The game console business is big and very competitive. Microsoft’s latest move in it’s three way battle with Sony and Nintendo is to allow users to link their Xbox gamertag identifier with an Windows Live Messenger account, enabling IM interactions via the Xbox. As reported in the NYT article Microsoft Brings Instant Chat to TV Screen, Through Games:
â€œWe feel this is a huge step in driving social networking further into the family room by allowing Xbox 360 users to I.M. directly from their couch,â€ said John Rodman, Microsoftâ€™s group manager for the Xbox 360, in a telephone interview last week. â€œNow you donâ€™t have to manage two separate groups of friends online.â€
I think there is a lot of potential here. There seems to be a trend in which social applications are spreading out from their base of blogs, forums and sharing sites to mobile phones (Twitter), music (last.fm) and now games.