Wow, who would have thought that social networking would force its way into the world of console gaming. Well it has and can be accessed now even on the Xbox 360. Yep that's right, earlier today a few updated (and free) applications were released for the Xbox 360 (and Live Gold subscribers). The fun new stuff includes access to Facebook, Twitter, and a new version of the video marketplace called Zune Video. This last one allows you to view On-Demand 1080P HD video through your Xbox 360. You can even share your viewing with up to seven friends by using voice chat and what they call Avatar Integration.
The last of the new features is pretty nice but has a couple of tiny, little itty-bitty issues. This is Last.FM an internet connected radio stations (like Pandora) this allows you to create your own mix through the use of Bans, and Loves. The tiny problem we talked about is that it cannot run in the background.
In all the new updates, are interesting but I have to wonder how quickly they will lose their luster and become just another un-used thing on your console.
•Facebook - Update your status to share what movie, game or entertainment you're enjoying, connect with friends and view their Facebook stream, status updates and photos on the big screen - all seamlessly integrated and custom-built for Xbox 360. You can even compare your Xbox LIVE and Facebook friends lists to see which of your friends are on LIVE.
• Zune - Zune video on Xbox LIVE offers a full fidelity experience with instant on HD in 1080p and 5.1 channel surround sound. No waiting for downloads or buffering, it's there at the press of a button. You can also share the experience with up to seven friends through voice chat and Avatar integration on the TV screen - it puts a whole new spin on "movie night."
• Twitter - Stay in the know by discovering, posting and replying to Tweets right on your Xbox 360. You can even view friend profiles, trends and conversations, or search to see who's tweeting about your favorite game.
• Last.fm - Discover more music and explore endless personalized radio stations with Last.fm on Xbox 360. Skip, "ban" or "love" tracks to create your perfect mix-we've even built in "Gamer Stations" with game-related types of music selected specifically for the gaming community (Available in the U.S. and UK)
In addition to these social features, Xbox LIVE will also be debuting "News and More," a new section of the "Inside Xbox" channel, transforming Xbox LIVE into a full-fledged media portal. With a regularly-updated stream of content from MSNBC, The New Yorker and Dilbert, "News and More"
brings the latest in current events, arts and entertainment right to your fingertips.