At the beginning of June I wrote about the new Facebook XBox integration, and according to a number of sources, the beta is going live later this month with the full release coming by November 17th. So what does this mean for the future of gaming? It simply means that we’ll see further integration between console games and the social stream.
While the announcement came over four months ago, many people have been anticipating this new level of integration between the two platforms. This integration also redefines the concept of social gaming. Social games are regularly referred to as a new form of casual gaming, however the core features of social games is the integration with our personal streams and the ability to interact with people we already know.
Why shouldn’t we be able to interact with our existing friends on console gaming platforms though? That’s what XBox is looking to resolve with this new integration that is expected to first go live in the coming weeks. While I’m not sure whether or not this new level of integration will dramatically expand the number of users playing console games, I think it will most definitely increase our awareness of what games our friends are playing.
Whether or not we actually want to know what games our friends are playing is an entirely different question. Unfortunately this new service won’t be free as it requires an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription. Will you pay for this new service? Do you think this will increase the overall number of console gamers?