Xbox Wire has posted a new interview with Xbox Live General Manager Ron Pessner on how the Xbox One’s SmartGlass features will work. He mentions some interesting features including online matchmaking, companion apps, TV, and friends list functionality.
SmartGlass is a free downloadable companion application for the Xbox One, and will be separate from the existing SmartGlass app for Xbox 360. Pessner states that the new app is about three-and-a-half times faster than its predecessor. This is huge, because it means that the app will only take a few seconds to connect, unlike the 360 which takes far too long in its current state (go home, Xbox 360). Once you’ve synced the first time, I’d imagine he means during each play session, reconnecting will be even faster.
The app will also be used as an extension of the game world in certain console titles; Dead Rising 3 and Project Spark are confirmed launch titles that will take advantage of this feature. In Dead Rising 3, for example, SmartGlass can start a new mission or find hidden in-game items and locations. Pessner mentions that although none of this is required, some games may include exclusive missions and special rewards, like an airstrike that you can call in with SmartGlass to clear an escape path if you’re stuck in a zombie horde.
You will be able to check in on your friends’ game progress, shop in the Xbox Games Store, and compare achievements and challenges with friends. The Game DVR clips created by your friends can be viewed as well. Lastly, SmartGlass will basically have full control over your home entertainment system, including cable and satellite set-top boxes.
Personally, I’m excited for the improved connectivity and new gameplay features. More details are to be revealed in the days leading up to Xbox One’s November 22nd, 2013 release.