In a media presentation on the eve of E3, the video game industry’s biggest North American convention, Microsoft announced new relationships with the social networking giants Facebook and Twitter as well as Sky, the big British satellite television provider that is a unit of the News Corporation.
Microsoft announced that Facebook users would be able to access their profiles and share photos on their television through the Xbox Live network and that Twitter devotees would also be able to post and read messages through the service.
More far-reaching was Microsoft’s new deal with Sky, under which Xbox Live users in Britain will be able to watch live television, including professional soccer, over an Internet version of the Sky service. Not every channel available over satellite will be available over Xbox Live, but the offering will include dozens of stations, Microsoft executives said. Users will be able to watch television in a virtual party room with their friends, discussing the program as they are watching, they said.