Forza Horizon : Now with more screen!

According to a press release from today, Forza Horizon now supports the new SmartGlass technology available on the Windows 8 platform, with other platforms being available shortly. This is landmark, as this is one of the first games to use the interactive screen which is very similar to Nintendo’s WiiU offering.

 What does this functionality mean to you? In Forza, you could use your smartphone, PC or tablet device as a map interface instead of having to pause the game. This is especially attractive if you tend to play standard rather than automatic shifting, as the manual control scheme doesn’t have a dedicated map button (so you have to hit pause, then select Map).

Having reviewed the game, I noticed in the documentation that they highlighted SmartGlass, and I was looking forward to its release. In fact, several days ago the Xbox Companion app for Windows Phone 7x was upgraded to Xbox SmartGlass, so I had popped in Forza Horizon to see if the functionality was updated in-game : sadly it had not.  The press release seems to indicate that only Windows 8 (and presumably the Surface RT tablets) will be able to access this enhancement – who knows, perhaps the Windows Phone platform will also work – I might just be found speeding around Colorado while operating a cell phone … let’s just hope they don’t call the cops.

Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, at a young age I was forced to decide whether the harsh northern winters were going to claim my fingers, or to turn to the safer pursuits of indoor activities. Little did I know that a little game called Ninja Gaiden would bring my digits more pain than frostbite ever could. Starting with Vectrex and C64 games and moving forward through the era of electronic entertainment, I sampled as much as I could in the different platforms, and began my interest in PC gaming from wrestling with DOS memory management.

While console games were a part of my earliest gaming memories and I certainly had played on most platforms including 3D0, all things Nintendo, PS1 and the like, truly the PC was my domain until the Xbox. As an old PC gamer, I ever chased the cutting edge technology. Eye of the beholder with CGA 4 colors was my first step down the the path of blowing thousands of dollars on PC upgrades over two decades. Ultima 7, with the Guardian talking to me through my monitor, still haunts my dreams and keeps me ever hoping for a decent Ultima 8 and 9. From the 3DFX SLI VooDoo2s and Aureal to today's GPU driven DirectX games, the new and shiny pictures seem to keep me going. My PC gaming has slowed down with the market shift though, and although I have choice games that will ever be on PC, I have found myself in console gaming with a bit of portable gaming in my life.

Back around the turn of the millenium (and long before fatherhood), I had fired off an email offering to help Ron with a little-known site called ConsoleGold. Little did I know it would be be a part of my life to this day. While I've seen my fair share of shovelware (thanks Ron!), I manage to try and find the fun in most games. Leaning towards sandbox and action titles, I've grown to love games for their potential to reach art. Console agnostic and excited for the progress of tomorrow, I fancy the latest and greatest, but still enjoy the good old classics ... as long as they've been revamped from their 8bit graphic roots.

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