Microsoft has officially released details, on the official Xbox Wire, about the company’s push into original programming called Xbox Originals.
“We are developing premium, original content for the Xbox community which is an audience we are incredibly respectful of,” said Nancy Tellem, President of Xbox Entertainment Studios. “We believe Xbox Originals should embrace the way our fans think about traditional TV. I know full well from my years spent at traditional TV networks that creating a lineup of hit shows isn’t easy. It’s the beginning of a long journey, but we’re incredibly excited to be on our way,” Tellem added.
The Xbox Originals content will consist of dramas, comedies, documentaries, animation, unscripted shows, and live events produced by the Xbox Entertainment Studios. The original programming will be available only on the Xbox 360 and Xbox One but Microsoft did mention that they’re working on bringing the content to other Microsoft-based devices. The company also plans on incorporating interactive features and capabilities on a per-show basis.
“Microsoft has a long and rich legacy in the content business,” said Jordan Levin, Executive Vice President of Xbox Entertainment Studios. “Games have been part of our DNA for at least the last 15 years, and creating original TV content is a logical next step in our evolution.”
At the moment, Microsoft has at least 12 original programming projects in the works although only 6 have been marked as “committed” with the rest still are in pre-production limbo and may never be put into actual production. Two of the bigger “committed” projects are based on the popular Halo franchise – a television series produced by Steven Spielberg and a digital feature produced by Ridley Scott. The latter project is expected to coincide with the still unannounced new Halo game for the Xbox One.
Another project, the first Xbox Original program to be released, will be an interactive live broadcast of the 13th annual Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival that happens in June. Xbox owners will be able to experience the festival with the ability to switch stages and cameras. They will also be able to interact with fellow watchers as well as artists via Skype.
The rest of the “commited” include a six film documentary series called “Signal to Noise”, a drama called “Humans”, and a reality show about street soccer called “Every Street United”. The projects that are considered “In
Development” include a pen-and-paper RPG-based series called “Deadlands”, a hybrid stop-motion show dubbed “Extraordinary Believers”, a reality show called “Fearless”, a detective thrilled dubbed “Gun Machine”, a graphic novel-based series called “Winterworld”, and an untitled comedy show.
Microsoft did not release any further details on release dates for the Xbox Originals projects as well as details on how Xbox owners will have access to the content.