If you want more proof that Microsoft's Xbox One is truly meant for all walks of life, we have it this week. Microsoft announced that the company will be launching its first batch of original programming on the Xbox One and also the Xbox 360 sometime in early 2014. This would put the next-gen console in direct competition with Amazon Instant Video, Hulu and Netflix, which all currently offer original content on their services. The difference here is that both the Xbox 360 and Xbox One will have content on a platform that Microsoft has complete control over.
Nancy Tellem, president of entertainment and digital for Microsoft, headed up an effort to create content for Xbox back in 2012, so the fact that we're already coming close to a potential launch is impressive. About the news, she said,
I'm incredibly ambitious and impatient. We're hoping we will be able to put something up in the first quarter, at minimum second quarter.
Of course, we saw a beginning glimpse of this back at E3 when Steven Spielberg teamed up with Xbox to start production on a Halo project. But it appears that's just the tip of the original programming iceberg for the center of all family entertainment in the living room. Given that Microsoft currently has 48 million Xbox Live subscribers, adding a lineup of appealing content to different demographics on the platform could give more reason for users to stay committed to the service, especially when the PlayStation Network and other companies are trying to detract customers from the Xbox hive.
Tellem is a bit disappointed it took this long, but promised that the delivery will be worth the wait. She also said that this isn't just another Netflix competitor launching a service to the masses, noting that it was hard for her to explain to production companies just exactly what Xbox was and how it plays in the market space.
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.
No details yet on exactly what kind of shows or movies we'll see, but we have heard we might get some word of that on or around the time of the International Consumer Electronics Show in January.