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Microsoft exploring TV programs for Xbox One

by William Schwartz

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Microsoft has positioned itself as the merger between video game entertainment and TV, a system that they feel can take over the living room and possibly cable networks. While Microsoft has the games part down, the TV integration part is still in its infancy. They have made some strategic partnerships, like with the NFL, to try and entice buyers, but they also recognize that they’ll need more than third-party partnerships to entice buyers. Much like Netflix, they realize they need to create their own original content to hook buyers into the ecosystem, if an interview with Bloomberg is any indication.

Microsoft has already announced that they are producing a live-action Halo series with the budget of other AAA shows like Game of Thrones and Steven Spielberg as executive producer. However, that is not enough and Phil Spencer, corporate vice president of Microsoft Studios, acknowledged this. He made mention that Microsoft opened a new production studio, Microsoft Los Angeles, with the purpose of creating and executing ideas for TV shows. “[Microsoft Los Angeles] have literally hundreds of ideas that they are incubating right now. We will have some new announcement for TV shows coming pretty soon.”

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Another big focus of Microsoft is sports, and not just ones popular in the U.S. “We believe sports is a very interesting category globally. We’ll be expanding what we do in sports to bring more international sports into the mix.”

Phil Spencer also made mention of Kinect 2.0 and its ability to allow the user to “seamlessly” switch from TV to games to Skype, which he feels will aide the Xbox One experience as a whole.

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