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E3: 360 getting Facebook, Twitter, Last.fm

"A 14-year-old racist just killed me."

Microsoft has announced Twitter, Facebook and Last.fm for Xbox 360 and talked up the new instant-on, 1080p Zune Marketplace. The new services will all launch this autumn.

Facebook allows you to view friends, photos and profiles on the dashboard, and of course post status updates, while a new Facebook Connect feature allows you to post screenshots to your profile and will work with Tiger Woods PGA Tour and other games.

Last.fm allows users to 'scrobble' listening habits in its current internet incarnation, building up a profile of what you listen to in order to serve you a tailored radio service on demand. With over 30 million listeners worldwide, it's a well-established service already, but the Live service will apparently feature 'special interface' options to enhance the experience.

After the conference, Microsoft said that Last.fm for Xbox 360 could be sampled free by all Xbox Live members and the full service would be available to Gold subscribers, and people with Last.fm membership and Gold would "gain even more terrific personalisation features".

Meanwhile, Zune Marketplace will be the new branding for the Video Store, films will be upgraded to 1080p, and the number of countries where it's available is going up from eight to 18, adding Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Dan Pearson


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