Microsoft Unveils Xbox Originals

By Brent Johnson, 4 years ago
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.
Xbox Originals Logo

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 and ER. 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 franchise.

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.
Brent Johnson
Written by Brent Johnson
TerraCottaGamer has been gaming since the 1970's with his first memories of gaming being on Pac-Man, Asteroids and Space Invaders arcade machines. His home console gaming began with the Atari 2600 and has included just about every console since; but he regards the Sega Genesis as his favorite console of all time. In his professional life, Reverend Brent A. Johnson (B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.) lives in Kunming, China where he operates his faith-based humanitarian aide organization which he founded over 10 years ago. It focuses on meeting the basic physical and spiritual needs of the Chinese. In his personal life Brent, who grew up in Miami, Florida, is a middle-aged, married, father of 2 teenaged daughters who loves to hang out with his friends, watch sports (Cubs, Cowboys, Canes and Heat) and play games of all kinds. Anyone up for a game of Settlers of Catan?!?