There was a time (known as “Monday”) when you could fire up your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, play a few relaxing hours of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and temporarily escape the clutches of Facebook and Twitter. For better or for worse, that time is over: Yesterday, the two popular social networking apps debuted on the Xbox Live online service and today Sony followed suit by adding Facebook integration to the PlayStation Network (there’ll be no tweeting from your PS3 for now, although games like Uncharted 2 can be set to send out boilerplate Twitter updates on players’ game progress).
So now, even in the heat of an online multiplayer melee, gamers have the option to hit pause and let the world know via Facebook and Twitter they’re being pwned. Even if you’re not a gamer, you’ll probably feel the aftershocks of this week’s news because one of the features automatically updates players’ Facebook status when they accomplish various goals — Achievements on XBLA; Trophies on the PSN — within a game. I’m not quite ready to let my Facebook friends know that it took me over a year to finish Fallout 3 so I’ll probably switch off this feature.
Other gamers aren’t going to be as bashful as I am, which means we should all be prepared to be clued in whenever our friends beat the last level of Assassin’s Creed II or completed the tutorial in DJ Hero, whether we care or not. Even if you don’t, the fact is both Sony and Microsoft did a stellar job integrating these social networking apps into their existing online services and made it easier than ever to stay in touch with your friends.
How about you PopWatchers: are you psyched that you and your buddies can keep tabs on your Facebook and Twitter accounts without putting down the game controller or is this a feature that you’ll never use?