Microsoft to do what Hollywood can't with interactive programming

Xbox One

Microsoft plans to roll out new shows with its Xbox TV studio. According to Bloomberg, Nancy Tellem is heading up the game with six series lined up, including the thriller Humans which is set to go live in 2015. It's going to be a difficult road for the software giant with the likes of Netflix and Amazon both producing original content to win the hearts (and wallets) of consumers. Tellem, who was part of the team that debuted the likes of ER and Friends, plans to separate Microsoft from the competition by adding interactive experiences.

Alongside the new Halo series and Humans, the Xbox studio will produce a comedy sketch and a stop-motion show with Green's Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which produces Robot Chicken. Then there's the Bonnaroo music festival in Manchester, US this July, which will see full coverage and backstage Skype interviews. While some shows, including Every Street United, will be available for Xbox One and 360 owners for free, Microsoft is still ironing out the creases in its business model plans.

Not only will Microsoft focus on high quality content, but the company will also steer towards producing shows and series that are more tailored to the gaming audience. This means the company will be attempting to crack what the entertainment industry has been attempting to achieve for some time on its own. Consumers will be encouraged to engage with content across consoles, phones and tablets. It's also part of Microsoft's long term strategy, coupled with price cuts to compete with Sony. Think SmartGlass, think more immersion.

You can expect to see some new things from Microsoft for Xbox in the coming years, and television (and interactive media in general) will play an important role.

Source: Bloomberg


Reader comments

Microsoft to do what Hollywood can't with interactive programming


What about Gears of War on Windows platforms? They purchased the franchise long ago and should be working on it. No news about it.

Microsoft gaming studios basically gave up on pc gaming, with the death of GFWL. outside of a few of the indie xbla games making it to steam.

Non of there large games in the past 5 to 6 years has been thought of on pc, halo, gow, forza. I am pretty sure the only reason alan wake was on pc as it did not sell well on xbox and needed to recope some more costs

Unless MS purchased the IP in the last year then they don't own it. Last I checked Epic still owned the IP, and People Can Fly did the PC version of GoW, MS only owns the publishing rights to the franchise.

Edit: Nevermind, did a quick search, saw they bought it back in January. Wouldn't call that a long time ago though, I would give them a bit more time before asking where PC versions were...although they make much more money off of console game sales than PC game sales.

I agree. Microsoft is going in the right direction with xbox but it all seems a little rushed. I don't think my xbox one is providing me with value for my money at the moment. It seems like Microsoft are too focused on the future and not thinking about the present.

RocketJump actually did a pretty successful show called Video Game High School targeted on gaming audience. Maybe partner with them?

Netflix in Canada is not nearly as good as Netflix in the states. We get very few of the big hits. Mostly old movies. If MS can get me quality content at a good price I would gladly switch from Netflix.

Producing scripted dramatic shows/content is a weird new direction for Microsoft.   I really don't get why they feel they should be in that space, just because Netflix and Amazon are doing it.   Just leave it to the traditional production studios-----unless they plan on making a big Hollywood acquisition, which would make just as little sense.

I guess we'll see, but I wouldn't think of a company less suited for this, except maybe Exxon. MSFT doesn't get consumers, proof is the fact they are basically being pushed out by google, apple, and amazon ouf this market. The xbox, which has been the token example of a great consumer product from MSFT outside of the windows client is recovering from the worse PR disaster of any gaming console in decades, thanks in fact to a huge miscalculation from MS's own audience research (one wonders who the people who researched the XB1 market are but they clearly did a lousy job).

So now MSFT knows just what people want? After windows 8's 180? After XB1's 180? Well I suppose one thing they can say is: "guys we found out what not to do, so this time we'll do it right".

Color me skeptic but if this is just the typical smart glass experience then it will not matter. While it is amusing to have that second screen, it isn't really a killer feature. Furthermore, where is the 99 dollar xbox tv? Or better yet, how can I watch netflix/amazon/anything without XBL gold?

Original content is one thing but if the barrier of entry is a 500 dollar console on top of a XBL subscription just to watch a show, on top of the show fee....ugh. Go back to market research MSFT.

One of the reasons why I opted to get a PS3 (had a 360 before). I just couldn't stand having to pay a subscription to use a paid subscription.

i dont like this type of comments, and i can tell you why really and ill explain on my personal experience... while i do realize that is without a doubt a person to person situation and might be slightly bias.


when i went to Best Buy to buy my Xbox 360 i didnt walk in there thinking well right now my smart TV(which already had netflix, hulu, amazon, and crunchyroll apps) i need a box that can do streaming. No i walked into best buy thinking i needed a new gaming console bam launch day purchase of Xbox 360... years later i had access to all these things in one box... same concept with my Xbox One, i bought a gaming consul for just that gaming the fact it lets me do that and so much more i take it as a plus. I pay for XBL for the multiplayer and the fact i sunk in about 260+ hours into BF4 alone makes it so much worth my purchase and i still have time in games like KI, PvZ:GW, COD:Ghost, and Titanfall ohh and not to mention all the time the Wife has spent watching netflix... so far for me my Xbox One purchase and subscriptions already paid for themselves. and same thing happen with the Xbox 360. I bought a gaming consul to play online paid for XBL, wanna watch some movies i pay Netflix, feel like watching Anime i pay Crunchyroll(which btw im so furious its not on the Xbox One yet i need this app so bad my smart tv app sucks i personally loved the Xbox 360 app... ugh i can go for days) you already pay for the services so whats the point in complaining its not like netflix is going to be like ohh you have XBL and a Xbox 360/One well you dont have to pay us, it simply dont work that way

overall MSFT doesn't have their console in isolation. the PS platform doesn't charge for running apps of services you already own regardless of where you stand with the multiplayer subscription to XBL.

I know what MSFT is trying to do is to inflate the value of the XBL gold by saying "look, you can do these other things". Yet that is artificial and not really needed when sony now also decided to charge for PSN.

I file this under the "at war with its own customers" in my "Things MS does today" folder.

I could understand this better if it was a way to extend the Xbox brands, Halo and Gears action shows, Viva Piñata cartoon, some sort of Xbox game show or lifestyle show. But all the announced shows sound like pilot season rejects.