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Xbox Gains Facebook and Twitter Integration

Xbox Gains Facebook and Twitter Integration
Microsoft's Xbox is about to get a lot more social. Twitter and Facebook will soon be coming to the system, Microsoft announced Monday, bringing an interactive boost to the entertainment console.

The Xbox Twitter-Facebook Integration

The Xbox Twitter-Facebook integration, revealed at the E3 video game conference in Los Angeles, will bring the two services into the Xbox Live online gaming service. In addition to the service's multiplayer functionality, you'll be able to send and receive status updates with the social networks straight from your Xbox console.

Some games will be ready to take advantage of the added options, too. An upcoming version of Tiger Woods PGA Tour, for example, will allow you to send screenshots and score updates directly into your Facebook stream via the Facebook Connect interface. You'll also have the option of inviting friends to join your games without so much as shifting your eyes off the screen. It's all expected to become available sometime this coming fall.

Last.FM and Other Additions

Twitter and Facebook aren't the only social services being added into the Xbox world -- music-streaming service Last.FM will be built into Microsoft's expanded Xbox offering as well. Xbox Live users with paid "gold-level" subscriptions will be able to listen to tunes via their consoles, using the site's "personalized radio station" setup to select songs.

Microsoft also confirmed a new partnership with U.K.-based Sky TV that'll let British users view movies and live TV shows through their Xbox systems. Of course, you can do that here in the States now, too, if you know how.

Amidst all the excitement, one burning question has yet to be answered: With Microsoft's search service, Live, now officially known as "Bing," will Xbox Live follow suit?

"Xbox Bing." Hmm...let's hope that doesn't happen.

Connect with JR Raphael on Twitter (@jr_raphael) or via his Web site, jrstart.com.

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