Facebook games are on a completely different wavelength than modern gaming on consoles. They're simple, often mindless, and accessible to just about everybody. People who aren't typically gamers have now been introduced to games with a community larger than XBOX Live, or PSN. It did a better job at forming a bridge between non-gamers and video games than even the Wii has (considering that there are over 265 million Facebook gamers and 87.5 million Wii owners).
There is little doubt that Facebook has made a huge impact on the console gaming community, as well. If you're a hardcore gamer and typically scoff at your casual Farmville-playing friends, you may be surprised at how similar your video gaming community integration is. The following are examples of how Facebook has changed console gaming.
“Liking” Games on Facebook Will Unlock Exclusive Console Game DLC
What a better way to promote a new game with free advertising on the world's largest social media website? Yep. By “liking” Gears of War on Facebook, players of the game will be able to get a code in order to unlock Aaron Griffon in Gears of War 3, an exclusive character voiced by Ice-T himself. A brilliant idea, and if other developers follow in Epic Games' example, you'll eventually be coaxed into “liking” just about every video game out there in order to the most out of your game.
XBOX Live Games Connect with Facebook Games with “Companion Games”
Toy Soldiers, a real-time 3D simulation released on XBOX Live, has a unique feature that is unlike most games out there. Players are able to play through the campaign on the XBOX360 while receiving support from a companion game on Facebook. Called Match Defense: Toy Soldiers, this companion game is a first for the console gaming and Facebook gamers are able to play a Bejeweled-like casual game and aid in the campaign for XBOX Live players.
Post PSN Trophies, Purchases, and In-game Events on Facebook
We all hate them. You know, those annoying notifications of your friends receiving trophy after trophy from their PlayStation 3 games that end up clogging up your Facebook wall. Sony integrated Facebook into gaming by giving players the option to post just about everything you do on the PSN onto your Facebook wall for your friends to see. Every trophy that you unlock will be displayed on your wall, confusing or annoying just about everyone on your Facebook who doesn't know what a trophy is. Select in-game events will also be there. And every purchase you make (if you chose to do so) on the PlayStation store will be visible to all of your Facebook friends and family to see. So be careful what you buy on that thing.
Compare High Scores, Photos, and Send Challenges Directly on Facebook
Activision brought social interaction in the game Blur, an arcade-y racing game for the PS3, XBOX360, and Windows PC. By integrating a “share” button to the game, players are able to send challenges, post in-game photos, and brag about racing stats right on your friends' walls. “Facebook has become a fantastic platform for videogames and Blur elevates it even further,” says Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision Blizzard.
XBOX Live's “Beacons”: Facebook-Based Online Game Matching
According to Marc Whitten, Microsoft's VP of Xbox Live, there are going to be some pretty big changes coming to Xbox Live soon. Soon, it will be easier for LIVE players to communicate with other games what games they want to play by setting up what is known as “beacons.” These beacons are the very thing that will integrate LIVE with Facebook. If you decide to use this feature, your Facebook friends and community will be able to see what you're doing, and what you want to do. For example, you can be watching a movie and set up a beacon to tell your Facebook friends that you'd rather be playing Hexic HD. Ok, bad example, but you get the point. Your friends will see the beacon, and easily hop into a game with you.
Unfortunately, there is no confirmed date for these cool new features.