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The Xbox 360 Meets Social Networking

June 18th, 2009

At this years E3 Expo Microsoft announced that the social networks Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm will become part of the Xbox Live experience. Mark Kroese, General Manager, Entertainment and Devices, for Microsoft Advertising said in a recent interview that the Xbox is three things; it’s a gaming console, a entertainment service, and a social network. Mr. Kroese went on to say that the combination of the Xbox Live community with these social networks makes the Xbox the worlds largest social community.

Well it didn’t take long for the media to jump on the bandwagon. Advertising Age recently ran a article “How Xbox’s Social Strategy Could Change Gaming Forever.” and while I must admit that I was somewhat excited to see these services added to Xbox Live, I see this as nothing more than a first step in what will likely be a long process if it is to truely change the way we interact while playing games.

At the moment all we are really getting is a version of these popular social networks on the Xbox platform. For these services to take off and add value to the gaming experience one of the biggest obstacle that must be overcome stems from the reason users turn on their gaming consoles in the first place, to play games. A similar situation happened with when advertisements were first launched on Facebook. Not that long ago the ad industry couldn’t stop talking about the size of Facebooks network and the opportunities it would open up for advertisers; however, in the end people did not pay much attention to the ads because they were too busy socializing with their friends.

In the end, for social networking to really change gaming, the gaming and social networking industries will need to rethink how people interact while playing games and integrate social networking services around the idea of gaming, not merely adding existing social networking services to another platform. Only when this occurs can we truly say that social networking has changed gaming forever.

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  1. Mary
    June 23rd, 2009 at 20:11 | #1

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  2. June 25th, 2009 at 17:40 | #2

    Loved your latest post, by the way.

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