Sony’s PlayStation and Microsoft’s Xbox have been inextricably linked since the latter’s inception. But somewhere along the way we saw their strategies for ensnaring new customers diverge: Sony’s PlayStation 4 targets a market of hardcore gamers; Microsoft wants the Xbox One to become a do-it-all entertainment center that the whole family can use.
Today Xbox’s media strategy is front and center. Bloomberg reports that the team is rolling out a new Xbox television studio this June led by Nancy Tellem, formerly of CBS Corp., and will focus on bringing original content programming to the table, a la Netflix and Amazon.
It’s an expensive gamble. But diving into original content has paid off handsomely for Netflix, which carved out a lucrative space for itself alongside established players like HBO. Even monolithic web giants like Yahoo realize its potential. The challenge for Microsoft, however, will be finding its own House of Cards-sized hit. (Halo, perhaps?)
And that won’t be easy. So far, the Xbox TV team has tapped comedians like Sarah Silverman and Seth Green. Xbox’s television studio has six programs ready to go with dozens of others in the works, including a sci-fi series called Humans, which is about humanoid robots. “There’s a huge failure rate,” Tellem tells Bloomberg. “You have to get up to the plate a lot. Hopefully we can have a higher batting average than most, but it’s a long process.”CG