Xbox 360 gets Windows Live IM

Xbox 360 users will soon be able to instant message using Windows Live Messenger over their game consoles

Xbox 360 Live customers will soon be able to instant message using Windows Live Messenger over the game console, according to Microsoft.

Starting the week of May 7, Xbox 360 owners will be able to chat with other Xbox 360, PC or Windows Mobile users via instant message. They'll be able to chat with up to six people at one time while playing games, listening to music or watching movies on the console, Microsoft said.

Users can input text with the onscreen Xbox 360 keyboard or using a connected external keyboard. In a few months, Microsoft plans to launch a new keyboard that will connect directly to the Xbox 360 controller, the company said.

Xbox 360 users will be able to instant message with Windows Mobile users who have MSN Messenger-branded clients on their phones, said Evan Parker, a spokesman with Microsoft's external public relations company Edelman. MSN Messenger is an older version of the Windows Live instant messaging service. Currently, Windows Live Messenger is only available as a beta for Windows Mobile 5.0 users, although Windows Live will be included in Windows Mobile 6.0, the newest version of the operating system.

Despite other Microsoft home media products such as the Media Center and the forthcoming Windows Home Server, new features being added to the Xbox 360 continue to help position the gaming console as a central device in the living room. Xbox Live customers can already download movies and other video content, play music, video and voice chat and now instant message.

In addition to the new Windows Live Messenger feature, the forthcoming update for Xbox 360 will include enhanced family settings capabilities that will allow users to set different defaults for video chat and voice chat. A new feature in Xbox Live Arcade will allow users to easily see which arcade games their friends are playing and decide to join in games. Users will also be able to set their consoles to shut off automatically when a download is complete.

The updates will be available for free download for all Xbox 360 owners.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?