Coffee Talk #21: Non-Gaming Console Features

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, WWE increasing the prices of its PPV events, “Bad” Chad Dawson boring the hometown crowd, or the sleep vs. Dragon Age: Origins debate (again) Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Last week, I finally got around to updating my Xbox 360 dashboard. As most of you know the update included Facebook,, and Twitter functionality (for a select group of users and the gaming press). The whole thing just reminded me of how far consoles have come this generation. It used to be that consoles were strictly gaming machines. Later on they became gamine machines and movie players. These days, they’re multifaceted devices that let you enjoy games, movies, social networking, the Internet, and so much more.

Facebook Xbox 360

Surprisingly, I greatly enjoyed the Facebook features of the update — totally wasn’t expecting this. A friend and I were going through photos of our common friends. We did this for about an hour and were like, “Whoa. We just spent an hour on the Xbox tooling around with Facebook. What the hell?!?” While some gamers scoff at the inclusion of these features, I’m up for anything that extends the functionality of consoles.

So today’s questions have to do with all the ancillary features your consoles have. Aside from gaming, what do you use your console for? Do you stream a lot of movies on your Xbox? Do you web browse on your PlayStation 3? If you’re in the beta, do you use Facebook,, and Twitter on the 360? If you’re not in the beta, do you plan to? Leave a comment and let me know (please)!

Author: RPadTV

54 thoughts on “Coffee Talk #21: Non-Gaming Console Features”

  1. I use the web browser on my PS3. I also have all of my pictures and music on my PS3 and have about 310gb of space left on my 500gb HDD.

  2. Tried out the NetFlix for the PS3 this weekend. Quality was good, but it seemed like there were a lot of stops and starts, didn't know if it was just my connection. Going to give it another go soon and see how it turns out.

  3. Saints 8-0

    I was wondering how streaming would fare on PS3. I will be doing my own test soon enough.

  4. @Smartguy

    No fair, you guys get to play the Rams next. It looks like the Falcons and the Patriots are the only teams left on your schedule that has a chance in beating you guys.

  5. Outside of Detroit, does anyone really play the Rams anymore? Don't they show up and just get the win for being there? Kind of like the Bucs, just less cannon fire?

  6. I stream movies through Live and Netflix, but mostly just Netflix. I'm also using Twitter to check gaming headlines before I decide to turn on my PC and I'm surprisingly enjoying Halo Waypoint. Also, Halo Legends "The Babysitter" episode was awsome. I'm definitely going to be tuning in to Waypoint every Saturday to watch Halo Legends.

  7. None Gaming uses PS3- I play all my music on my PS3 through my surround sound, For a while I was streaming movies to my PS3, I use it to watch all my DVDs and Blu-Rays, I will get on the broswer if someone is at my PC. I don't keep photos on my PS3, that just seems odd. I have used it to video chat with friends via the PS Eye.

    None Gaming uses of my 360 – It sits on my entertainment center opposite of my PS3 just to make it look balanced, other than that it pretty much doesn't get used.

  8. Anyone notice that PS3 has started changing their logo on the games cases. It kind of bugs me. I tend to only buy the original of games not the Greatest Hits(red cases) just because I need uniformity. Now Uncharted 2 and R&C Crack in Time have they new PS3 logo on the spine and it bothers me. I guess I am just being picky though.

  9. @LarcenousLaugh If enough of us got together, I think we'd have a decent shot against the Rams.

    @SlickyFats I actually haven't noticed that. I'll look for it though. I'm all about getting rid of the Spider-Man font.

  10. lol Spider-Man 3 was THAT bad that Sony decided to back as far from it as possible.

    I wont use facebook on my 360, I think its a waste of resources. It isnt even a FULL facebook client as I understand.

    Last FM MIGHT be good, I have not used it since my phone could use Pandora so we will see about that.

    As for Twitter, nope, not gonna use it on my 360, thats what a cell phone is for.

  11. @Hrolf I actually enjoyed half of Spidey 3. The other half was…you know. Facebook on 360 is way better than I was expecting. I think it's worth trying. I agree on Pandora being better than

  12. @R-Pad

    I didn't like Last.FM when I tried it on my 360. It doesn't try to figure out what you like and just keeps playing the same crap songs over and over. Pandora would have made a much better addition to the 360.

