Microsoft posts SmartGlass walkthrough, launching alongside Windows 8

By on October 23, 2012, 10:31 AM

Microsoft is pushing ahead with the barrage of announcements it has planned for the week. Writing on The Official Microsoft Blog, Yasuf Mehdi talked about the new entertainment experience from Xbox, with a new update rolling out today for the Xbox 360 that finally adds a web browser to the console, a brand new music service, and support for multi-screen entertainment experiences with SmartGlass.

The latter won’t be activated until Windows 8 goes live on Friday, at which point it will essentially enable people to use their phones, tablets and PCs as “second screens” for the Xbox 360 through a downloadable app.

SmartGlass will work wirelessly to connect your Xbox 360 to your portable device, and provide side content to a game or a TV show. During its E3 presentation back in June, Microsoft showed how you could use a tablet draw plays on Madden while the actual gameplay happens on the TV screen, as well as an interactive map pinpointing where the action was taking place during an episode of Game of Thrones.

It can also be used to navigate videos and movies being viewed on the TV screen, stream videos from Xbox Live to a tablet or smartphone, or as a virtual keyboard while surfing the web on the TV screen.

SmartGlass is Microsoft’s attempt to tie all your devices to the Xbox entertainment experience. It’ll be available for Windows 8 PCs, iOS and Android, and Microsoft intends for all versions of the app to have feature parity.

In many ways SmartGlass could be seen as an answer to the Wii U's upcoming tablet-equipped GamePad, only it offsets the costs by using touchscreen devices that players might already own. With an Xbox 360 install base of 67 million, deals in place with content providers, and cross platform support for mobile devices, SmartGlass seems well positioned to bring interactive content for your media in ways its rivals haven’t been able to.

Ultimately its success will largely depend on how well developers make use of a secondary screen to enhance the gaming experience, or content providers to add commentary and other special features, all while not degrading things for those without a tablet — or those who don’t care to use one.

Microsoft says The following games, apps and services will support SmartGlass initially:


  • Ascend
  • Dance Central 3
  • Forza Horizon
  • Halo Waypoint
  • Home Run Stars
  • Karaoke
  • Kinect Sesame Street TV
  • Prima Games


  • ESPN
  • NBA Game Time
  • UFC

Entertainment Apps:

  • Elections 2012
  • HBO GO
  • MSN
  • NBC News
  • NOW TV
  • Slacker Radio
  • Today
  • Univision

User Comments: 6

Got something to say? Post a comment
ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Damn Microsoft! Why do you make me want to buy an Xbox right after I sold it to focus on PC games?

andrewdoyle88 andrewdoyle88 said:

My old iPhone 3gs did this a couple of years ago with my apple tv. Microsoft is finally catching up, but will it flop like the kinect I bought and have never used.

Guest said:

The difference is this will work on iOS/andriod/WP8.

lchu12 lchu12 said:

Lol, didn't read the article. just wanted to post because I saw a scene from Game of Thrones in the front page articles.

Guest said:

You say that light this product and kinect have any crossover whatsoever in terms of their development by MS on release. Everything is already there for this unit to work and flourish. It's like the free software XBMC, only done in a way that MS would like it. And quite frankly, it looks better. If this can interact with win 7 I'll be a happy man.

Guest said:

This all depends on if the TV shows and games bother to work with this. Either way, I don't think it will work. The Wii U is designed for that, but the Xbox is not.


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