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Christmas Gift Guide

Xbox One will support 16 SmartGlass devices, new app coming

Microsoft's next console will let you pair 16 devices to it using its SmartGlass app. Let the games begin.

The Xbox One will support eight controllers, letting an octuplet of gamers play at once. But that's nothing. The new Xbox SmartGlass app will support up to 16 devices, meaning multiplayer mayhem on… er, Monopoly. And hopefully some more exciting titles.

The SmartGlass app will be all new, opening up your console's potential no end. The connection between your SmartGlass device and One console will be three and a half times faster than on the Xbox 360, Microsoft GM and SmartGlass team leader Ron Pessner told Engadget. And that's just the start.

You can buy games on the go through the SmartGlass app, so they'll be ready and waiting when you get home. Which should be something to look forward to if you're out Christmas shopping.

Every game will have some kind of SmartGlass functionality built in. Manuals can be pushed to your phone or tablet, doing away with the paper copies once and for all. It'll also be a good way to check your performance stats, rather than cluttering up the main screen.

The app will still be free, Pessner says, and will "turn any smart device into a wonderful companion for the Xbox One", he told TechRadar. "It should be a second screen that is tuned to what the users are doing and keep them engaged even when they are not in the living room," he continued. "I would say you should think about it as a long tether to your console that extends the experience."

The Xbox One will touch down in the UK on 22 November -- that's a week before the PS4. Microsoft's console is £80 more expensive than Sony's, and the games retail for around £50.

Who do you think will win the next-gen console war? Is SmartGlass the feather in Microsoft's cap? Let me know in the comments, or on our Facebook page.