EA Excited About SmartGlass Potential

Posted June 21st, 2012 at 7:45 pm

One of the more intriguing developments out of E3 came with the announcement of Xbox SmartGlass at the Microsoft press conference. The app will turn tablets and smartphones into second screens which can communicate and interact with the 360 and eventually the next Xbox. Madden was featured prominently in the demonstration as plays were selected and even drawn up right on the device. 

Through comments gathered by GamesIndustry EA Labels president Frank Gibeau and EA Sports president Andrew Wilson discussed the SmartGlass initiative and how it fits in with the company’s vision going forward.

Gibeau: “Having SmartGlass capabilities, where it can talk between machines in a consistent way is fantastic, so we think there’s a lot of innovation and the Madden example that they showed is just scratching the surface of play calling, play construction,” Gibeau said. “You can imagine being able to do things in a shooter, where you’re calling in command modes or squad based commands. So I think it’s a great idea, the fact that they’re going to standardize an API that we can write to, so we can make it a seamless experience for the customer, whether it’s a Windows Phone, an Android, or an iOS is great.”

Wilson: “If you think about playing someone online and you’re playing someone really tough and rather than scroll through a bunch of plays you could draw a completely new play because you’re seeing holes in their coverage and you can do that on-the-fly and it’s fully integrated… that’s pretty cool. So we’re excited about it. We started it last year and we’re doing it across our portfolio this year. And once we have that SmartGlass feature integrated with Xbox 360 I think we can deliver even cooler stuff”

There seems to be real excitement about SmartGlass which has taken some wind out of the sails of the Wii U. Nintendo is marketing their new console based almost solely on its controller which offers a second screen.

It remains unclear whether SmartGlass will roll out in time to be implemented in Madden NFL 13 or FIFA 13 – which this year received Kinect functionality after first having plans discussed at the previous year’s E3 – but the goal from EA seems to be in providing unique functionality through the app as soon as possible. Sports titles would seem to be a natural fit and with so many people having devices readily available that could take advantage the benefits could be immediately realized and adapted.