Microsoft is getting in the television business in a big way, rolling out a slate of original programs made specifically for its Xbox platform, EW.com's Inside TV reports.
"Although Microsoft’s been in talks to get into the original video content game for a year now, the company is just now announcing its twelve shows, dubbed Xbox Originals. Ranging from unscripted comedies to game-based dramas, the shows are expected to begin airing this June," the article reports.
In a statement, Jordan Levin, executive president of Xbox Entertainment Studios, said: “Microsoft has a long and rich legacy in the content business. 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.”
The report adds: "The Xbox Originals will be produced by companies outside of Microsoft and will be only available on Xbox 360, Xbox One, and other Microsoft devices. But Xbox Originals aren’t just going to be TV shows — they’re going to have interactive elements, setting them apart from Netflix originals like 'Orange Is the New Black' or 'House of Cards.'"
Among the projects is a "Halo" TV series, a live-action production based on the Halo game franchise and executive produced by Steven Spielberg.
Also on tap, a TV series titled "Every Street United," which is an eight-episode unscripted series looking for street soccer stars in eight countries.
Other titles include "Bonnaroo," which visits the music and arts festival in Tennessee, and "Signal to Noise," a six-part tech-focused documentary series produced by "Searching for Sugar Man" producer Simon Chinn and Emmy-winning producer Jonathan Chinn.