New Xbox a one-stop entertainment centre

Nancy Tellum, entertainment and digital media president of Microsoft speaks during a press event...

Nancy Tellum, entertainment and digital media president of Microsoft speaks during a press event unveiling Microsoft's new Xbox in Redmond, Washington May 21, 2013. REUTERS/Nick Adams

Steve Tilley, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:52 PM ET

REDMOND, Wash. - While we're still decades away from a Star Trek holodeck, Microsoft is hoping their new video game console will begin to blur the line between interactive video games and traditional entertainment.

Microsoft this week took the wraps off Xbox One, the company's successor to its nearly eight-year-old Xbox 360 games console. But rather than just going after gamers, the software giant is taking aim at everyone who uses the living room TV for entertainment. And they've hired some pretty big guns.

Nancy Tellem, former president of CBS Television Studios and longtime consultant to CBS president and CEO Leslie Moonves, joined Microsoft last year as the company's entertainment and digital media president. She's also heading up a Los Angeles-based studio that will produce original content for Xbox One.

"I really felt that television was changing, and I really wanted to be part of that next iteration of television," said Tellem, following the Xbox One announcement at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, Wash.

Xbox One will be available before the end of this year, although the price hasn't yet been announced. In contrast to Sony's upcoming PlayStation 4, which the Japanese giant is positioning primarily as a dedicated games machine, Microsoft wants the Xbox One to be a catch-all entertainment hub, allowing users to seamlessly switch between video games, downloaded movies, live TV broadcasts, sporting events and so on.

The company is also making its first foray into developing Xbox-exclusive interactive TV shows, including a Steven Spielberg-produced TV series based on the popular Halo game franchise.

"He's a huge enthusiast about gaming, and particularly about Halo and the mythology and the universe around it," said Tellem. "It really excited him."

While many companies have tried and failed to make interactive TV relevant, Tellem said the technology has finally caught up to the vision of the content creators and the demands of the audience.

"There are a lot of projects in the pipeline, but I can't speak to them as yet," she said.

"But we opened our doors several months ago and the reception from creators and writers and directors, as well as the creative community in Los Angeles and New York, has been overwhelming."

 


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