About Judy

As WP's senior editor, I edit review and preview articles, attempt to keep up with the frantic pace of Rainier's news posts, and keep our reviewers on deadline, which is akin to herding cats. When I have a moment to myself and don't have my nose in a book, I like to play action/RPG, adventure and platforming games...

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Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, Games on Demand, New Titles Coming to Xbox Live

by Judy on June 1, 2009 @ 3:50 p.m. PDT

Groove, party or connect with a friend. Xbox Live today announced that Facebook and Last.fm would be tailor-made for your TV, only on Xbox 360. Microsoft also announced Twitter for the X360 and Xbox Live Party for movies, which allows movie experiences to be shared on the couch or across the country over Xbox Live. Future updates will include Games on Demand, unlockable in-game Avatar Awardables, user ratings, and a continuation of XBLA games over the summer.

"We are always asking ourselves how to make the TV more social," said John Schappert, corporate vice president of Interactive Entertainment Live, Software and Studios at Microsoft. "By bringing Facebook, Last.fm and Xbox Live Party for movies and TV shows to Xbox Live, we're not only extending the walls of your living room beyond your home to your friends in different corners of the world, we're creating the definitive social network, uniting more than 200 million people to share status updates, pictures, thoughts on music and the world's best online gaming experience."

The addition of Facebook to Xbox Live means friends are always connected, anytime, anywhere — from virtually any couch. But updating your status and sharing photos won't be the only things you can do. Using Facebook Connect, you can share your greatest moments in gaming by posting updates and screenshots from supported games directly to Facebook. Don't let your moment of glory fade away — make sure everyone sees it with Facebook Connect, starting with the future version of the premier EA SPORTS golf franchise "Tiger Woods PGA Tour."

A first for TV, Last.fm1, part of the CBS Interactive Music Group, will give Xbox Live subscribers access to millions of songs streaming through Xbox 360 to the best speakers in the house. Xbox Live subscribers will be able to create their own free, personalized radio stations and listen to them with friends in the living room or across the country.

Xbox 360 also solidified its place as one of the leading social entertainment networks by announcing Xbox Live Party for movies. Go to the cinema with your friends whether you are sitting on the same couch or in living rooms across the country. Starting this year, you can share a virtual theater, see your avatar (a virtual you) on the screen, all while you listen to each other laugh and cry at the movie through voice chat on Xbox Live. With movie parties, the only thing you can't share is the popcorn.

Some of the new gaming and community features coming to Xbox Live this fall:

  • Games on Demand. Xbox Live has changed the way you play your games, and now we're changing the way you access them, with the digital distribution of full Xbox 360 games. The Games on Demand channel will launch with a library more than 30 great games, from classic hits like "Mass Effect," "BioShock" and "Assassin's Creed," to family favorites like "LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga" and "Sonic the Hedgehog." You'll have access to a wide variety of great games, downloadable in only a few hours and at the touch of a button. We've also added the option to purchase Games on Demand directly with your credit or debit card.
  • Great games on Xbox Live and Xbox Live Arcade. Xbox Live Arcade is keeping the fun rolling all summer long. We are continuing our commitment to quality and innovation by delivering five weeks of downloadable blockbusters with the second annual Summer of Arcade – bringing you the biggest and best smash hits of the season including "Shadow Complex," "Trials HD," "Splosion Man," "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles : Turtles in Time Re-Shelled," and "Marvel VS. Capcom 2." And of course I'm excited to see the launch of our beta season of "1 vs 100" today. I'm also already playing a ton of our newly announced game, "Joy Ride," and I can't wait for you to experience it this holiday.
  • Avatar Marketplace. Since the launch of NXE, millions of Avatars have been created on Xbox Live, giving our members a whole new way to express themselves online, in games, and in their social experiences. Starting this summer, you will see some great new ways to make your Avatar truly your own. First, we heard loud and clear from you that you wanted to get new avatar items as awards when playing games, and I'm happy to announce support for in-game Avatar Awardables. Second, you're going to see some great new options with animated Props and full costumes to add to your Avatar. Finally, we're continuing that spirit of customization and self-expression with a virtual closet full of premium clothing and interactive props to download and purchase for your Avatar. Whether its game-inspired gear or the latest fashion trends, there will be creative options for everyone to enjoy. You'll also be able to easily access the new Avatar Marketplace directly through the Avatar editor.
  • User Ratings. We're adding a five star rating system that lets you easily rate any content in the Games Marketplace. Now you'll be able to show your support for your favorite games and Game Add-ons on Xbox Live and also quickly organize by user rating to find the community's favorite content. This has been one of your most-requested features, and we're very happy to bring it to you this summer.
  • Performance Updates. We know that the details also matter. First and foremost, the entire Xbox Live service is being upgraded for improved performance including better guide and friends access. Some other things we've done based on your feedback include revamping the friends sorting list, Achievement views and improving our matchmaking support.

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