Finally, I don’t have to leave my Xbox to Tweet about, well, playing my Xbox.
Microsoft released an update which included Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm clients for the Xbox 360 last monday, and business is booming. According to a press release, Microsoft says that millions of Xbox Live members are using the services to connect to their friends, family, and random celebrities.
Although I haven’t had a chance to try these services out, it looks like they’re well constructed and accessible. The most impressive thing is that all of them run just like, if not better than, the originals.
The Facebook service lets users update statuses, post pictures that they’ve taken, post videos of gaming moments, peruse friends’ profiles, connect through Facebook chat, and everything in between. The most impressive part of this is the seamless integration with Xbox’s interface.
Microsoft’s Twitter program stays basic, just like the website. This system lets you post, read, and reply to the users that you are following. The main drawback of this one is that it doesn’t update you while you’re in-game, and who wants to sit and stare at the same screen while they wait to hear what Ashton Kutcher is having for dinner?
Finally, there’s Last.fm, a music streaming service that allows people to create “stations” based on likes and dislikes. It gives you access to the website’s entire catalogue, allows you to create playlists, and even lets you share music with friends. If you want to get rid of the ads though, you’ll have to sign up for an account at $3/month.
All of these services synch with the accounts that users have already created, and even integrate your Xbox Live avatar. Overall, this is a great advancement for Microsoft’s console, but it’s just not convenient enough for my tastes. Typing out each letter by scrolling along an on-screen keyboard with a controller seems like a waste of time. Hopefully, Microsoft can find a better way to integrate these networking tools into games. Until then, I’ll stick to my iPhone.
This update is free for users with an Xbox Live Gold account