Why Microsoft Isn’t Shutting Down Xbox Music and Xbox Video

Source: Getty Images

Source: Getty Images

Xbox Originals may be a goner before it even launched, but some Xbox entertainment components are with Xbox fans for the foreseeable future.

When the news broke that  Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) would be shuttering its Xbox Entertainment Studios, some feared that all of Xbox’s non-gaming components would be getting the axe too. It turns out that this assumption is not true. Xbox Music and Xbox Video will continue to exist.

The reason why is due to the fact that Xbox Music and Xbox Video are part of the larger Microsoft universe. Both products are universal apps, meaning they are intended for use on Windows PCs, tablets and smartphones in addition to the Xbox. Despite getting part of their names from the gaming console, the apps are among the company’s growing group of apps that work across all Microsoft devices. Xbox Music is also particularly valuable as a potential contender in the growing field of streaming music.

The source of this fear is based on commentary from Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in his speech during Microsoft’s fourth quarter conference call. In his comments, Nadella mentioned downsizing Xbox’s growing entertainment hub.

“With our decision to specifically focus on gaming, we expect to close Xbox entertainment studios and streamline our investments in music and video. We will invest in our core console gaming in Xbox live with a view towards the broader PC and mobile opportunity,” he said.

These comments sparked concern that Xbox’s entertainment environment would be entirely stripped down, which is not the case. While Xbox Originals aren’t going to happen now, other parts of the Xbox experience are safe. Xbox Live will live on. None of its third-party apps are affected, meaning that it is still possible to binge watch using an Xbox using Netflix, Hulu, or another television and movie streaming app. What this means is that Xbox won’t be trying to produce its own hit television show anytime soon.

Instead the company is going to keep Xbox as game-focused as possible. After all, the Xbox brand is primarily a game console brand. No one buys an Xbox One just for Xbox Music or to stream Netflix, despite using these features. Customers buy it primarily to play video games like Halo, not to watch a Halo television series.

For the average Xbox owner, this news just means that the previously promised Xbox Originals won’t happen. The lineup of apps on Xbox Live for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360 are unlikely to be affected. Joe Belfiore, Microsoft’s coporate vice president for the Windows Phone Program, tweeted recently that a big update is coming out soon for Xbox Music. The update is supposed to fix some glitches and add features to the app to improve the experience.

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