Live Test of Facebook on the Xbox 360

Browsing through Facebook on the Xbox 360 is much like browsing through the community portal on your computer - with one exception.

Sitting on a couch in a hotel suite opposite the Tokyo Game Show last month, Microsoft's Scott Austin, director of digital games at Live, ran me through a quick demonstration of the service on an Xbox 360 he had set up on the room's flat screen.

Austin said that Facebook, like Twitter and Last.FM (both services also coming to the Xbox 360 this year), are an important part of the New Xbox Experience. The console and its user interface is broken down into thrill pillars, he said: Web based services, interactive entertainment and social networking.

While he wasn't able to show me Last.FM or Twitter on the console, he was able to show off a build of Facebook running on the Xbox 360.

The interface would be very familiar to anyone who has used Facebook before. The console version allows you to read your friends' news feeds, comment, check out profiles and read and write messages.

Austin told me that videos and Facebook apps or games are not yet a part of the service that will be available on the 360, but that it was something Microsoft was "looking at."

One of the cooler aspects of the Facebook integration on the Xbox 360 is that your friend's list now shows you which of your Facebook friends aren't on your Xbox 360 friend's list. It also gives you the ability to add them, if you have the space.

Posting status updates from your Xbox 360 will mark the text with an Xbox symbol as well.

I asked Austin if there were any plans to overhaul the New Xbox Experience user-interface menu on the Xbox 360 in the near future. With the inclusion of things like Facebook, Twitter and Last.FM along with pages dedicated to a game's universe, it seems like a possibility.

"The new Xbox experience interface is what you are going to see for the foreseeable future," he said. "Its design allows us to contract and expand."