Xbox xtras

 Instant messaging is coming to Xbox 360. From the week beginning May 7, Xbox 360 owners can connect with friends and family, connecting and chatting directly from their televisions using Windows Live Messenger, a network of more than 260 million active accounts.

The Xbox 360 Autumn Update will let Xbox 360 owners worldwide access Windows Live Messenger features, broadening the communication options on the Xbox LIVE social network. The full service is accessible for both Gold and Silver members, meaning all New Zealand Xbox LIVE gamers will be able to enjoy the full benefits of video, voice and text chat with their Messenger contacts.

Microsoft also plans to launch a QWERTY text-input device, an accessory that will connect directly into the Xbox 360 controller to support text and instant messaging. Xbox 360 Windows Live Messenger-users will also be able to text chat using the virtual keyboard accessible on Xbox 360, or by connecting a USB keyboard to the console.

Apart from instant messaging, the Autumn Update includes hundreds of new features and enhancements including updates to Xbox LIVE Arcade that let owners quickly see which Xbox LIVE Arcade games their friends are playing and faster access to the entire collection of free, trial-version Xbox LIVE Arcade games.

The Autumn Update is free and is available from May 7 through Xbox LIVE or on

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