Upcoming Xbox Live update adds new social networking options

Microsoft hasn’t released a complete list of what to expect in its Xbox 360 Fall Update coming December 4, but various reports from the Web help piece together a preliminary list of additions.

In an attempt to upgrade the social networking angle of Xbox Live, the Fall Update will allow users age 18 or older to view the friend lists of their friends, leading to a whole new FOAF (friend-of-a-friend) community. According to GameSpot, the option is enabled by default for users 18 and over, but can be turned off entirely.

“With the prevalence of social media websites such as MySpace and FaceBook, this type of capability has largely come to be expected from consumers as a means to relate in an online community,” said a Microsoft representative.

Xbox Live members with game lists cluttered with game demos intermixed with full versions may be able to delete demos from their Played Games list. A story by Game Watch (translated by Kotaku) describes a new “Game Library” menu that will list: My Games, Previously Played Games, Friends Currently Playing, Game Store and Automatic Downloads (Off).

Another new feature, the Xbox 360 Family Timer, has already been announced by Microsoft. The Family Timer will enable parents to set the amount of time the console can be used by members of the household on a daily or weekly basis.

Classic original Xbox games will also grace the Xbox 360 in the form of downloadable titles. For around 1,200 Microsoft Points, or $15, gamers can buy downloadable copies of such games a Halo and Fable for emulated play on the Xbox 360.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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