We’re yet to see real value of second screen play, argues Epic’s Rein

Tuesday, 3rd December 2013 11:45 GMT By Dave Cook

Epic Games vice-president Mark Rein has commented on the state of second-screen play found on Wii U and Xbox SmartGlass. He reckons the method’s killer app will come eventually, but it’s not quite there yet.

Speaking with Alist Daily, Rein mused, “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”

He added, “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 to 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.”

Notable examples of second-screen console play coming in 2014 include Watch Dogs’ superb multiplayer mode – which I sampled and wrote about here – and The Division’s drone strike function. You can also use it in GTA 5′s iChop mini-game and Battlefield 4′s Commander Mode, to name a few.

What’s your take on second screen play so far?

Via MCV.



  1. _LarZen_

    I have big hopes that the companion app for The Division will bring real value of second screen play.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. Old MacDonald

    I’m very interested in two screens. As long as they’re small and fit inside a VR headset.

    I don’t think there’s ever been a time where what gamers want and what console manufacturers and the major games companies think gamers want have been as wildly different as now.

    #2 1 year ago
  3. Matt27

    I was really hoping for great things from the GTAv app. But it was rubbish.
    For the los santos part, I would have liked to see a full list mods available and either a 3D render of the car you were customising or at-least a decent 2d one.
    It would also have been great if you could have had sat nav on your phone to stop you having to go into your pause menu (which takes a while to load sometimes) to set gps points etc. And if you could read all the text messages etc on your phone as well that you get in game that would have been cool.
    Missed opportunity from rockstar I feel, which they’d dedicated a bigger team to it and realised it to it’s full potential.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Erthazus

    It’s a gimmick and will continue to be that way. Mark Rein is right as always.
    But can’t see a killer app to this. Not in this gen at least.

    @1, Stupid idea for people that don’t know how to play. In reality I would kill these guys up there faster then she would start messing around with a tablet or (they would kill me faster) and not stand there and shoot like a bunch of tards.

    The concept is not there yet. I don’t need a help like this from someone.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. viralshag

    @4, You can’t see a killer app in this gen? You have foreseen this within the first two weeks? Amazing.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. schnide

    It’s not that second screen functionality can’t work, it’s just that, so far at least, no-one’s proved it isn’t anything you can’t do in game and/or with current technology. So it’s more hassle than it’s worth.

    And that’s for one key reason – you only have one pair of eyes, so you can only look at one screen at a time, and if you’re going to do that it might as well be the TV.

    #6 1 year ago
  7. runbmp

    I rather enjoy the second screen to be honest. When I play I usually have the BF4 battle log on my second screen in full screen mode. When I launch the multiplayer game I can then click on the battle map to display.

    Its not a deal breaker by any means, but its a nice addition and with large 27in screens it really puts in there when your surrounded by combat screens ;-)

    I personally take any comments coming out of Epic Game with a grain of salt when it comes to hardware. Those boys have loss plot long ago…

    #7 1 year ago
  8. ysleiro

    Isn’t ERTHAZUS the greatest?

    I mean he can already see into the future and he can’t see ONE single app being successful this generation.

    Never mind that in this very article the writer mentions at least 3 cases in which the use of the second screen was worth it (not killer but still worth it) or the fact that the generation is only but TWO weeks old.

    #8 1 year ago

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