Alongside the new service, which will add Live’s six million-strong user base to the 260 million already active Instant Messenger accounts, the platform holder is launching a keyboard peripheral to accompany the new functionality. The new accessory is slated for release in the summer.
Live users will be able to link up with their PC-based friends through Messenger on May 7th, with a host of other improvements to Achievements, family settings, a new marketplace ‘blade’ and other download tweaks in the Live spring update.
“Bringing the largest IM community in the world, Windows Live Messenger, to Xbox 360 makes sense, as Xbox Live has really become the largest social network on television,” said product unit manager of Xbox Live at Microsoft Jerry Johnson.
“For our growing community of six million on Xbox Live, using Xbox 360 is a very social, connected experience. They are using Xbox 360 to play games, music and movies while simultaneously communicating with one another through video, voice and text chat. With this announcement we are simultaneously expanding the access of Xbox Live users to existing friends and family while introducing Windows Live Messenger users to the benefits of Xbox 360.”