Twitter, Facebook Now Available Via Microsoft's Xbox Live

Dennis Faas's picture

Users of Microsoft's popular Xbox Live online gaming community for the Xbox 360 can now interact with friends in that annoying real world outside Halo 3 matchmaking forums. It's good news for the social lives of clammy-skinned basement gamers, but is it worth all that and a bag of chips?

For those who don't have an Xbox 360, you can think of Xbox Live as a sort of online operating system for gamers. Anyone who can connect with a wireless or Ethernet cord to a high speed router can get online, allowing them access to all kinds of free game demos, movie trailers, and even gaming guides. Users who pay the extra $60/year for a Gold membership can not only do all of that, but they can also play games with and against one another.

Bringing the World to Live

Xbox Live is a slick system. Users can download full-length movies in standard and high definition and even the complete versions of new and old games. However, until this week subscribers weren't yet able to easily chat with their friends who didn't own an Xbox 360.

That's changed with the introduction of Twitter and Facebook functionality. Users of Xbox Live will be asked to update their systems, whereupon Twitter will immediately be displayed in the "My Community" section of the interface. An extra 10MB download (that's nothing for even 20GB HDD users) is required to get Facebook. (Source:

Both are thus far receiving positive reviews from critics. Those who love knowing everything going on with their friends will immediately fall in love with the constantly updating Twitter feed (about once every minute) with new tweets from friends. (It can also be manually updated by plugging the Y button.) Unfortunately, because there's no browser on the Xbox Live interface, users won't be able to follow links to non-Facebook or Twitter sites.

Hidden Costs Promise MS More $$

The draw of Facebook, as on computers, is the ability to look at friends' goofy pictures from the previous Saturday night bash. This works pretty well on the Xbox Live app, though the images aren't quite as high-res as they might look on a PC monitor. However, they're impressive enough to justify the download, and there's always the ability to flip through and comment on the thousands available online. (Source:

Unfortunately, those who really get into these new apps will probably have to make a new purchase: Microsoft's keyboard attachment, which snaps a QWERTY device into the arching curve below the standard Xbox 360 controller. These retail for about $29.99 at most electronics stores.

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