- 1 Jun 09, 19:56 GMT
There were plenty of surprises and big announcements at this year's Microsoft conference at E3.
A new Halo game from Bungie. Metal Gear comes to the Xbox. The Beatles do downloadable content. Splinter Cell: Conviction. Spielberg touting the Xbox's new control system.
But for me the biggest announcement was Xbox Live's integration into the wider web; albeit a small step towards the open web.
Much of this is down to Twitter and Facebook, which have a set of APIs which make it relatively easy for third party developers to build bridges to their audiences.
Xbox Live has had MSN Messenger support for some time - but it's a peripheral part of the experience.
If Microsoft can persuade developers to build integration of Twitter and Facebook into their games then we will see the true social explosion of gaming and hopefully lifting the myth that gaming is somehow anti-social.
Sony tried to exploit the 3D web with Home but so far the experiment would appear to relatively unsuccessful in terms of the impact with audiences.
The success will lie in the integration of these technologies but with 200 million Facebook users and 20 million Twitter users, combined with 20 million Xbox Live users Microsoft is making a bold statement about the future of gaming.
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