Microsoft president Don Mattrick confirmed to VentureBeat Halo 4 will be the first game to work with Microsoft Surface, a new tablet with epic specs set out to rival Apple’s iPad
Games working with Microsoft Surface? It could be interesting, and we’ll get a sense with Halo 4’s integration later this year
At E3 2012, Microsoft showed off SmartGlass – an app for providing added context on TV shows/movies and video games. We saw some concepts, such as items being identified in Halo 4 or a map showing character in real-time when watching Game of Thrones, and Halo 4 will be the first title to utilize Microsoft Surface functionality.
On a panel at GamesBeat 2012, Mattrick confirmed the functionality. Mattrick didn’t expand on what the functionality is, or how meaningful it’ll be, but since Halo 4 has been in development for three years it won’t be anything gameplay-altering. Most likely we’ll see similar integration as Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary had with Kinect: providing added context and enemies and other Halo objects, but otherwise it can probably be dismissed.
It seems strange that Microsoft is not pushing Surface on third-party stores, like Amazon, to get this functionality into consumers’ hands. But then there’s Kinect and its functionality, so there’s a bit of a juggling act emerging for consumers along with buying the game.
In Halo: Anniversary (we’ll call it that for convenience’s sake) allows users to scan enemies for a mini-bio, which was better than strangling games with Kinect controls. And if anybody’s worried that Halo is going to be controlled by Kinect, that’s quite frankly the most ridiculous assertion someone could ever make. Considering Halo is one of the competitive games on MLG, there’s literally nothing to benefit.
The Halo Waypoint mobile app shows a real-time map with player locations, which is sort of like the Wii U GamePad functionality which shows a scoreboard when playing Aliens: Colonial Marines. The only difficulty is that you’re running into the Wii U’s problems of having two screens vying for your attention, so in a competitive game like Halo a second could be someone capturing a flag or getting the final kill. Consequences, people.
Whatever the implementation finally looks like, we’ll all get to see if it we buy Halo 4 November 6.