While we knew SmartGlass
could be used to handle matchmaking
on Xbox One
, Microsoft hasn't said much else about the next iteration of the second-screen experience. In an interview on Xbox Wire
, Microsoft general manager Ron Pessner promises a more responsive app that connects to Xbox One within four seconds – over three times faster than the Xbox 360 app.
Up to 16 SmartGlass devices can connect to a single Xbox One console, though it's unknown how that functionality will serve anyone or what it will be explicitly used for. The improved app also presents the opportunity for smart devices to be used as game controllers, though again there's currently no direct example of that being employed right now. And SmartGlass will naturally act as an extension of Xbox Live when away from the console, allowing users to communicate with friends, check Achievements, watch Game DVR videos and access the Xbox Games Store
Putting a bow on the SmartGlass package is Game Help, a new feature for developers who publish on Xbox One. When publishing a game, developers must submit a help manual that will aid players contextually either directly in-game or through SmartGlass. "In front of your console, you can say, 'Xbox: Help!' and then it will appear on the console," Pessner told Engadget
in a separate interview. "Or in SmartGlass, you can click on the Help icon and then it will just tune into exactly what you're doing and present the right help content for you." This aid also applies to apps outside of games, in case you're having trouble navigating the tricky waters of Internet Explorer.