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Gaming

Facebook, Twitter come to Xbox Live

The Facebook Connect developer standard is coming to the console, as well as Facebook and Twitter clients for Xbox Live players.

It might not be as hotly anticipated as the "Beatles: Rock Band" game, but Microsoft announced at its annual press briefing at the E3 Expo that Facebook and Twitter will be coming to the Xbox Live service.

The press event included short demonstrations of what are effectively Facebook and Twitter clients for the gaming console, aesthetically adapted to the Xbox Live interface.

With the Facebook app, which will be a download from Xbox Live, members will be able to engage in a limited number of features including photo browsing, status updates, and looking at friends' profile "streams."

But what's more important to game developers is the fact that the Facebook Connect standard--which was rolled out first to Web developers, and then to iPhone developers--is coming to the Xbox this fall. This means that players will be able to log in with their Facebook accounts and broadcast their gaming activities on their social-network profiles.

Xbox manufacturer Microsoft made a $240 million investment in Facebook in October 2007. The service now has well over 200 million active users around the world.

Both Facebook products are "penciled in for the fall," Facebook platform program manager Gareth Davis told CNET News. He said that while there currently aren't plans to bring Facebook's virtual currency plans to the Xbox, he implied that it's not out of the question. "We're constantly looking at ways of improving the user experience or the developer experience with Facebook credits," Davis said.

This post was updated at 2:26 p.m. PT with comment from Facebook.