Is Microsoft’s Xbox One Even More Misguided?
Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has proved even more that it is putting a great amount of interest in the non-gaming media that could run into the Xbox One. Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer took a tour around Hollywood at the end of may to get the interest of folks in the entertainment industry.
When Microsoft unveiled the Xbox One during a special event it hosted for just that purpose, most of the company’s focus seemed to be on what the machine could do apart from gaming and on how much TV and video content the platform could leverage. Ballmer’s trip to Hollywood is just one more step in that direction.
According to Deadline, Ballmer traveled around Hollywood with Nancy Tellem, president of Microsoft’s entertainment studios. Together they visited CBS (NYSE:CBS) Chief Executive Officer Les Moonves, who used to be Tellem’s boss; Steve Mosko, president of Sony Pictures TV (NYSE:SNE); and William Morris Endeavor’s co-chief executive officers, Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell.
Apparently, the trip to Hollywood was in an effort to talk these execs into bringing exclusive content to the Xbox One. At the unveiling event, Microsoft showed off a number of features that could enhance a viewer’s viewing experience, such as a system that keeps track of fantasy sport team data on the side of the screen while an actual game is playing in the center of the screen.
As social media has taken off, viewer engagement has been gaining the attention of broadcasters. The Xbox One would offer a new way to keep viewers engaged with shows and movies, so it could prove a worthwhile channel for media folks to consider.
Microsoft already has some major names on board, as Hollywood legend Steven Spielberg will be creating a live-action Halo TV series for the Xbox One. However, there are still some major concerns surrounding the Xbox One, and Ballmer’s trip to Hollywood did nothing to lessen those concerns.
As mentioned earlier, the premiere event put a lot of emphasis on how the machine works and all the non-gaming content the platform will have. What the event lacked was a lot of information on the way the Xbox One will take gaming to the next level.
At the premiere event, a couple of game franchises showed up to talk about their games on the Xbox One, but there wasn’t much in the way of game-play footage or a gaming demonstration that showed the way the technology of the Xbox One would enhance or change the gaming experience from the Xbox 360 and other consoles.
Considering the Xbox’s original role as a gaming console, with other media in the background, it has been surprising to see so much attention on all the other media for the Xbox One, with gaming in the background. It has also been leaving a bad taste in gamers’ mouths. Rumors of the Xbox One disallowing used or borrowed games without the payment of an extra fee have also left a bad taste.
If Microsoft can’t appease the gamers, it may be hard to win over customers who are more interested in TV, movies, and sports. With a rumored price tag of $499, the Xbox One would make for one expensive, fancy cable box. In that role alone, it might not perform so well on the market.
Of course, Microsoft still has time and one big chance to demonstrate the gaming potential of the Xbox One. Next week will be E3, one of the biggest gaming conventions. There will surely be a lot of game developers out showing their new games, and Microsoft’s console is sure to make a showing the will give gamers a better idea of how the Xbox One will matter to them.
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