Microsoft has launched a rather cool new feature for Xbox Live that lets you to export your avatar and share it with friends and family via email or Facebook and other social networking sites.

Free your Avatar also offer gamers a number of screensavers, wallpapers and festive cards added that you can use as seasonal backgrounds for your cheeky new Xbox avatar.

You can also create entire family portraits of yourself and your mates and family members's Xbox avatars – again, a very cool feature.

Beats buying pretend chairs

To have a play around you just need to head over to the Xbox website and enter your Gamertag to get your avatar pic. Or if you are yet to get yourself all avatar-ed up, then you can just choose from a gallery of pre-created little cartoon people.

Xbox is running a competition for the best scenes created, with a load of kit up for grabs and personalised statues of your own avatar.

Be warned though, the service doesn't seem to run on Firefox yet and is still rather sluggish on Internet Explorer, most likely due to the volume of traffic heading to the site right now! If you can't get on, give it a day or two then try again over on the Xbox website.