  13. Without a full web browser, I don't see the point of the Twitter and Facebook stuff. I mean, it's not like everybody's got a keppad attachment to use either. I think that the only really awesome feature in the new dashobard update is

  14. @Nightshade386 You need a keypad to bust out 140 characters? That aside, I found it fun to check out Facebook pictures. While Twitter/Facebook is better on Android/BlackBerry/iPhone, there are some younger users that don't have phones or don't have data plans on their phones.

  15. @Ray – Rpadaholics… someone should roll with that in Madden and let us know how it turns out lol

  16. @Ray: Uh, yeah. I'd rather use my PC and bust out my message in 15 seconds than fiddle with the clunky interface on a controller. I do it all the time when sending mesages on XBL – I'm much rather just do it from But my PC is in the same room as my 360, so it's not like I've gotta trek across the house or anything.

  17. I think regardless of if you use internet on your PS3 or if you're going to use some of the new Xbox features you really have to be impressed with how far gaming consoles have come in such a short amount of time. I am a huge fan of new technologies. especially those that make life a little bit better.

    @RROD and N8R – Looking forward to the game tonight. The Broncos didn't disappoint with their first MNF game and I'm sure the intensity will be strong on both sides.

  18. @Nightshade/Ray – I don't know if I'm impatient or whatever but I don't like writing messages with a controller. I start to sound like an 8 year old cheerleader with a cell phone when I input text with abbreviations to get my point across. I know my PS3 can use a wireless Keyboard with USB but I don't do a enough chatting to have one near my TV. my laptop is usually close by if I want to surf the net too.

    That said I wouldn't update my status but I could see how going through pictures and things like that might look pretty good on my TV

  19. I use my Xbox 360 as a space heater as well. I also used to use my old NES as a window prop, do those count as ancillary features?

    @ RROD

    It should be a good game, I'm kinda mad about missing Heroes though.

  20. Also, I stream all my media to my PS3 using a PC. You'd be surprised RROD the quality you can get out of some videos. my episodes of house are too high quality to work on Apple TV but when I stream them to Xbox/PS3 it looks damn near HD quality. I try not to compress too much.

    Most movies don't need HD sound and video IMO, such as Tommy Boy. great movie, one of my favorites. There is no need for HD sound or picture on it though. If a movie is one of my favorites or I want to see it in full HD sound/picture I'll usually rent a BD movie. the very best movies I'll buy.

  21. on the subject of streaming I've been considering putting an external HDD on my PS3. 500 gigs isn't quite enough for all of the movies TV shows and music but Externals are Cheap and easy to come by.

  22. @ Randrock (we're speaking in "Scooby-Doo" today)

    I was gonna catch up on Hulu. I don't have a credit card, therefore Netflix.

  23. @ Shockwave

    We've always done well on Monday Night too.

    You guys do realize that our biggest deficit all season was only 4 points right?

  24. @RROD – haha, Richard What's happening?

    @N8R – it's ok with me if you guys lose by 1 point really :)

  25. As for streaming movies, I don’t do it. There’s nothing like the quality of Blu-Ray. Streams just don’t compare. I have no interest in Netflix coming to the PS3.

  26. @ Shockwave

    Why is it that when a West Coast team finally starts doing well, they're touted as saviors but when a n East Coast team slips for a second (Giants are a good example) they are now crippled? Seriously, all the national sportscasters I watch are still on the Broncos nuts and talking about the Saints as little as possible. Therefore, the record doesn't say everything.

    It's gonna be a nail-biter though, for sure.

  27. @RROD – I've been writing about bits and pieces here and there. I actually got pretty far in the game this weekend. It's such a page turner I really can't turn it down.

    I love the story, it is compelling, fascinating, and definitely unique. it kind of reminds me of that Denzel Washington movie about the serial killer but it definitely has it's own story. the presentation is wicked good too. I am thrilled with how well 3 characters can integrate so nicely. I have trouble making decisions because I don't want one character to win or lose. I think I've gotten to a point in the game where they are reaching a common effort. Trying to find out why this is happening. I'm probably about 70% through the story.

