After around 10 years of waiting, both Microsoft and Sony have newly released their next generation gaming consoles – the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4. While we wouldn’t normally be concerned by the gaming industry (we’re more interested in how companies are using Twitter, Facebook and other forms of Social Media in fun and creative ways), the new consoles are more than just gaming machines. This week, #SocialSpotlight is focusing on the social add-ons for the Microsoft Xbox One, and next week we’ll take a look at the Sony PlayStation 4’s social prowess.
Microsoft Xbox One Social Experience
Since the introduction of Xbox Live, the online membership element of the popular Microsoft Xbox console, the ability to converse, play and be social has become central to the gaming platform. Now, players can chat with other Xbox Live friends and even gamers from around the world. Xbox Social allows players to send and receive online instant messages/emails, compare games and see who is online and ready for a game – similar to other online communities. However, this community exists within the ‘walled garden’ of the Xbox Live membership.
The Social Connection
So far, the new Xbox One console does not access Twitter or Facebook directly. The older Xbox 360 console does have this feature, so it may be a matter of time for these applications to be introduced. The impact of social media on gaming consoles is a bit of an unknown. After all, who wants to tweet using a controller? But with Microsoft’s voice and motion tracker – Kinect camera – the ability to simply speak your tweet or Facebook post is a future possibility.
A key social element of the Xbox One is the introduction of Skype’s video messaging service. This allows players to call friends from their TV, regardless of whether they have an Xbox, Skype enabled laptop or phone. Now, gamers can carry out video or voice calls whilst playing a game or watching TV! This is brand new and extremely exciting for the social butterflies among us. On the social media front, communicating from a device that isn’t your laptop opens a whole new world of possibility, including virtual meetings outside of your office’s conference room.
While everyone knows about YouTube, those outside of the gaming arena have probably never heard of Machinima. The principle is exactly the same, but instead of uploading your own video, you upload a video clip of the latest game you are playing. The Xbox One has built-in ability to record these videos, and upload games directly to the Machinima website. The technology even allows gamers to record their commentary as they play or explain the significance of the video to the community.
For years, Microsoft has mentioned a 3-screen strategy for taking over your TV screen, computer screen and your phone or mobile device. The Xbox One is the console for your TV and the Xbox eco-system reaches your tablets, laptops and phones, whether they are from Microsoft, Apple or Google Android. This allows the Xbox Live community to exist beyond the living room where your console is traditionally located. Watch a movie on your tablet and share your review directly with your Xbox Live friends, or talk with your friends as you watch your favorite TV shows together. The gaming console is evolving and becoming far more social than it ever has been before.
The Xbox gaming community has been built over the last decade, but the social aspect of gaming has been largely ignored. Traditionally reserved for teenagers with too much downtime, these gamers have grown up and their habits have changed. As gaming moves beyond the living room, these consoles are meeting social demand through online communities. Have you played the new Xbox One console? Have you tried using Skype to talk to your friends or family yet? Have you shared your gaming, movie or entertainment experiences online with the community? If you have, or want to share your social media experiences with your gaming console, please let us know in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you! Photo Credit