November 17, 2009
Posted: 10:57 AM ET
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In an effort to blur the line between gaming and social networks, owners of Xbox 360s will have the chance to bash zombies and then post Facebook updates about it without leaving their consoles.
Microsoft announced that several social media and audio/video services can be accessed through the Xbox 360, starting today. The new features will be part of an automatic update, so when users turn on their consoles and the update kicks in, all the features will be ready for use. Most of the services are limited to Gold members, but a few are available to Silver members.
Facebook and Twitter have signed up to allow connectivity through Xbox LIVE directly from the console. All current features of the social networks will be available, and gamers will be able to share their favorite gaming moments (in supported games) with their friends.
In addition to watching movies from Netflix, as part of a previous deal, Xbox users also will be able to stream high-definition video through the Zune media player - coincidentally, also made by Microsoft. The Zune Marketplace, which includes the Zune Video player, is available to Silver members.
Also, as of today Last.fm joins with the new Xbox LIVE music channel, allowing for access to streaming music directly from the Xbox 360. The updated music channel lets users listen to personal recommendations from Last.fm’s dedicated menu on the console’s dashboard.
All Xbox users will be able to check out the new features during a “Free Gold Weekend” Friday, November 20 through Monday, November 23. Silver members will be able to try out everything that comes with Gold membership, including Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm.
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