SmartGlass Innovations For Next-Gen Titles

By Andrew Ogley,
It was announced quite early on that SmartGlass would be heavily integrated into the gaming experience on the Xbox One, and we were given some early examples of what we could expect to see with the integration.

Now Ron Pessner, Xbox Live General Manager, has outlined some more details for a number of the upcoming titles on the new console, including Project Spark, Just Dance 2014 (Xbox One), and Dead Rising 3.

Dead Rising 3
Smartglass images

According to Josh Bridge, executive producer at Capcom, they initially had two goals for SmartGlass. The first was to integrate it into the storyline, and the second was to ensure the experience was additive and yet rewarding. Capcom feels that have achieved both these key goals with their SmartGlass integration.

Early in the game, the player's character will find a smartphone which the player can connect to his real-life SmartGlass device, turning it into a Zombie Defence and Control PDA (ZDC PDA), and enabling a number of in-game features. Quoting directly from Capcom, we can expect the following.

Here are the features Nick’s ZDC PDA will support:

Exclusive Side Missions and Rewards: You will receive phone calls and text messages from in-game characters on your SmartGlass device which will activate special missions exclusive to SmartGlass users. These missions have their own story that feeds back into the fiction of "Dead Rising 3" and will reward players with exclusive weapons and additional support applications for your ZDC PDA.

Mission Tracker: Track your progress towards all your active missions without having to pause and navigate the in-game menus. SmartGlass gives you a mission checklist as well as a map for quick reference as you fight your way through the zombie hordes.

Los Perdidos News Ticker: With the news ticker, you’ll get updates and hints on where zombie outbreaks are happening around the city, giving you an edge as you plan your escape (or attack!).
Real-Time Map: Shows your location in Los Perdidos, the location of your co-op player and other points of interest in the world.

Support Applications: Use the ZDC Military Support app to request drone gun support, military grade flares to distract zombies or an air strike to decimate an infected area. You can also utilize Item Finders to locate specific weapons, vehicles and stores scattered throughout Los Perdidos, or the Backup app to call in survivors to help you fight and get Hints to help with missions or boss fights.
Project Spark
Smartglass images

Meanwhile Saxs Persson, Director Microsoft Studios (Team Dakota), has revealed what his team has been working on for SmartGlass. According to Persson, they have not so much built a companion app, but more of a mirror of the Xbox One experience. Going further, Team Dakota believes that anything you are able to do on the Xbox One version will also be possible on any SmartGlass device.

Quoting directly from Persson:
SmartGlass infinitely expands the possibilities of “Project Spark” user-created games on Xbox One. For example, someone could create a touch-only based game and, using SmartGlass, Xbox One players can play, remix, and share that game without platform limitations. Creators could even create games where there is a mix between the two – a shooter or action game where controller works best, and then puzzles that require touch input to solve.
Just Dance 2014
Smartglass images

Finally, Dale Scullion, Lead Game Designer at Ubisoft, has revealed that the team has used SmartGlass to create an even more interactive party experience. Anyone with a SmartGlass device will be able to join the game and even take control of the game and the party in progress.

Some of the simpler SmartGlass features include editing playlists and selecting songs whilst the game is in progress. However, some features go much further. There will be the ability to edit any dance videos recorded during the party session, with the SmartGlass device becoming a virtual video editing suite.

However, the one feature that looks the most fun, and possibly the source of most arguments, is the new Partymaster feature, which will allow players to become a virtual choreographer during the dance party on both the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One versions.

Players will also have access to "Just Dance 2014’s" brand new PartyMaster game mode via SmartGlass. PartyMaster gives ultimate control to one player by letting them choose the next dance move in real-time on their smartphone or tablet and even switch tracks mid-song to become the DJ of the party.
SmartGlass is already available for Windows 8, iOS, and Android devices. Dead Rising 3 and Just Dance 2014 are both launch titles for the Xbox One, whilst Project Spark still has yet to receive a confirmed release date.
Andrew Ogley
Written by Andrew Ogley
Andrew has been writing for TA since 2011 covering news, reviews and the occasional editorials and features. One of the grumpy old men of the team, his mid-life crisis has currently manifested itself in the form of an addiction to sim-racing - not being able to afford the real life car of his dreams. When not spending hours burning simulated rubber, he still likes to run around, shoot stuff and blow things up - in the virtual world only of course.