If there was a buzzword at E3 2013 that really captured our imagination, it was “second screen.” The promise of using your smartphones and tablets as auxiliary devices in your console gaming experience seemed like a stroke of brilliance. It was like peanut butter meeting jelly.
But then developers tried it, and nothing ever really stuck.
Whether it was using your iPad to keep an eye on maps in Assassin’s Creed IV, or breaking our your Android phone to stick the cops on your friends in Need for Speed, second screen apps were never really implemented in a way that had any stickiness. But after seeing a handful of announcements at E3 2015, I’m starting to think this might finally be changing for the better.
With Bethesda announcing their Fallout 4 PipBoy smartphone accessory on Sunday night, the era of meaningful second screens seems to have finally been given the green light. On the evening that followed, EA introduced an app that’s not quite as showy, but has the potential to solve a problem that has plagued gamers for for years now — creating a character that looks just like you.
Dubbing the technology Game Face HD, NBA Live 16 is the “only” place you’ll be able to use it. And yes, “only” is in quotation marks because, if this works, I’ll bet we see it in every other EA game by the time next year’s E3 rolls around.
The technology is simple enough — you’ll scan your face using your device’s camera, turning your head back and forth. “It takes about 5 seconds,” the game’s executive produce Sean O’Brien said in the conference. And the results — at least the ones they showed off on stage — are incredible.
We won’t know how well this actually works until its released into the real world alongside NBA Live 16 on September 29th. Fingers crossed, people. This could be the real thing.