Xbox LIVE continues to get more mobile as they move into the world of iOS devices with the unveiling of an app that will run on any device running iOS 4.3 or higher (including iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad.)
This launch, congruent to the newly released Microsoft Xbox LIVE experience update with their new dashboard, joins the Xbox ecosystem of mobile apps alongside Xbox Companion for Windows Phone 7.5.
Xbox LIVE’s Major Nelson tossed the features up onto his blog,
- Read and send messages to friends;
- Manage your friends list, invite new friends;
- Read and Edit your full LIVE profile (name, bio, motto);
- Change your avatar features/items with the avatar closet;
- View and compare your achievement progress with friends.
If you have an iOS device, you can download My Xbox LIVE from the iTunes app store.
Possibly one of the most important extrinsic aspects of these sorts of mobile apps is that they allow the LIVE community to remain a community outside of the console’s mechanics. The ability to read/send messages to friends from a mobile device means that a gamer who tends to spend their time in front of th TV with their console doesn’t have to disconnect in order to go about their daily lives.
As a result, it will enable friends who interact via the LIVE console, play together in virtual worlds, and meet-and-greet in those environments don’t have to split mind and body from that community; they get to carry it with them on their mobile device.
Being able to fix profile, change avatar, and even view/compare achievements with friends while on-the-go is nice (and inseparable from the other social aspects) but the make-or-break of any community is communication.
The Future of Xbox LIVE mobile
I would like to see Microsoft leverage the power of Skype and the Kinect through mobile devices as they link up with consoles.
Already, numerous corporations have been seeking telepresence and communication technologies (such as Cisco) but what we could really use is video- and voice-over-IP allowing someone to hook up with their friends on the tram ride home. Include the breakthrough of the Kinect via the mobile phone and Avtar Kinect to allow them to project themselves from the privacy of their seat on the train or bus and viola you have a readymade virtual interaction that could bring people together from across the world even without the console in front of them.
Finally, it’s not mentioned, but I expect that things like the Xbox Beacons should be sent to mobile as well.
Gaming gets better if you’re just coming home from a long day at work and already know where your friends are in the virtual landscape and thus can jump right in with them from the get-go.