Microsoft is hoping to separate itself from just a deliverer of video content and is trying to invent a new way to supply original interactive television with their Xbox One console. Microsoft hopes to have viewers experience watching television beyond sitting and staring at a screen.
The first step Microsoft is taking is to expand the way the way viewers explore new television content. The ability to multitask and switch between games and apps is making the finding of related videos easy on the Xbox One. Currently, some video games have YouTube and Internet content links that are related to the game which players can click on. Once the video or page is viewed, the user is able to switch back and continue playing the video game. Microsoft is hoping to expand that type of exploration with its own shows and specials.
The largest draw was announced when the Xbox One itself was first revealed. Steven Spielberg is set to be the executive producer of a live-action series based inside the Halo universe. To promote the release of Halo 4 in 2012, Microsoft partnered with 343 Industries to produce the web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn. The web series was well-received, but did not reach an audience larger than those who played the video game. Microsoft is hoping that attaching a big name such as Spielberg will attract viewers that will see the series as more than just a video game tie-in.
Other original shows on the Xbox One are set to become interactive as well. There will be plenty of upcoming comedy, drama, and documentary shows to bring in new viewers. Microsoft hopes that the new viewers will see just how exclusive the experience is to the console, such as airing live shows that will allow users to participate in ways that are more immersive than if they attended the event.
This year, Xbox One users will be able to experience the Bonnaroo Music Festival like never before. Microsoft plans to have a social aspect to the video stream so that viewers can comment with each other as the music is streamed live. Also, there are plans for viewers to be able to switch between cameras on different stages at the event so that users will be able to view all the music acts that they choose.
Microsoft is not setting itself to run up against the likes of Netflix or other paid subscriptions as the content on those services will continue to be available on the Xbox One console. Instead, Microsoft is trying to focus on giving gamers and viewers an experience they cannot achieve using a different device. Using a combination of the Kinect and features inside the viewing applications will truly make the Xbox One an interactive media device.
Whether or not the new video content will use all of the interactive features is still unknown. Microsoft is set to slowly release the new content over time and test out which features become the most popular. The focus is to have interactive features that coincide with the content being viewed. Microsoft is looking into not having a universal media player that plays all of the new shows in the same way, but instead would have each new show or special viewed as a separate channel.
Microsoft is on the way to push their original content beyond interactive television on the Xbox One by utilizing their assets such as Skype, MSN, and Bing. That is more of the sharing aspect which Microsoft hopes will broaden the appeal to purchase the Xbox One and take over the living room.
By Raul Hernandez