Microsoft to release Game of Thrones Xbox SmartGlass app this week

In June 2012, Microsoft officially announced Xbox SmartGlass during its E3 2012 press event. Part of its presentation for the "second screen" app service was showing off how it would work while watching HBO's hit fantasy TV series Game of Thrones. Today, Microsoft announced that the Game of Thrones Xbox SmartGlass app will finally be released this week just ahead of the show's season three premiere on Sunday.

Microsoft's Major Nelson website has the details:

As the story unfolds on your TV, Xbox SmartGlass allows you to use your tablet as a companion guide to unlock exclusive content – including interactive maps, detailed character guides, cast and crew commentaries, behind-the-scenes extras and more – right at your fingertips. Now, you can control your Game of Thrones viewing experience like never before.

The Game of Thrones Xbox SmartGlass will be based in the US only and support Windows 8 tablets as well as Apple's iPad (sorry, Android and Windows Phone owners).

Microsoft also announced that a number of new streaming video services will be added next week for Xbox 360 owners in the US. Baseball fans awaiting the start of the 2013 season in a few days will be able to download MLB.TV Refresh, which will offer over 1,430 Major League Baseball games, either live or on demand, along with other features. Microsoft states:

The updated MLB.TV includes a full view of game progress with base-runners and pitch-count, all without leaving the game you’re watching. Also, it allows you to get a quick view of the day’s MLB action with game progress including scores, base-runners and upcoming games. The refreshed app is more personalized and once you pick your favorite teams, the app will instantly start up with what you care about most – live games, clips and highlights, and game recaps of your favorite teams.

Other streaming video apps coming this week include IndieFlix (independent movies), Revision 3 (the Internet-based video network), PopcornFlix (free streaming movies) and Toys “R” Us Movies (kids and family movies for rent or purchase)

Source: Major Nelson | Image via Microsoft

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17 Comments

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I am still waiting on an HBO subscription without the need for cable or other provider. Why is that too much to ask? in this internet age where Netflix can stream me movies in HD, HBO can't do the same with out Comcast??

Oh well, no loss to me. I don't even know what the hell Game Of Thrones is.
And I definitely don't need another streaming video service that costs money. Already got Netflix on all my devices.

Interactive TV of some kind has been being pushed for over a decade, none of it took hold. I can't say that it isn't a market... I frequently watch shows at my computer or with my laptop and look up IMDB or whatever when I see something interesting. It will be interesting to see what the service provides.

There is a lot of potential here but it will never be realized unless studios embrace it. It's the chicken and the egg problem. Microsoft needs partners in this. The Xbox gaming became a succes because Microsoft had a healthy relationship with its partners when it came to developing and publishing support.

If people have the tech they'll might be more inclined to purchase or rent a digital copy instead of pirating it. Microsoft should use that argument to bring more partners to smartglass. It could be a gateway to making the Xbox brand have succes outside of gaming.

Ronnet said,
There is a lot of potential here but it will never be realized unless studios embrace it. It's the chicken and the egg problem. Microsoft needs partners in this. The Xbox gaming became a succes because Microsoft had a healthy relationship with its partners when it came to developing and publishing support.

If people have the tech they'll might be more inclined to purchase or rent a digital copy instead of pirating it. Microsoft should use that argument to bring more partners to smartglass. It could be a gateway to making the Xbox brand have succes outside of gaming.

I expect a big update to smartglass when the next Xbox comes out to better take advantage of multitasking which the new system will allow. Then we get a true second screen experience in my opinion. One person can be in a game and another can access the dashboard to do other things and so on.

the better twin said,
I don't see why, when engrossed in a show, you would want to look away to a small tablet screen for some useless background info.

Just pause the show.

the better twin said,
I don't see why, when engrossed in a show, you would want to look away to a small tablet screen for some useless background info.

I've read the books so I know all the characters. Fans of the show might have searched for some background information as well. But a regular viewer who enjoyed previous seasons might have forgotten who was who and what they were doing. As the show progresses more characters and subplots will be added so smartglass will become a much more useful tool.

Melfster said,
To know what the hell is going on I think it is very useful especially show like Game of Thrones.

Well here's a radical idea, maybe you should be paying attention to the show to know what's going on? Honestly peoples attention spans these days are terrible.

SoylentG said,
And so concludes today's episode of "Need to find some petty reason to whine and complain about Microsoft"

Says it all about yourself that you are so paranoid to think I was "whining and complaining" about Microsoft. My comments were directed to the "second screen" philosophy itself. I would find it distracting to the real content on the main screen.

the better twin said,

Says it all about yourself that you are so paranoid to think I was "whining and complaining" about Microsoft. My comments were directed to the "second screen" philosophy itself. I would find it distracting to the real content on the main screen.

Not paranoid, just questioning the whining about some people maybe wanting to find out more about a show. While watching a show, I like to know more about it than what they tell you. I have never seen Game Of Thrones, but from what I hear it is a show about midieval battles. When I watch a show like that, I try to find out information like the history of the location, if it is based upon real characters, find out about those historic people. I don't just sit and veg out, but actually try to learn from fiction. If a show feeds me such information through Smartglass and provides me links to Wikipedia or other links to research, then I am all for it. And if it is a good show, I watch it a few times because even if you completely concentrate on a show you still miss small bits here and there. But it seems like you were whining just to complain about something.

the better twin said,

Well here's a radical idea, maybe you should be paying attention to the show to know what's going on? Honestly peoples attention spans these days are terrible.

Seriously! I never read the books and don't have a hard time following it at all. When watching an episode of GoT...or any show for that matter...that is the only thing I do. But so many people in this day and age are ADD crazy and can't focus on tying their shoes it seems.

SoylentG said,

Not paranoid, just questioning the whining about some people maybe wanting to find out more about a show. While watching a show, I like to know more about it than what they tell you. I have never seen Game Of Thrones, but from what I hear it is a show about midieval battles. When I watch a show like that, I try to find out information like the history of the location, if it is based upon real characters, find out about those historic people. I don't just sit and veg out, but actually try to learn from fiction. If a show feeds me such information through Smartglass and provides me links to Wikipedia or other links to research, then I am all for it. And if it is a good show, I watch it a few times because even if you completely concentrate on a show you still miss small bits here and there. But it seems like you were whining just to complain about something.

I find your posts to be very entertaining because you mainly whine about other people whining.

I have read the books but there is a lot back Story in the books not mention their are places where the books and TV show deviates from the books. If there is extra information available with show. I don't problem with it I just don't some other people do.