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Xbox SmartGlass FAQ


One of the highlights of Microsoft's 2012 E3 press conference was the announcement of Xbox SmartGlass. There is still a lot of confusion about what SmartGlass actually is, though, so we'll try to clear things up here.

What Is Xbox SmartGlass?

Xbox SmartGlass is not a new piece of hardware or accessory or tablet. It is an app that will work with the "i" device or android device or Windows phone or future Windows 8 devices that you already own. It is just an app.

What Will Xbox SmartGlass Do?

SmartGlass is an app that will allow your Xbox 360, PC, smart phone, or tablet to all easily and instantly talk to each other. Examples given on stage were that you could be watching a movie or TV show on your Xbox 360 and your SmartGlass tablet or phone would instantly bring up information and links and other stuff related to that show.

SmartGlass can also be used as a pointing device for Internet Explorer on Xbox 360 on your TV. It will work as a sort of track pad where you'll be able to drag your finger across your phone or tablet to scroll web pages, pinch to zoom, and more.

Will Xbox SmartGlass Be Used For Games?

Of course it will also have gaming applications. The only examples Microsoft has shown so far were selecting plays in Madden football or being able to browse Halo Waypoint while you are playing Halo 4, but the possibilities are really much greater than that.

SmartGlass effectively lets the Xbox 360 match Nintendo's upcoming Wii U's best feature - the controller with a tablet built in. Anything the Wii U can do, the Xbox 360 and SmartGlass will theoretically be able to do as well. The benefit of SmartGlass, however, is that your phone or tablet screen has much better resolution than the Wii U pad, is capable of a lot more stuff, and you already own it. There is no need to buy a new system with expensive new controllers to use Xbox SmartGlass - you likely already have everything you need. This is still purely speculation, and it will be up to developers to actually implement it, but there is no reason not to expect feature-parity between Wii U and Xbox 360 multiplatform games in the future.

When Will Xbox SmartGlass Be Available?

Xbox SmartGlass will launch in Fall 2012. We don't have any pricing details, but since it is just an app, it will most likely be free to download for your smart phone or tablet. We'll have more details as they become available.

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