Microsoft's new SmartGlass is a reason to never leave your living room. It gracefully integrates the Xbox 360 in an AirPlay-like ballet of gadgets and content. Your tablet, smartphone, TV and console are no longer appendages in one highly advanced but dysfunctional family; they're a harmonious team of technology that brings your entertainment experience to new heights. Yep, we're excited.
It's an app?
You already have the tools — smartphone, tablet, TV, console; Microsoft SmartGlass is an app that turns those tools into an extension of each other. Your tablet is suddenly another screen for your TV, a playbook, a map, a remote control. And SmartGlass works with iOS, Android and Windows, meaning you won't have to purchase any new hardware to experience Microsoft's new future.
Microsoft's Xbox 360 is no longer just about playing games. It hasn't been for a long time because it has adapted to new technologies. SmartGlass is the gateway to combining all of your media and devices in a smarter and significant way.
During its E3 presentation, Microsoft touted its potential, showing off how a map can be displayed on a tablet running SmartGlass while watching a show like Game of Thrones. That right there introduces a level of immersion that wobbles on the line of fiction and reality. I would love to be able to see a map of Middle Earth while watching Lord of the Rings. Or how about Star Wars? And come on, who wouldn't want to hold the map of One Eyed Willy while the Goonies are frantically evading the Fratellis?
Say you're playing Madden. As mentioned above, your phone or tablet can be used as a playbook, which is sure to make the balance of coaching/playing that much more engrossing. (Or if you have a posse you like to play with, friends can help call the plays for you with needing to hand over the controller.)
"With Xbox SmartGlass, we are lighting up entertainment across your phone, tablet, PC and TV in a completely new way," said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "If you love to play games, watch TV and movies, surf the Web, or listen to music, there has never been a better time to be on Xbox."
The best part about SmartGlass is that it isn't really a club, kind of how Xbox LIVE is set up, which requires a fee to join. That's because you already have everything you need to participate in Microsoft's new media experience. The company emphasized the technology working with products customers "already own." At the very least you have a smartphone, and that's all you need. (Note: I'm assuming you already own a TV and Xbox 360.)
Xbox SmartGlass will deliver new ways to enjoy entertainment in the home and on the go.
To kick-start the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a bold new vision for enjoying entertainment at home and on the go with Xbox SmartGlass. Launching this year, Xbox SmartGlass is an application for Windows 8, Windows Phone, and other portable devices that connects phones, PCs and tablets with your Xbox 360 console to make your entertainment smarter, more interactive and more fun.(1) The intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass makes your entertainment more engaging, Web surfing more effortless, and playing games more immersive by delivering companion content and control to enhance your TV experience.
"Xbox is on a mission to make the entertainment that you love even more amazing," said Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "With Xbox SmartGlass, we are lighting up entertainment across your phone, tablet, PC and TV in a completely new way. If you love to play games, watch TV and movies, surf the Web, or listen to music, there has never been a better time to be on Xbox."
Two years after the launch of Kinect for Xbox 360, Microsoft unveiled the next step in its journey to make Xbox synonymous with entertainment by unveiling Xbox SmartGlass, Internet Explorer for Xbox, and new TV, movie and music offerings.
The Web Transformed for TV Microsoft will launch Internet Explorer for Xbox this fall in all countries where Xbox and Xbox LIVE are available. Through the power of Xbox, the magic of Kinect and the intelligence of Xbox SmartGlass, you will be able to surf the Internet using your voice on your Xbox 360 and navigate using your mobile devices for an incredibly easy Web browsing experience on the television.(2) Whether it is a new website you want to check out on the big screen, an HD video you want to share in your living room, or your favorite website you check daily and want to view in the 10-foot experience, you will have the power of the Web now on your TV.
Entertainment Keeps Getting Better on Xbox Last year, Xbox added voice search powered by Bing and the power of Kinect, making it easier to find the entertainment you want. This year, voice search is expanding to 12 additional countries: Australia, Austria, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Spain and Switzerland.
Adding to the current catalog of customized sports, TV, movies and music apps from world-leading TV and entertainment providers, this year Xbox will continue to deliver all the content you care about in unique ways.
