Friday, 13 November 2009
Social Media on Consoles
So next week Facebook and Twitter finally launch on the Xbox 360. Not only that, but Sony have also sort of half announced that Facebook will also be making appearance on the PS3 pretty soon as well (By half announced, they said it'll be announced "Soon").
Personally I don't know what to make of all this. I'm quite an avid Facebook user and I adore Twitter but when these two applications are on a games console, surely the obsession has gone too far?
I understand that the term "Games Console" probably won't apply anymore in the next few years. Consoles have became more like PC's in that they're now media centres with their Blu-Ray players and Internet Browsers. Most of all however, they're cheaper than your average PC and far easier to use if you're not really a computer person. Agreed, you buy them primarily for videogaming but the point still remains. Just look at the PS3's new slogan. "It only does everything", because let's face it. It does. I got a shock the other day when it just randomly connected to my PC and started streaming my music and it just goes to show how far they've came in the last decade, if not the last five years.
So surely social networking is the way forward then, especially seeing as it's one of the most used internet applications of the common gaming demographic in the past few years? The early days of Myspace may be over but Facebook and Twitter are certainly here to stay, so it was clearly just a matter of time before Microsoft and Sony jumped on the social networking bandwagon.
I'll be honest with you, the Xbox versions of the two are very nice. Sleek and sexy, they are a perfect compliment to the NXE. They utilise not only the sliding panes of the dashboard, but they also use the Avatars (which are underused I feel). Still, there's no denying that it's a lot of work for something that is going to be used by maybe 10% of Xbox users. Let's face it, Microsoft has caught the scent of "Nintendo's Money Pile™" and they want in. Appeal to the casuals, and you get the cash and let's face it, Microsoft are doing it well. With Natal, Facebook, Twitter, Last.Fm and the Avatars they appeal to an almost different casual market than the Wii. They appeal to people from about between my age to those in their late thirties, and that's not necessarily a bad market to be aiming for. It's ignoring the whole, Waggle Waggle Party Games thing that Nintendo's been spreading over the shelves like some kind of old person paedophile and has instead gone for interesting and (Take notes here Nintendo) practical ideas that are fun beyond the gimmick.
Personally? I like the fact that Twitter and Facebook are coming to the Xbox. Yea they're pointless if you have an iPhone or even a PC but they do truly compliment the new image that Microsoft are pushing out with the Xbox. This is not a games console. It's a media centre.
The PS3 however, are literally just jumping on the bandwagon when it comes to Social Media. Personally I believe they should focus more on cross game voice chat but hey! Since when has my opinion ever mattered? :P