Everyone’s heard of how they are bringing the two worlds together: social networking is a coming attraction on the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3. It makes all the sense; gamers constantly keep in touch with their pals while they are gaming, and if they are not, they need to find pals to game with. Actually, going by the way social networking has been implemented on the consoles, the whole concept doesn’t seem to make as much sense over at Sony and Microsoft as it does in the imaginations of regular gamers. The implementations are nowhere near as powerful as Facebook and Twitter could allow it to be.

The native communications abilities available on the Xbox and PlayStation are passable to begin with. Xbox Live in particular makes it quite easy to keep in touch with friends you game with. PlayStation 3 has networking that is entirely too functional; you can’t even chat with friends who don’t play the same games you do. None of this lives up to the power of what Facebook and Twitter can do though, as was introduced on Xbox Live last week.

Sony has had a difficult time with its PlayStation Home networking concept in the past, and isn’t eager to rush into that space right away. For now they are just giving the console a firmware update to do Facebook better and communicate with PlayStation games better too. New features include, for example, the ability to automatically update your gaming achievements on Facebook.

As it happens though, social networking on the consoles really amounts to very little; you can’t connect with your social networking friends while you’re actually playing on the consoles. Here then is the rub: you can only network on Facebook and Twitter on these consoles, when you’re not playing a game. If you need in- game communications facilities, you still need a separate computer. It doesn’t feel cutting-edge at all now does it?