    Some things I'm frustrated with are the controls for one. On timed events I find it really frustrating when I can't figure out which way to move the joystick. sometimes I can't seem to get the character to walk the direction I want. Also the "Simon Says" thing is something I would like to see gone from Heavy Rain. I've gotten pretty good at it and successfully completing those events is rewarding but a lot of times it distracts from the actual game. I feel like they couldn't figure out how to do action in the game and that was what they came up with.

    I'm definitely excited for Heavy Rain. as a type of sequel I think there's a lot to improve on here. Based on what I've seen from Heavy Rain I'm not sure if there's going to be a supernatural aspect to the game or not. I think as a realistic game Heavy Rain could work but the supernatural thriller has been a fun one for Indigo Prophecy. I am really enjoying playing the game.

    Sorry for the ridiculous write-up

  28. @N8R – that's funny, See for the first few weeks I felt like the Broncos were getting no love. even after we went 5-0 during our game against Dallas the media was still saying we hadn't played a good team yet which frustrated me a lot. I felt like the saints were overshadowing us a bit in that regard. and the Colts of course. but they do every year.

    Anyway I am looking forward to the game. I think honestly the Broncos are probably the underdog in my book but best of luck to your boys. If our Offense can get something started with Polamalu all over the field it should be a good game.

  29. @Shockwave

    Ah-ha, now you see why Raymond and I are so excited about Heavy Rain and NOT because it's a PS3 exclusive.

  30. @RROD – I definitely understand. It has answered a lot of questions I had about weather or not I would like Heavy Rain. I'm willing to forgive all of the frustrations as it was a game from last gen after all. End of the day it is an awesome game and probably a game I would like to get a second crack at knowing how certain things play out.

  31. @Shockwave562 Thanks for posting your thoughts! Aside from that graphics, there were only two things I didn't like about the game. There's one mini-game sequence that takes place in a flashback. I'm pretty sure you won't like it either The other thing I don't like you won't get to until the end. Let me know when you do, as I'd love to discuss it further.

    What did you think of the soundtrack? I loved it. It's by Angelo Badalamenti — loved his stuff from Twin Peaks. Here's more info on him:

  32. I just received my Netflix cd for my ps3…. Before I was using playon to stream my movies into my ps3. I notice a big difference in the quality of the movies I was watching. With playon the quality was greatly reduce vs the netflix direct to ps3. It's freaking Awesome!~!

  33. Twin Peaks kicked ass.

    @ RROD

    The Giants also have alot of injuries.

    @ Shockwave

    People say that one guy doesn't account for a defense being on or off their game. All logic leads me to agree. BUT… when that guy is Troy, he's kind of like having 2 people in the secondary. Also, when a player is like Ray Lewis and a team leader… that can throw off the timing a bit.

    I now believe that Polomalu alone keeps at least 3 points off the board every game, by himself.

  34. @Ray

    love the soundtrack, it adds to the whole experience. I always enjoyed the soundtracks of hitmam and halo too. Good soundtracks are underestimated.

    Only flash back I had was the military base one which I didn't mind. I'll let you know when I finish it

  35. @N8R. way to finish the game up. you guys did an impressive job. I'm starting to wonder where our second half heroics have gone.

    Defense is probably getting tired waiting for the offense to get moving. At least your offense was able to get some rhythm late in the game

  36. @shockwave

    I think you are starting to feel the effects of Kyle Orton. He just makes some bad decisions.

    Think you can still win the division? Chargers are getting close now.

  37. @ smartguy – definitely, we still have 4 divisional games left. 2 against the Chiefs and one against the Raiders. We've lost to 2 of the toughest teams in the AFC (and beaten some of the toughest teams in the league). If we don't win the division I'll be much more shocked than last year.

    I think our lack of a running game hurt more than Orton's 2 interceptions. Those were bad but when you have 20 some odd rushing yards you can't throw the ball with success IMO

  38. @smartguy – If we actually lose to the Redskins next week then maybe I'll concede that SD has a chance of winning the division

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