Microsoft's impressive SmartGlass has been billed by many as a shot across Nintendo's bow. After all, even if the Wii U operates on wholly different technology and software, the end result is remarkably similar. However, at E3, we were able to learn that the Wii U will retain at least one potent advantage over SmartGlass. That is, the ability to play full-scale titles on the second screen.
As much potential as SmartGlass has, the technology will not support streaming full Xbox 360 titles to a SmartGlass enabled-second screen. We were told by the Microsoft representative that the technology required for wirelessly transmitting HD video streams is not inside the current Xbox 360. This is a rare case of software not being able to help Microsoft cover up the Xbox 360's age. Chalk up one for Nintendo.
Of course, that's the Xbox 360 that can't stream full games or HD video to SmartGlass screens. Microsoft would be silly not to offer it in a future console, and by the time the Wii U lands this holiday season new Xbox hardware could be a scant year away.
Microsoft has an interesting foundation in SmartGlass. Now we'll see what the company does with it.
Posted on location at E3 2012 in Los Angeles, California.