Your home for sports. Microsoft announced more must-have sports experiences and content coming to Xbox this year, further establishing it as the home for sports fans everywhere.
- NBA Game Time with NBA.com League Pass Broadband (U.S.) and NBA League Pass (outside of the U.S.). Fans who subscribe to NBA.com League Pass Broadband will have access to hundreds of out of market live games (blackout restrictions apply in the U.S. and some international markets), plus highlights from around the league and up to the minute stats of your favorite players.
- NHL GameCenter LIVE™ (Worldwide except Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden). Hockey fans will be able to enjoy every moment of the live action as it happens on the ice, with live games (out of market and blackout restrictions apply), more in-game interactivity, and replays and highlights on demand any time.
- ESPN (U.S.). Later this year fans will enjoy 24/7 live programming through WatchESPN from ESPN Networks – ESPN, ESPN 2, ESPN 3 and ESPN U. All the favorites, including "SportsCenter," "SportsNation," "The Mike and Mike Show," as well as ESPN's coverage of the NFL, MLB and the NBA, will be live on Xbox.
Xbox also announced regional sports provider SPORT1 coming later this year to Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
More TV and entertainment. Today, Microsoft announced more than 35 new content partners launching on Xbox over the next 12 months, including:
- Absolute Radio – U.K.
- Ameba TV – Canada, U.S.
- BreakMedia – Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Singapore, South Africa, U.K., U.S.
- Comedy Central Stand Up – U.S.
- Comoyo – Denmark, Norway, Sweden
- Corus Entertainment's Franklin the Turtle – Canada
- GameSpot TV – Australia, Canada, U.K., U.S.
- Headweb – Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden
- Indie Flix – U.S.
- Machinima – All Xbox LIVE markets
- Napster – Germany, U.K.
- Nickelodeon – U.S.
- Paramount Movies – U.S.
- Picturebox – U.K.
- Quickflix – Australia, New Zealand
- Rakuten ShowTime – Japan
- Revision3 – Canada, U.K., U.S.
- Rhapsody – U.S.
- RTL XL – Netherlands
- Slacker Radio – Canada, U.S.
- SnagFilms – U.S.
- Terra (Sunday TV) – Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico
- The AOL On Network – Australia, Canada, Netherlands, U.K., U.S.
- The Weather Channel – U.S.
- The Whistle – U.S.
- TOU.TV – Canada
- TV3 – Spain
- Twitch TV – U.S.
- Univision – U.S.
- Wuaki – Spain
- Youzee – Spain
- Xbox Music revealed. Microsoft showed a sneak peek of Xbox Music, an all-new music service coming to Xbox 360, Windows Phone and Windows 8-based devices.
Xbox on Windows 8
This year Xbox will bring premium entertainment experiences to more than 180 new countries around the world when Xbox on Windows 8 launches, featuring four Metro-style apps: Video, Music, Games and Xbox SmartGlass. (3)
With Xbox on Windows 8, you can play games with friends and earn achievements, listen to music, and enjoy your favorite TV shows and movies wherever you go.(4) And with Xbox SmartGlass, you can start a movie or TV show on your Windows 8 device and finish it on the big-screen TV.
Xbox is Microsoft's premier entertainment service for the TV, phone, PC and tablet. It's home to the best and broadest games, as well as one of the world's largest libraries of music, movies, TV and sports. With Kinect, Xbox 360 transformed gaming and entertainment in the living room with a whole new way to play games and find entertainment — no controller required. More information about Xbox can be found online at http://www.xbox.com.
About Microsoft Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq "MSFT") is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
(1) Xbox SmartGlass is available with select games and Xbox LIVE content and requires Internet connectivity and compatible devices. Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately) is also required for some Xbox SmartGlass-enabled content and features. Available Xbox SmartGlass features may vary by device. See http://xbox.com/live.
(2) Internet Explorer on Xbox requires Xbox LIVE Gold membership (sold separately).
(3) Available content and features vary across regions. (4) Available content and features vary across devices. Games and media content sold separately.
Some information relates to pre-released product and services that may be substantially modified before commercial release. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here.
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