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Gaming Gets Social: Facebook And XBox 360 Team Up

Microsoft and Facebook's partnership goes beyond advertising, now bringing the social network into the gaming console, and info from XBox into Facebook.

AtMicrosoft's XBox 360's press conferencethe video game console and Facebook announced a new partnership to, for the first time, integrate Facebook into a video game console. Starting this fall when the partnership launches, users will be able to access key Facebook elements like photos or status updates on a platform designed for your TV. The new Facebook Connect platform will also bring XBox into Facebook, allowing you to immediately post screen shots and text from an XBox game you're playing directly to your profile.

It's not just Facebook, XBox Live is equal-opportunity in its push to become social. It's also bringing Twitter to its platform, so gamers can Tweet and check their friends' Tweets in real time, all from the video game platform. And Facebook is platform agnostic as well. Despite Microsoft's $240 million investment in Facebook in 2007, the social network says it hopes to bring this social screen to other gaming consoles as well.

This technology that integrates social networks and gaming is sure to further eliminate the barrier between your TV and computer screen that's been blurring for a couple years. It's designed for multitaskers who want to be chattering with their friends. And it's perfect for the web-connected gamers that were early adopters of Facebook demographic.

People have proven they want to access Facebook or Twitter on their cellphones and smart phones, but will people want their social networks on their TV? And will they want to multi-task, gaming and Tweeting or posting status updates at the same time? We'll see. To a certain extent it depends on how user-friendly the application is. I predict it'll also depend on the demographic. I'd guess that the younger the video game player, the more likely he or she will want to to juggle that video game experience and the social networking they're used to experiencing from his or her PC.

Questions? Comments? MediaMoney@cnbc.com

  • Working from Los Angeles, Boorstin is CNBC's media and entertainment reporter and editor of CNBC.com's Media Money section.