E3 09: Microsoft announces partnership with Last.fm and more

Want more music options for your Xbox Live experience? Want no more. Today’s Microsoft press conference revealed that a partnership has been formed with Last.fm, a website that allows you to listen to music for free. Available to Xbox Live Gold members at no extra charge, the service will make it easier to select and listen to your favorite artists while you game. Personally I don’t like to be distracted from a game’s music, but some people will surely appreciate this!

Some new improvements were also announced for Netflix usability, including the ability to add movies to your queue directly from Xbox Live. Yay! Categories will be added as well, so you can browse more easily. I’m looking forward to this, as my only complaint about the Netflix functionality was that I couldn’t add movies to my queue through my 360 (but it looks like that’s solved now!).

Europe will also benefit from a partnership with SkyTV, which will allow the UK and Ireland to enjoy streaming TV. In addition, full 1080p video is being launched through Live and a new function called LiveParty will allow you and your friends to watch movies together. You may even be able to see your avatar together watching the movie. Aww.

Well, this doesn’t quite compare to the excitement of the Metal Gear Solid: Rising, but it certainly willmake the Xbox Live experience a little more interesting. Also, I’m pretty sure Microsoft never wants me to turn off my 360, which would be great if it wasn’t for all that red ring business.

Colette Bennett