Microsoft will release an Xbox Live update that will allow all Gold subscribers, including those under the age of 18, to access the social features it launched on the service last month.
Facebook, Twitter and Last.fm have thus far not been integrated with the console's family settings, leaving the platform holder no choice but to block minors' access to the apps. Facebook, for example, does not allow users under the age of 18 to create accounts.
But program manager Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb says that those who have child accounts on Xbox Live will soon be able to access the social applications provided their parents approve it.
"At this point, all Non-US Accounts should have access to [the features] at this time," writes Major Nelson on his official blog
. "If you have a child account in the U.S., you will receive this update on December 15th, when these applications will appear in your Xbox 360 dashboard."
"Thanks for your patience as we worked to develop the best solution to ensure that we are able to offer an age-appropriate environment for everyone on Xbox Live," says Major Nelson.
Microsoft officially launched integration
with the various social networking services on November 17, as part of a stated goal to make its console "the largest social network connected to the TV," as the company says.
With Xbox Live integrated with Facebook, Gold subscribers can update their status on the social network about their activity on the service, including their movie and game use, in addition to the ability to access friends' statuses directly from the console. Facebook friend lists and Xbox Live friend lists will be able to cross-reference one another.
Users can post to Twitter directly from their consoles, while the social features for Zune HD video will let subscribers share movie-watching experiences with voice chat among up to seven friends.
As for Last.fm, users can personalize their music playlists via Xbox Live, and in the U.S. and UK, the service will offer users video game-themed listening selections.