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Why Facebook, Twitter on Game Consoles Miss The Point

Adding Twitter and Facebook to game consoles is a good idea, but both Sony and Microsoft are missing the point.

These social networks are tools that can be used for all kinds of things. Their usefulness to gamers doesn't spawn from the ability to learn in real time that your best friend's wife is psyched to see New Moon. Social networking on game consoles must make it easier to find and connect friends to game with. And the way that they're implemented now on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, they aren't coming close to doing that.

Microsoft's and Sony's implementations of Twitter and Facebook on their game machines are only leveraging a tiny fraction of their powers. That needs to change.

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pixelsword2861d ago (Edited 2861d ago )

Instead of talking about how they could improve, he spends most of the article complaining about the PS3 version and then wraps it up by saying they both need to change because none of them can "be used while you’re playing a game or watching a movie". If the writer of the story actually thought up some practical or thoughtful improvements, it would be a great article. Who the blankety-blank will be in the middle of watching Fight Club and suddenly think "Gosh, I really need to see how Billy is doing in Mirror's Edge!"

Well, you know me guys; when I see a whacked story, I post it to steal their hits. Do better next time, wired.com.

GameLife Your Source for Gaming News Since 20XX
Why Facebook, Twitter on Game Consoles Miss The Point

* By Gus Mastrapa Email Author
* November 19, 2009 |
* 5:40 pm |
* Categories: Console Games, Online Gaming
*

facebox

Adding Twitter and Facebook to game consoles is a good idea, but both Sony and Microsoft are missing the point.

These social networks are tools that can be used for all kinds of things. Their usefulness to gamers doesn’t spawn from the ability to learn in real time that your best friend’s wife is psyched to see New Moon. Social networking on game consoles must make it easier to find and connect friends to game with. And the way that they’re implemented now on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, they aren’t coming close to doing that.

Microsoft’s and Sony’s implementations of Twitter and Facebook on their game machines are only leveraging a tiny fraction of their powers. That needs to change.

One of the key features of Xbox 360 is facilitating gamer socialization. On Xbox Live, it’s very easy for friends to communicate while playing games. Four years on, Sony still has some catching up to do: The PlayStation 3 network looks and feels like Microsoft’s, but under the hood it is missing vital functionality, like the ability to chat with friends even if you’re playing different games.

But with social networks like Twitter and Facebook thriving, and third-party social networking websites like Raptr stepping in to fill in the blanks, even Microsoft’s innovative and acclaimed setup is starting to feel old-fashioned.

Microsoft’s introduction of Facebook and Twitter channels for the Xbox 360 last week represented a tentative step in allowing gamers to have their online voices heard outside the walled garden of the Xbox Live service.

Sony’s recent efforts are mostly baby steps — the company seems to be expanding into this area cautiously after after the massively hyped but ultimately failed effort of PlayStation Home, a realistic virtual space like Second Life that was meant to connect PlayStation 3 gamers.

On Wednesday, Sony updated the PlayStation 3’s firmware with additional Facebook support. PlayStation 3 owners have long been able to use Twitter and Facebook on their console, because unlike Microsoft’s machine, Sony’s has a web browser.

This update includes improvements to the browser that make the Facebook website look and work better when viewed on the PS3. Sony has also put some effort towards helping Facebook interface with PS3 games: Depending on your settings, the PS3 will update your Facebook status when you earn trophies or download a game from the PlayStation Store.

Whatever. Updates about a player’s in-game progress are little more than advertising. Gamers want more utility out of these features: not just bragging rights, but honest-to-God improvements in the way we play with friends.

Unfortunately, these apps are hobbled for one big reason: none of them, on either console, can be used while you’re playing a game or watching a movie. You have to quit your game and start up a separate program to update your status or see what your friends are up to.

In other words, Sony and Microsoft are totally missing the point. Twitter and Facebook are valuable organization tools for making play dates, rallying troops for clan practice or recruiting friends for co-op.

And without the ability to use these services while a game is in progress, you still have to keep your iPhone or netbook open on the coffee table if you want to ping your friends during gameplay.

That’s not convergence. It’s clutter.

TheTimeDoctor2861d ago

you, my friend, are a rebel!

Automat2860d ago

Twatter and Facef!ck and go suck themselves!