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Is Xbox live a wasted social opportunity?

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I love my Xbox 360. Right now I’m in the firm grip of an addiction to Gears of War 2. My facebook profile pic is me “rocking out” with my imitation Gibson Guitar Hero controller. I really am that sad.

But I get annoyed at how little I am able to integrate my Xbox live account with other parts of my online life. I know it’s possible to fudge together a gamercard widget for ones blog or online profile, and your Windows messenger status can be set to show what game you are playing. But that’s about it and c’mon that’s pretty limited.

I think Microsoft are really missing a trick here.

The newly updated website is still not geared enough towards community interaction. It should resemble last.fm with activity streams, updates, information on users’ game and video libraries. Users should be able to start groups, organize events and competitions and arrange leagues.

The recent update to the Xbox live interface is a wii-inspired move in the right direction but I think Microsoft could do a much better job of getting users involved in the Xbox live community.

For a start there should be an RSS feed or a collection of RSS feeds for my activity so I can share what games i’m playing etc with others.

If I play a new game for the first time shouldn’t I be able to announce to my twitter/facebook/insert-social-network-here friends that “Gez has just started playing XXXX” without, you know actually typing it anywhere? Typing is soooo web 1.0 ;-).

There could, and should be an achievement feed so I can brag about my progress in GTA4. Ok, I not saying I want to subject my network to all this but I’d like to be able to.

The next step would be a functional API so other people could build cool stuff. I’m thinking Facebook apps, flickr viewers and uploaders. Imagine if, when browsing game previews in the Xbox marketplace, you were able to add those games to your amazon wish-list.

It makes commercial sense too. I’m much more likely to buy a game if I know others in my network already have it. And what about those Xbox owners who don’t subscribe to xbox live? Surely they’re going to be more willing to stump up 30 quid a year once they see how much fun they are missing out on?

So come on Microsoft – have a word with yourself and let’s get connected eh?


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One response »

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