One of the more surprising announcements to emerge from CES 2010 was Microsoft's reveal of what it is calling Xbox Live Game Room – a virtual meeting place for friends to meet up and play games.
Does that sound familiar?
As with Sony's PS3 Home, Xbox users will be able to design and decorate their own space and then invite friends over to view game collections and compete with one another.
30 games are promised at launch, with titles confirmed so far including Millipede, Space Hawk, Sea Battle, Astrosmash and the creatively titled ‘Football'. 1000 games are promised over the next three years – which averages out at around or about one release a day, though releases will occur weekly.
Interestingly, any games purchased for the service will be transferable between PC and Xbox 360, with both format sharing leaderboards and Achievements.
The strategy follows the template set down by Microsoft's recent movie and TV features where users are able to share the experience with friends, with avatars of all those involved present on the screen.