Xbox 360 Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm hit Nov. 17

Microsoft confirms launch date for social entertainment services, on-demand HD video from Zune.

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The Xbox 360 lost one of its exclusive multimedia features last week when Sony launched Netflix support on the PlayStation 3. Microsoft looks to regain some selling points for the system next week, as the company today announced a November 17 launch for integrated Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm, and Zune on-demand HD video support on the Xbox 360.

The Facebook integration should look familiar to dashboard users.
The Facebook integration should look familiar to dashboard users.

As originally announced during the publisher's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2009 press conference, Twitter integration will allow gamers to post tweets through Xbox Live but outside of actual games. With the Facebook hookup, Xbox Live gamers can sync their gamertags with their social-networking accounts, as well as share photos and in-game screenshots. Friend updates will also be viewable through the Xbox Live dashboard.

GameSpot sister site Last.fm will offer music in a way that's similar to Netflix streaming, with a dedicated menu box on the console's dashboard. Finally, the Zune-branded video functionality will allow Xbox Live users to buy or rent instantly streaming HD video in 1080p and 5.1 surround sound with Microsoft claiming "no waiting for downloads or buffering."

Beyond that foursome, Microsoft is adding a "News and More" section to the Xbox dashboard. The collection of current events, arts, and entertainment news will pull content from MSNBC, The New Yorker, and comic strips like Dilbert.

Some of the new features like Facebook, Twitter, and Last.fm will be limited to Xbox Live Gold subscribers, but Silver users will get a chance to check them out during a free Xbox Live Gold weekend. From 9 a.m. Pacific November 20 until 9 a.m. Pacific November 23, Silver members can log on and try out all the benefits normally afforded to Gold subscribers, including online multiplayer.

For more on the new features, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.

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