Tuesday 20 February 2018

E3 2012: Microsoft announce Xbox Music and Xbox SmartGlass

Tom Hoggins

MICROSOFT revealed the details of the two concepts at their pre-E3 press conference. Xbox Music will go up against popular music streaming service Spotify to bring music to your Xbox console as well as Windows tablets and smartphones.

The conference was light on details, with no indication of release date, but Microsoft insisted that while Xbox Music will replace their current music streaming service on Xbox, Zune, it will be more than a simple revamp of that application.

The teaser video showed users being able to queue up music and share what they are listening to with friends, much in the same way Spotify does. However, Microsoft said that the unique features for the service will be detailed in the coming weeks.

The company also unveiled Xbox SmartGlass, which allows users to interact with their Xbox console and television screen using their tablet computers --including Apple's iPad-- and smartphones.

The concepts on display included being able to watch a movie on your tablet computer and then transfer it directly to your Xbox and television to pick up where you left off.

More interestingly, while you are watching a television show or playing a game on your television with Xbox SmartGlass enabled on your tablet device, the two screens will interact with each other in different ways.

For example, if you are watching an episode of Game of Thrones using Xbox SmartGlass, the tablet device will show you where in the fantasy world of Westeros the scene is taking place, or will provide character bios and other information.

For games, there was a concept demo of a player of American football game Madden 13 choosing plays on their tablet while playing the main game on the television, and a concept for FPS Halo where the player could examine weaponry and interact with friends over the Xbox Live service on their tablet.

The interaction between these two devices is similar to Nintendo's Wii U console, which comes with a tablet style controller. Nintendo have revealed some details on their new console in a pre-recorded video, while more specifics are to be revealed at their main press conference on Tuesday.

Microsoft also revealed that Internet Explorer would be coming to Xbox and would be compatible with Xbox SmartGlass and their Kinect motion sensing camera.

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