On the ashes of MySpace, Facebook has risen to become an internet powerhouse for social-networking. Now Xbox Live subscribers can keep track of friends and associates thanks to the Fall 2009 dashboard update. Through the Xbox 360 dash, users can login to their Facebook account and do the same things that are possible via the official website such as viewing photos, reading news feeds, posting comments and updating your status. We really enjoyed the ability to browse photos on our big screen TV.
One of the hottest social-networking outlets now is Twitter. The text-message-like format—limiting user entries or “tweets” to 140 characters—makes for quick broadcasting of updates to the user’s list of “followers.” The new Xbox 360 dashboard enables easy sign in to the user’s account, entry of new “What are you doing?” status updates and viewing of the other accounts’ tweets. It also provides access to other Twitter features, such as search.
It originally started as an Internet “radio” service to stream music to computers, but Last.FM soon be added to the Xbox 360 dashboard. Though the record companies have restricted it so you can’t actually hear a specific song you’d like to listen to, but by entering a song or group name, you’ll be able to create a personalized “station” that streams songs that match your selection or are in the category (based on keyword matching).
Zune Video Marketplace
The Zune Video Marketplace brings streaming movies and television to the Xbox 360 by offering both standard and high-definition viewing options. The Zune Video Marketplace saves time as users no longer have to wait for a video to finish downloading before watching. The HD content supports up to 1080p for the highest picture and color quality available. Party Mode allows users to share the experience with up to seven friends. One of the best new features of the Zune Video Marketplace is that you can make one purchase and the content can play on your Zune HD device, PC or Xbox 360.
As cool as it is that Last.FM, Twitter and Facebook will be accessible through the Xbox 360 dashboard, the restriction—at this point, at least—is that you can’t access them at any time, such as when you’re playing a game. Separate (and small) applications need to be downloaded in order to add access, but you have to close any single app to start a game. Perhaps Microsoft will add functionality that will enable games and utility apps to run concurrently, because in its current form, it’s somewhat limited.
Here's a look at the dashboard updates in action as we give you an exclusive video walkthrough!
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