Mark Rein unconvinced by second screen gaming

Mark Rein unconvinced by second screen gaming
Aaron Lee

By Aaron Lee

December 3rd 2013 at 10:54AM

Epic VP feels SmartGlass and other companion apps are yet to prove their worth in gaming

Epic Games vice president Mark Rein has been unimpressed by second screen experiences to date, and believes we are yet to see a killer app for the technology in games.

Speaking to the Alist Daily, Rein said that second screen has proven itself for linear media, such as films and TV, but has complicated interactive experiences, rather than becoming an integral part of them.

“I think we’ve yet to see the real value of the second screen idea, if you’re talking about [Xbox] SmartGlass and companion apps and things like that. But that doesn't mean that it won’t be big one day. I don’t really know what it is yet," said Rein.

“Where I really use SmartGlass is for choosing things from the menu and navigating the store instead of using the controller. It's great for watching a movie and then continuing it on my tablet when I walk away. There are lots of great uses and applications," he said.

"Where it fits into gaming, I don't know. I’m not sold on picking up my tablet to choose my play and then putting it back down and picking up my controller. It's kind of a wonky way to choose a play, so I don't know if that's how it's going to go or not.

“Developers should try everything and have lots of fun with it, and sooner or later there will be a killer app for that sort of thing, too.”

Epic has had huge success with its Infinity Blade franchise, which has twice been used to showcase the gaming power of Apple’s iPhone at the unveiling of new iterations.

Rein added that the industry needs to stop seeing tablets and mobiles as being unable to co-exist with consoles.

“They’re never going to be a one-to-one console to tablet because one you plug into a wall, one you carry around with you. That doesn’t mean that they won’t have the same amount of power and you won’t be able to plug your tablet into the wall and add a controller and play it like a console. I think that’s inevitable. I think Apple's now embraced having a controller.”