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Programmatically Accessing My Xbox Live! Info

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  • User profile image
    Illuminati​Lord

    I've been trying to find information on how I can query Live! information (like my list of friends, their current status, etc).

    The best I've seen come up with is Cory Smith over at http://www.xboxfriends.com/ who's written a Windows task tray app (written in .NET), but what it actually does is screen-scrape the information off of his Xbox Live! web page.

    There's got to be a better way!  Anyone know of an open Web Service or TCP/UDP port call structure that I can use to get direct access to just my friends information (assuming I've entered the correct Passport credentials for me)?

  • User profile image
    dalangalma

    Wow, that's a great idea. An XBox Live stats Web Service API would be wonderful, especially for clan sites that want to list their members' halo 2 stats...

  • User profile image
    Illuminati​Lord

    I agree, but I can't get anyone from MS to help me find out if it's even feasible.  The screen-scraping approach is OK, but slow.

    Is there a reason that, as long as I log in using my Xbox Live! associated Passport ID, I can't get access to My Friends info?  I can understand you don't want to just open up the entire Live! community database to querying, but personalized queries should be supported somewhere.

    Any input from a MS listener here?

  • User profile image
    Plip

    If I remember correctly from the documents I read whilst I was with a very large computer games firm (going back over a year now) the Xbox live network is a sealed thing, with the occasional bridge in to the real world, the statistics are not externalible accesible for reasons of security.

    It's actually difficult for developers to get stats of stuff happening even with their games. 

    I think you'll se it opening up over time, or rather if Sony and Nintendo do it, MS will follow Wink

  • User profile image
    prog_dotnet

    they are actually opening up the system already..

    Microsoft to simplify its Xbox software
    Making game-building easier

    BLOOMBERG NEWS

    Microsoft Corp. will simplify the software for its money-losing Xbox video-game device to encourage game makers to create more titles and help the company take market share from Sony Corp., the company said yesterday.

    Xbox programming software will be the same as that for Windows personal computers, making it easier for game makers to build games more quickly, Microsoft, the world's largest software maker, said yesterday.

    Microsoft is taking steps to bolster Xbox sales and the quality of its games after failing for more than two years to challenge Sony's PlayStation2, which outsells Xbox 5 to 1 in the $8 billion market for gaming hardware. The Xbox unit lost almost $2 billion in two years. Redmond-based Microsoft also is trying to make the next version of Xbox with cheaper parts to cut its own costs.

    It allows smaller developers to accelerate Xbox development, and more games from other studios will ultimately help us sell more of our own games," said John Batter, who oversees a staff of 375 at the Los Angeles studio of Electronic Arts Inc., the largest U.S. video game maker, which makes the "Medal of Honor" series of war games for the Xbox.

    Microsoft executives Robbie Bach, who runs the Xbox unit, and J. Allard announced the new XNA software platform for the games yesterday at a conference for game developers in San Jose, Calif. Allard will lead the initiative.

    "Software will be the single most important force in digital entertainment over the next decade," Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates said in a statement.

    Microsoft, which had shunned significant hardware projects, launched Xbox in November 2001, a year after Sony's PlayStation2. Since then Microsoft's home and entertainment division has had a combined loss of $1.8 billion in fiscal 2002 and 2003, mostly attributable to Xbox.

    Sales fell short in the first year amid the departure of the project's inventors, including Seamus Blackley, who had worked on persuading game developers to build titles for the console. Ed Fries, the head of Microsoft's game software publishing unit, quit in January.

    The company, which charged $299 for the Xbox when it was introduced, loses more than $100 on each Xbox console it sells, analysts have said. Microsoft has cut the price twice since then. Microsoft plans a third cut, to $149 early next month, The Wall Street Journal reported last week.

    Microsoft will need to boost Xbox sales to lure game developers, said Michael Pachter, who follows video game companies for Wedbush Morgan Securities in Los Angeles.

    "Game developers aren't in business to make games easily; they are in business to make games that sell," Pachter said.


    http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/business/166199_msftxbox25.html

  • User profile image
    dalangalma

    As cool as XNA is, it has nothing to do with an XBox Live web service...

  • User profile image
    prog_dotnet

    oh sorry, forgot to quote Pilp. My posting was intened to be a reply to:
    "It's actually difficult for developers to get stats of stuff happening even with their games. 

    I think you'll se it opening up over time, or rather if Sony and Nintendo do it, MS will follow Wink"

  • User profile image
    Illuminati​Lord

    So the message to PC developers who'd like to build an extension to Xbox Live! on the PC using ,NET is that it's not possible right now ... right?

    This is quite unfortunate.  I can understand not wanting to open up Gamertag personal information, but what harm can it do to provide a web service for game-related information?  Like, is IlluminatiLord online or offline?  What game is he playing?  How many people are currently online playing Rainbow Six 3?  What's my ranking on this game and where do I stand versus others.

    This information IS available and I can't see the world coming to an end in allowing it to be queried.

  • User profile image
    Jaz

    dalangalma wrote:
    As cool as XNA is, it has nothing to do with an XBox Live web service...


    i'm going to have to argue this point and say from what ive read, XNA will allow PC interlopability with Xbox Live.

  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    Possible solution: use MSN Messenger APIs.

    According to various Google News hits, MSN Messenger integration was originally slated for the last XBox Live release, but is now scheduled for "later in May".

    Now, given that various 3rd-party add-ons for MSN Messenger already exist, I'm betting that you'll be able to get at all that XBox Live goodness via the Messenger APIs...

  • User profile image
    Illuminati​Lord

    An interesting theory, but who knows when those services will be available - and just how would I get at them via the MSN Messenger SDK?  Seems like I;d have to have their assemblies or COM objects, right (unless it's all done with web services and proxies - in which case I should be able to get to them without MSN Messenger)?

  • User profile image
    GooberDLX

    Well hey.. since I'm a developer.. and play Xbox Live! anytime I'm not writing code.. on Live! none-the-less.. I'll give you all the details once they roll out..

    It's based on MSN Alerts.. So here's a good link on developing with alerts..
    http://www.microsoft.com/net/services/alerts/developer.asp

    Technically.. Alerts are something you have to authenticate with.. and the only allowable end-point is MSN Messenger.. which though you could write a plug-in, doesn't give you THAT much room to play.. it would almost be the same as screen scraping...

    Jake

  • User profile image
    Illuminati​Lord

    Agreed.  I don't see any performance (or code savings) by doing it that way versus plain-old screen scraping.  Thanks for the link, though.

    Does anyone know whether the new XNA platform will allow me to do this?  I've heard rumors that Live! services will be exposed to PC developers through XNA.

  • User profile image
    jonathanh

    Looks like we just shipped the MSN Messenger/XBox Live integration - check it out

  • User profile image
    GooberDLX

    SCORE! Im all over that.. sending Invites to my mobile is freaking amazing!

    Jake

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