Xbox Smartglass release date confirmed

Free Xbox SmartGlass app to launch on October 26th

The free SmartGlass app is set to launch this week enabling touchscreen interface and a range of functions for the Xbox 360 console

Microsoft has unveiled a bold new initiative aimed at increasing media cross platform capability for its consumers. The software giant has announced that, alongside Windows 8 and its Surface tablets, which are being launched on October 26th, it'll be releasing the free SmartGlass app at the same time.

SmartGlass essentially turns any tablet, PC or smartphone into a second screen that can be used as an interface with which to access video, music and gaming content on the Xbox 360 console. SmartGlass functionality will be available on the Xbox 360 dashboard from Friday. Microsoft has already started rolling out the new Xbox 360 dashboard, which now combines Video and TV channels and the Xbox Music services.

SmartGlass functionality is also coming to a raft of first party Xbox 360 videogame titles, such as Forza Horizon, Dance Central 3 and Kinect Sesame Street TV.

Industry analysts have posited that the SmartGlass technology is largely a response from Microsoft to the forthcoming Nintendo Wii U's dual screen functionality.