Microsoft has not been subtle about the fact that they want to control your entertainment center. Witness the Xbox One and the multitude of features it boasts that seemingly have nothing to do with gaming. It has always been Microsoft's plan for the Xbox One to become the one device that rules them all. TV, music, movies, games and all forms of entertainment seamlessly integrated into one glorious machine. To that end, Microsoft released more information about their upcoming plans to provide original content.
This new arm of Xbox Entertainment Studios is has been dubbed Xbox Originals
and is designed to bring original viewing content to the Xbox One, 360 and other Microsoft devices with the distinct twist that every show will offer unique interactive features and capabilities tailored to it. These features are yet to be announced but it is likely that second screens, such as tablets and smart phones, will be a part of the experience as Microsoft looks to expand its SmartGlass app.
The project is being spearheaded by the President of Xbox Entertainment Studios, Nancy Tellem, who spent many years in traditional TV before moving over to Xbox in June of 2012. She was behind the creation of shows such as Friends
. Her vision at Xbox is to revolutionize the way people, and gamers in particular, watch TV. Jordan Levin, Executive Vice President of Xbox Entertainment Studios, said “Games have been part of our DNA for at least 15 years, and creating original TV content is a logical next step in our evolution.”
The lineup of shows is impressive and includes a plethora of well-known television and movie producers. The headlining project is a series based on the Halo
franchise that Steven Spielberg will executive produce. Ridley Scott, of Gladiator
and American Gangster
fame, will executive produce a separate digital feature also based on the Halo
Other planned projects include a reality series titled Every Street United
, which will search the globe for the best undiscovered football (soccer) talent and feature already established footie greats such as Thierry Henry and Edgar Davids. Also in the lineup is a documentary series that will highlight little known technology stories, and a sci-fi series called Humans
based on an already established Swedish series. Viewers will also have exclusive access to the Bonnaroo Music Festival.
Still more projects under development include a wide range of genres from established entertainers like Sarah Silverman and Seth Green, as well as producers Brett Conrad (Sons of Anarchy
) and Stoopid Buddy Stoodios (Robot Chicken
The lineup of shows is notable to say the least and there is something that just about everyone will find intriguing. Whether or not this will revolutionize TV viewing remains to be seen, but one thing is certain, Microsoft is intent on doing everything they can to make this a success. They see Xbox Originals
as an extension of what they have already been doing for years with first-party game content.
Look for Xbox Originals to hit your consoles, and other MS devices, in June 2014.