Microsoft’s Xbox for Social Networking

Gaming standards have surely changed; and DELL Corporation a computer maker realized this when it acquired Alienware Corporation a wholly owned subsidiary in March 2006. DELL is notorious for high performance systems and this has earned them the right of having 24 of the worlds supercomputers running on their technology. Alienware Corporation is the leading manufacturer of high performance computing systems that are best suited for gamerz. They come laden with state-of-the-art components, innovative engineering, and unprecedented customer service to deliver the ultimate in performance and style. These high tech features ensure that your gaming experience is off the roof.

Talking of gaming platforms; Microsofts Xbox is taking social networking to the next level. With its new software update to the Xbox gamers will be able to share on their favorite social network their gaming experience. This update will come with applications that will enable read and tweet on Twitter or sync your Facebook friends with those at Xbox Live.

As you would expect the features of these applications as in comparison with their PC is counterparts is quite limited. This is understandable since Microsoft Gaming had to work with a system that does not implement a browser, mouse or keyboard, instead the user will interact using the Xbox controller, on-screen keyboard and maybe an attached USB keyboard or the Microsoft Chatpad.

Building the 360 without a browser was never an issue before but now that social networking sites will be integrated in the gaming systems software updates, implementing a browser will not be a bad idea. However the time line has run down to the last minutes and integrating a browser will not be that easy. The essence of social networking sites will be lost unless Microsoft comes up with something more intuitive to support the applications.

Zune

Zune application on the Xbox 360

You would wonder why Microsoft has decided to use Zune instead of its Xbox Live brand on the but in a statement by Ron Pessner of Microsoft Entertainment he said that this was a move to put out Zune as the Videos and Music brand on the Xbox. The Zune app also applies its adaptive streaming technology which allows you stream videos almost instantly. The stream quality then improves 10 seconds after the app is started and just before you jump to other sections. In the demo the video streaming is more improved as compared to the current Xbox Live streaming service. The video starts playing almost immediately without having some buffer load. In my opinion the better performance exhibited by the Zune app was key in its brand being used for the videos and music. Another plus also goes to its technologically advanced capability in streaming, since this will really come in handy for those guys with the 20 gb that came with the 2004 version. They would not have to download the movie before they would have to watch it. This would negatively impact the 20 gigs space.

Twitter

xbox_twitter

The Big Blue Display on the Twitter app for Xbox

Another beautiful integration is the twitter app. If you have a flat panel display from Dell the leading manufacturer then the full blue display will blow you away. In addition to the twitter search tool you can scroll through 50 or so of the latest tweets from those you are following.

Posting your tweet can be kind of tricky because of the type-in limits of the input devices available on the Xbox. A good thing about the twitter app is that it is not tied in anyway to your Xbox Live account. This way you have the freedom to move through different twitter accounts without conflicts. Now comes Facebook…

Facebook

xbox360_facebook

Working on a facebook application for a gaming system like Xbox would be quite difficult. Facebook entails a lot of features; these include its developer apps for games, video and photos modules and not to mention the add blocks. With twitter just reading tweets is not enough , the fun is in clicking on the links that are presented on the tweets.

The facebook app like the twitter app allows you to view status updates and with Facebook Connect send your game progress. It is expected that any social media application should implement photos and videos. In the demo the focus is on photos, the photo viewing tool enables the users scroll through friends photos on full screen. What is impressive is the speed at which you can flip through the photos slide show. This feature can be enhanced further since the Xbox has built in photo viewing tools that emulate standard PC photo browsing experience. The drawback again lies with the input device that is the 360 controller.

Other apps include Last.fm. Last.fm is owned by CBS integration is a great tool for noob users to discover new tracks. Its presence on the Xbox software update is not surprising at all since we have seen it in almost all devices with an internet connection. If you have a Last.fm account you can just connect it to the app and have it sync your play list, favorites, and listening history.

The Xbox is a gaming platform and Microsoft’s has move to team up with Last.fm to produce music tracks that are more game oriented. Many a user will prefer listening to music through the Xbox in-built Media player rather than the Last.fm app because it allows you to only launch it and it alone. The Xbox player can run on the background allowing you to do other things as you listen to the music. Besides, what good is a gaming system if an application won’t let you enjoy its full potential?

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