Microsoft shows off SmartGlass and lots of shooters at E3 Press Conference


A simpler example was watching a movie on a tablet, then sending it to the TV and having the tablet automagically switch to meta-data about the movie being watched (synopsis, cast, director, etc.).

Along with Smartglass Microsoft confirmed IE's pending arrival on the Xbox 360, and the two work together in an interesting way. Essentially you can use your phone/tablet like a giant trackpad for your TV display. Rather than try to browse around using an Xbox controller you just touch your device and you'll see a pointer on the TV. Drag around and tap to navigate. It was a pretty impressive demo.

Microsoft is also still pushing its platform as the new media hub for your living room. They say they're adding 35 new partners for streaming content this year. Specifically called out was NBA Live and NHL. Once those get on the Xbox the NFL will be the only major league that Microsoft isn't offering, and via ESPN we'll even get some NFL content.

Microsoft's long-rumored new music service, or re-branding of Zune (depending on how you want to look at it) was announced but not a lot of time was spent on it. It wasn't at all clear how it'll differentiate itself from other digital music offerings.

As much as the Smartglass stuff looks interesting, I didn't come away from the conference all that excited about the Xbox 360 as a gaming console. It seems like Microsoft was really playing it safe this year, rolling out new iterations of established franchises and not doing very much more. We all know Xbox 720 is on its way and I guess Microsoft is holding back its really innovative new franchises to launch on the new hardware.

Read more of Peter Smith's TechnoFile blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Follow Peter on Twitter at @pasmith. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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