By Sahil Patel
Back when Microsoft first unveiled the Xbox One, its next-generation gaming console and home entertainment system, the company disclosed plans to produce a live-action TV series based on its mega-popular “Halo” franchise. To be produced by Steven Spielberg, the series announcement served as a punctuation to the Xbox’s shift from being primarily a gaming console to now a home entertainment system.
Since the announcement, not much has been revealed about Xbox’s entertainment plans — except that content on the Xbox One would focus on providing both a traditional lean-back viewing experience as well as interactive features for those more plugged in when watching and engaging with content.
Now, it appears that Microsoft is gearing up to announce a bunch of new shows it has in the pipeline for the Xbox One, per a report from Bloomberg. Microsoft has a production team in LA — staffed with roughly 200 people — developing “hundreds of ideas” for new programming, some of which will be announced “pretty soon.”
Microsoft’s president of entertainment and digital media, Nancy Tellem, a longtime television executive, told attendees of a TV conference in the UK last week that she is hoping announce more content deals in the coming weeks. These deals with studio and talent are currently being finalized, she said.
So expect a lot of news to come out of Microsoft in the next month.
If you’re wondering what this all means for Microsoft/MSN’s original video business (Microsoft Advertising is a founding partner of the Newfronts), don’t expect Microsoft to say much, if anything at all. Because the company hasn’t. And if the last two years are any indication, the business is as much of an afterthought at Microsoft as it is among people in the industry.