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Smartphones expected to land central role in Xbox reveal

Smartphones expected to land central role in Xbox reveal
Microsoft's next Xbox will be the first major console to focus on delivering a platform that spans multiple forms of hardware, including smartphones and tablets.

That's according to mounting speculation across the web, which points to a drive to ensure consumers can access Xbox services wherever they are, and via whatever device they have to hand.

The existing Xbox, of course, already has a presence on smartphone platforms.

As well as SmartGlass, which allows users to control their console from mobiles and tablets in a very basic manner, Xbox games across Windows Phone and Windows 8 feature Xbox Live achievements, enabling players to add to their Gamerscore.

Talking tablets

However, integration with the next Xbox is expected to go much further.

There's already been hype aplenty around the prospect of an official Xbox tablet – dubbed Xbox Surface by many – though other commentators have been quick to suggest Microsoft is more likely to adopt a universal approach, building on SmartGlass to allow gamers to interact with the new platform via devices they already own.



Wii U has arguably set the bar in terms of delivering games that span multiple control methods – games like Ubisoft ZombiU shifting gameplay entirely to suit touchscreen-based play – though the console is yet to be a commercial success, arguably due to its reliance on Nintendo's own touch-based controller.

As such, opening up the next Xbox to smartphones and tablets already in consumer's hands, from Windows Phone to Android and iOS, seems like the logical approach.

An eye on UI

It's also been reported by The Verge that a refreshed Xbox's UI could also adopt the controversial Metro system currently utilise by Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Windows RT.

Metro, loved on Windows Phone but criticised by many running Windows 8 on PCs, enables apps to feature 'live tiles' showing key information to users without the app itself needing to be opened.


Windows 8's Metro UI

It's an approach the site claims will hit existing Xbox 360 consoles this summer, likely in preparation for a new Xbox equipped with a similar look launching before the end of the year.

All will be revealed, of course, during Microsoft's Xbox reveal at 10am PDT/6pm BST.





Contributing Editor

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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Ady Carter
Wouldn't surprise me to see them open up xbox games to other tablets and smartphones, they've already done a little bit of that with the iOS version of Wordament which uses your live id and grants xbox achievements.
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