On Monday, April 28, Microsoft unveiled its latest move to stay on top in media innovation by announcing XBox Originals, a dozen original TV programs to be exclusively available to XBox owners beginning this June.
XBox Originals will include a variety of different television genres, such as documentaries, reality shows and scripted dramas and comedies, Forbes magazine reported. The programs are Microsoft’s first attempt at competing with other original-programming streaming sites like Netflix and Amazon.
After announcing its first lineup of XBox Originals, Microsoft is now looking to future ideas for programming. According to joystiq.com, XBox games Gears of War, Fable and Forza Motorsport are the latest potential sources of adaptation.
However, these potential adaptations may ultimately never come to fruition. Vice President of Xbox Entertainment Studios Jordan Levin referred to these projects as being in a stage of “exploratory conversation.”
These games are the culmination of endless hours of hard work with the latest programs. Gears of War, for instance, was created with Unreal® Technology, which is considered by many to be state of the art. It remains to be seen how well they would transfer to a new medium.
Currently, the “Halo” series, based off the massively popular game of the same name, appears to be Microsoft’s flagship XBox Originals program, according to the Santa Monica Mirror. Other XBox Originals include a six-film documentary series about different areas of technology and a reality series that follows two soccer legends as they search for the world’s best amateur players, according to Forbes.
“Microsoft has a long and rich legacy in the content business,” Levin stated. “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.”
Reactions to the XBox Originals have been mixed. A Time Magazine headline reads “Microsoft’s Xbox Original Programming Strategy: Let’s Throw Lots of Spaghetti at the Wall.” Yet gamespot.com has praised the air of experimentation and diversity in the company’s programming lineup.
No matter how successful (or unsuccessful) XBox Originals ultimately become, there’s no denying that Microsoft’s attempt to turn its XBox console into an “all-in-one entertainment device.”