a way to extend the functionality of its existing games machines via third-party devices they may already have.

"Xbox SmartGlass works with all the devices that you already own: the TV you already own, the phone you already own and the tablet you already own," said Marc Whitten, head of Microsoft's Xbox Live division.

"Xbox SmartGlass turns any TV into a smart TV."

He added that SmartGlass will also enhance television programmes streamed through the Xbox.

He gave the example of a viewer watching Game of Thrones on their television and being able to look down at their tablet to see where on-screen characters were located on a map of the show's fantasy world.

"It lets Microsoft say that you don't need to buy new hardware to have a two-screen experience," Stephen Totilo, editor of gaming website Kotaku, told the BBC.

"Nintendo looked to be ahead of everyone else on this, but now Microsoft is breathing down its neck. But there may be a little bit of smoke and mirrors here as I'm not convinced SmartGlass will have as much functionality as the Wii U offers."

The announcement was made in Microsoft's keynote presentation at the E3 video games trade show in Los Angeles.

Presentations from Sony and Nintendo will follow.

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BBC News, 2012. Xbox SmartGlass will link Microsoft's console to tablets [Online] (Updated 4th Jun 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1432727/Xbox-SmartGlass-will-link-Microsofts-console-to-tablets [Accessed 21st Aug 2014]

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