Microsoft wants to follow the lead of Amazon, Netflix and Yahoo. That is why it is turning to the silver screen as a publicity stunt for its gaming devices. Microsoft has already lined up 6 original TV shows for Xbox this summer and more than 12 are under development.
Hollywood awaits Microsoft! The corporation may be late to the game of showmanship but as they say: better to be late than never. The comedy classics of Sarah Silverman and Seth Green are coming to Microsoft on a contractual basis. And the world’s top soccer players not to mention humanoid robots will figure in the mix.
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Microsoft’s brand new Xbox Television has half a dozen projects lined up for the summer season. Nancy Tellem, who joined the topmost ranks of Microsoft about a year and a half ago, is spearheading the whole shebang. The creation of an entertainment channel is what the deal is about.
A sci-fi thriller termed strangely “Humans”, about robots that undergo self-replication, is one of the six projects that are still in their nascent phases. And Microsoft's Xbox Entertainment Studios and UK broadcaster Channel 4 partners to to co-produce "Humans" along with award-winning UK production company, Kudos.
"In Humans, Sam and Jon have not only crafted an ingenious and imaginative thriller, they’re also asking big, thought-provoking questions about how we live," said Piers Wenger, Head of Drama for Channel 4. "I'm thrilled to be working once again with the team at Kudos and to be partnering with Xbox Entertainment Studios to bring this extraordinary and epic series to the screen. This is the first co-production commission to benefit from Channel 4’s increased investment in drama and reaffirms our commitment to ambitious, highly original drama series."
"Humans" is basically an English-language adaptation of Sveriges Television and Matador Film's acclaimed series "Real Humans," written by British writing team Sam Vincent and Jonathan Brackley. This show will go live on both the Xbox platform in North America and Channel 4 in the UK in 2015.
"'Humans' not only questions personal relationships, we loved how this sci-fi show toys with reality and our connection to technology," said Xbox Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem. She added, "This deal with Channel 4 and Kudos underscores Xbox Entertainment Studios' commitment to programming premium TV series with global partners and creating engaging interactive experiences."
Although this is virgin territory for Microsoft, the firm plans to make hay while the sun shines. The lack of experience will be offset by an oversupply of enthusiasm.
In an area where such big names as Netflix and Amazon are common parlance, Microsoft wants to gain some audience appeal. The plan is to attract consumers to its Xbox gaming console and Xbox Live Online service.
Obviously, television is a crucial factor in gaining the attention of a mass audience in this age of media hype and information overload. Microsoft is pushing ahead with its impressive agenda.
Two of the major supporters of this plan have already left Microsoft though. We refer to none other than Steve Ballmer and Don Mattrick. It won’t be an easy job for the organization to get out of its comfort zone, but then without effort life is a humdrum affair of stagnancy.
A street football reality show called “Every Street United” is holding out for the World Cup. And “Humans” will be a Swedish venture. The audience is being gauged so as to judge what its tastes and predilections are in matters of entertainment. It is a true meeting of information technology and performing art in a complex amalgam.