Looks like Microsoft’s Xbox Live didn’t have room in the company’s E3 media event this morning for all of its upcoming news. Here are two notable tidbits about additional upcoming features, from a message sent to Xbox Live members from Marc Whitten, the VP in charge of the online service.
Beacons. We want to make it easy for you to connect with friends over your favorite games on Xbox LIVE, so we are introducing Beacons to the service. Beacons are a way to tell your Xbox LIVE and Facebook friends that you want to play a game on Xbox LIVE. By setting a Beacon, you tell Xbox LIVE what you want to play. Then, Xbox LIVE lets you know when friends are playing or want to play the same game. With Beacons, no matter what you’re currently doing on Xbox LIVE your friends know that it’s ok to ask you to play your Beaconed games. Imagine sending out a Beacon to let your friends know you’re interested in playing “Halo,” while watching a movie on Netflix.
Cloud Storage for Game Saves and LIVE Profile. Here at Xbox LIVE we listen to your feedback. We are making it easier for you to sign into your Xbox LIVE account from any console at any time to access your game saves and full profile, including items such as Microsoft Points to make purchases, Achievements and friends. Cloud storage will allow you to enjoy the same great Xbox LIVE gaming experience even when you’re not in your own living room by giving you the option to store your “game saves” securely in the Xbox LIVE cloud instead of on a portable memory unit or your console’s hard drive.
Of course, the bigger cloud news was Apple’s unveiling of its iCloud this morning, including a new iTunes service in the cloud. We’re digesting that announcement and contemplating the implications. Look for a post soon.