Before closing out the Microsoft E3 2012 Press Conference coverage we are going to take a brief look at the Entertainment Evolved section of the conference. Microsoft, much like Sony when the PS3 was revealed, is aiming to become the central media hub of the family’s household and not just a video game system. Therein lies the title of the conference. The first part of this new look at “Entertainment Evolved” is their new app SmartGlass tablets and smartphones:
The purpose of SmartGlass is to have the 360 be the central hub for all of your gaming, movie, music and internet needs all connected to your choice of tablet or phone (or in their case Windows 7 powered phones and tablets). You can access the 360 dashboard from your device of choice, startup movies and pick up where you left off on either mobile device or the 360 itself, controlling the dashboard itself by using a mobile device, giving games additional ways to play, and accessing the internet by using the onboard Windows 8 IE browser. While these sound cool and all, Microsoft seems to be late for the party on this type of technology. Companies like Sony, Toshiba, Mitsubishi, Apple and many other electronic manufactures already offer Smart TVs that have this capability, sans new game control experience. And with Sony possibily offering the same thing with PS3/Vita and Nintendo doing the almost exact same thing with the WiiU gamepad/3DS, Microsoft isn’t doing anything new or innovating. Plus with IE being as buggy as it is (or at least in my case) announcing that IE 8 was going to be the browser isn’t going to well with fans. Now for the second part of Entertainment Evolved, Xbox Music.
It seems that Microsoft is rebranding their Zune music service and renaming it the Xbox Music App. It seems like a good idea, there’s just one thing though. Apple already does this through all of their devices. Sony does this as well through their Music Unlimited service. Lastly there is the Nike+ Kinect Fitness app.
Again, this seems like a good idea. Apple has been doing this ever since the first generation of iPod Touches came to market. By bringing Nike+ to home consoles, this can extend the life of the service. There are a few flaws however. One of those flaws is the Kinect’s hit or miss body detection, as evident with most Kinect games. The Second flaw is that there are better full-fledged games that do the same thing, such as Your Fitness from Ubisoft.
Everything that Microsoft is offering as the “Entertainment Evolved” apps to become a media hub seems to be good on paper. But when you see that other companies have been doing the same thing or something similar before they announced their plans, MS seems to be late to the party and this in general was the low point of the whole conference.