Impressions of the Xbox 360’s Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm and Zune integration are in and they came away with mostly positive thoughts. In some ways, the Xbox 360’s expansion to decidedly non-gaming services is what we thought: Not quite as convenient as using a computer or mobile device, but nice to have if you’re willing to fork out $50 for an Xbox Live Gold subscription. But there is one bit of news: You can’t do anything else on the console while listening to Last.fm, an Internet radio station.
Joystiq was most impressed with Facebook integration, and the treatment of photo albums in particular. The use of full-screen, ad-free photos makes album browsing more pleasurable compared to the Web site, making the Xbox 360 a great way to share Facebook slideshows. And by finding friends who also have Xbox Live accounts, Facebook helps get around Xbox Live’s 100-friend limit. Sadly, this friend-finder feature isn’t present in Twitter, which Joystiq basically called a throwaway feature. Last.fm, despite its major setback, was well-received for having a slick interface that’s faster than the Internet version. Finally, there’s the transformation of Xbox Live’s video marketplace to the Zune Marketplace. It’s basically a rebranding, but with the inclusion of streaming 1080p video. The dashboard update that enables all these features is entering public beta later this month, though the exact date isn’t known. [via Joystiq]