Detailed by Variety recently, original television shows likely exclusive to Microsoft’s line of gaming hardware will start to roll out to Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners during the first half of 2014, potentially before March 2014. The person in charge of development is Xbox Entertainment Studios president Nancy Tellem, who’s previous experience includes managing television properties at CBS and the CW. Tellem is likely attempting to source and produce original programming that’s attractive to the gaming community as well as the general public.
Speaking about the type of programming that will define the Xbox platform, Tellem said “We aren’t Netflix, we aren’t Amazon, we’re a different animal. We’re neither or we’re a little like them. It all depends. The lack of black and white and this is the template and this is what we’re following is very difficult. As we continue to do deals everyone’s going to get more comfortable.”
Programming produced for Xbox owners could also include some interactive elements, potentially tied into Xbox SmartGlass. Tellem continued “Millennials are now dictating what we’re doing. I prefer a more passive experience, but this new millennial generation are multi-tasking and leaning in. They want the option to watch when they want to watch.”
It’s likely that original content will be included for Xbox Live Gold subscribers, very similar to Amazon Prime’s model, and potentially sold on an episode-by-episode basis for the rest of the Xbox community. With an existing audience of more than 70 million Xbox consoles to reach out to, approximately two thirds of those consoles are subscribed to the Xbox Live Gold service.
One of the series being developed for next year is a live-action action drama based on the Halo franchise and it’s being produced by Steven Spielberg. Other shows include a scripted comedy about professional skaters as well as a reality show about street soccer. Hypothetically, Microsoft could offer up a selection of test pilots to the Xbox audience and attempt to obtain feedback from the community. That’s a strategy Amazon used before selecting original programming to create for Amazon Prime subscribers.