Microsoft has described its new SmartGlass technology as the next step in its journey to make Xbox synonymous with entertainment” following the 2010 release of Kinect.
SmartGlass has been designed to offer creative opportunities both for games developers and content providers.
Although no finished products were shown, Microsoft did play showreels from developers such as 343 Industries and EA demonstrating the sort of functionality that SmartGlass could offer.
Does it seem as if the product is designed to take some of the wind out of Nintendo's Wii U sails? Yes it does.
And as Microsoft was very keen to stress, a large proportion of tis user base will already own a smartphone or tablet, meaning that they're all good to go as soon as the software is released.
It's no surprise, too, that both Windows Phone 7 and the upcoming Windows 8 OS have been designed from the ground up to support SmartGlass.
Xbox is on a mission to make the entertainment that you love even more amazing,” president of Microsoft's Interactive Entertainment Business Don Mattrick stated.
With Xbox SmartGlass, we are lighting up entertainment across your phone, tablet, PC and TV in a completely new way. If you love to play games, watch TV and movies, surf the web or listen to music, there has never been a better time to be on Xbox.”
Interestingly, when coupled with Xbox 360's new Internet Explorer expansion and the increased Kinect functionality, Microsoft seems to be repositioning the console as a possible PC substitute, as much as simply a living room entertainment hub.