Sunday, December 2, 2012

Wii U Gamepad vs. SmartGlass

As I have mentioned in the previous post, the whole dual screen thing doesn't really work all that well with gaming on the big screen mostly because it's awkward to keep looking up and down between the two displays. So the Wii U Gamepad is not necessarily the most successful new innovative idea in gaming but of course that didn't stop Microsoft from attempting to steal Nintendo's thunder when they introduced the SmartGlass application for mobile devices. It was released in early November but I was never curious about it until I started using the Wii U Gamepad so today, I decided to give it a shot. Basically, the SmartGlass allows you to use your mobile devices, the iPad 2 specifically for me, as a second screen (rolls eyes) and a remote for your X-Box 360 console. The fact that this means you don't get real gaming buttons like what the Wii U Gamepad has made it unattractive to begin with yet, the fact that you get to use awesome, huge screens like the one on my iPad 2 redeems it somewhat.
Is the SmartGlass half empty or half full? More like empty in features and full of $#!t.
Just like the Wii U Gamepad, navigating what's on your screen using this thing is rather redundant and unnecessary. You can pretty much do everything you need without the assistance of a second screen. The SmartGlass can be turned into a remote and you get to access touch screen buttons as an input method which is as unsatisfying as it sounds. Also like the Wii U Gamepad, the SmartGlass is really only beneficial to access menus and inventory screens in-game but unlike the Wii U Gamepad, doing so will dictate that you have to get your hands off the actual controller which leads to more awkwardness. I don't have the games that support this app unfortunately to discover if the developers can get clever with its implementation. While playing Eschatos this morning, the SmartGlass showcased details about the game and I thought that was neat. You can access the game's information, achievements (rolls eyes), and related games without accessing the in-game dashboard. Then again, if you are looking at the SmartGlass anyway, why not just access the in-game dashboard on your big screen in the first place? We can all blame Nintendo for this incredibly silly second screen in gaming gimmick because we are all going to suffer for it.
I don't know if I should waste my iPad's battery power for something like this.

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