Xbox news from Dive into Media: 76 million devices, ready to release original programming “hopefully within the year”

By Kip Kniskern | Posted February 11, 2013 8 comments

microsoftdmedia-2013At the Dive Into Media conference produced by the Wall Street Journal’s All Things D this afternoon, Microsoft’s Yusuf Mehdi, Senior Vice President of the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), and Nancy Tellem, Corporate Vice President of Microsoft’s LA Studios, took the stage to drop some new numbers about Xbox usage, talk a bit about new and upcoming content, and without revealing details about the next Xbox, make it clear that a wider audience and more forms of entertainment are in the works.

While it’s difficult to capture exactly what was said (the sessions weren’t livestreamed, and we’re gleaning information from Engadget,  Ina Fried’s posts (by the numbers and content producer) and the #dmedia Twitter hashtag), Mehdi apparently started out by releasing some new numbers, updated from September of last year, and dropping some quotes:

While they didn’t talk much about any new Xbox devices, Tellem did talk a bit about the content her LA Studios team of 150 is producing, saying that they’re “looking at a very robust production schedule”, and a range of scripted interactive content.  She then expanded on the interactive aspects of the new offerings, telling All Things D’s Peter Kafka:

“Particularly when you are looking at the younger demographic,” Tellem said, “interactivity is a natural extension of what they do.”

The content could be 10 minutes or an hour and a half, Tellem said.

Microsoft won’t be “imposing interactivity…it has to be organic”.  The content will likely be part of a subscription service: Microsoft likes the “cell phone model”, with a subsidized device and a subscription, and while not ruling out the possibility of being a pay-TV provider, Mehdi said he doesn’t see the “value add” in such a model, but wouldn’t be tied down to saying if original programs would be covered under a monthly fee or cost members extra.  Microsoft “hopes” to have the first content from LA Studios (which Peter Kafka wrote about in January) ready by the end of the year.

Hopefully All Things D will have a video up of the session within a day or two, although their track record hasn’t been stellar in putting up full accountings of these types of interviews.  Still, Microsoft sounds like it’s getting ready to talk more about the next versions of Xbox, about LA Studios, and about the growing importance of entertainment offerings to the Xbox brand.  With lots of rumors swirling around new Xboxes, everything from DRM protection to requiring Kinect, to Blu-Ray and a larger hard drive to expanded voice command interactivity, we’re looking forward to hearing more from Microsoft.

Update: Microsoft has issued a press release related to Mehdi and Tellem’s appearance at Dive Into Media.

Posted February 11th, 2013 at 5:55 pm
Category: News
Tags: Xbox
  • mark

    How long has MS been *talking* about making the Xbox the center of entertainment and not just gaming? They should have been so far out in front by now that nobody could catch them. Instead, it’s still anyone’s game to take. This is starting to feel just like smartphones and tablets. MS in early. Apple and Google come late, disrupt, and end up owning it.

    • frankwick

      I think they really need their Next Gen console to make this happen. The vision is there (I hope) but the current console and operating system cannot do what they need. They next gen xbox will be a multitasking device with more power. You are right though, they need to step it up quickly.

  • mark

    How long has MS been *talking* about making the Xbox the center of entertainment and not just gaming? They should have been so far out in front by now that nobody could catch them. Instead, it’s still anyone’s game to take. This is starting to feel just like smartphones and tablets. MS in early. Apple and Google come late, disrupt, and end up owning it.

    • frankwick

      I think they really need their Next Gen console to make this happen. The vision is there (I hope) but the current console and operating system cannot do what they need. They next gen xbox will be a multitasking device with more power. You are right though, they need to step it up quickly.

  • Luis

    “We are a premium brand with a premium service” Oh really? Is that why you charge $60 per year for an Xbox Live Gold subscription, in addition to the membership fees charged by Netfilx and other providers, while still flooding your Xbox with ads everywhere???

  • Luis

    “We are a premium brand with a premium service” Oh really? Is that why you charge $60 per year for an Xbox Live Gold subscription, in addition to the membership fees charged by Netfilx and other providers, while still flooding your Xbox with ads everywhere???

  • chinch987

    i don’t get all the hate. XBLive has a ton of content for a pretty good cost, often under $40/year (family plans are cheaper) which is usful even if never do online gaming.

    First and foremost it’s not like Hollywood is handing Microsoft their golden goose as the MPAA did to Steve Jobs circa the 1st ipod. TV channels have cableco contracts and prefer to be paid per cable subscriber instead of just by those who want to pay extra (on demand channels). $2.50 from 200,000 customers ($500k revenue) vs $10 from 20,000 ($200k revenue) customers for example.

    Expanding video content is rediculously complicated & expensive, see HULU and their own partners and Apple’s own inability to move forward.

    Finally xbox720 is shipping late 2013 so there is some change & flux of course this is to be expected, especially since xbox360 is floursishing thus spreading resources over two platforms.

  • chinch987

    i don’t get all the hate. XBLive has a ton of content for a pretty good cost, often under $40/year (family plans are cheaper) which is usful even if never do online gaming.

    First and foremost it’s not like Hollywood is handing Microsoft their golden goose as the MPAA did to Steve Jobs circa the 1st ipod. TV channels have cableco contracts and prefer to be paid per cable subscriber instead of just by those who want to pay extra (on demand channels). $2.50 from 200,000 customers ($500k revenue) vs $10 from 20,000 ($200k revenue) customers for example.

    Expanding video content is rediculously complicated & expensive, see HULU and their own partners and Apple’s own inability to move forward.

    Finally xbox720 is shipping late 2013 so there is some change & flux of course this is to be expected, especially since xbox360 is floursishing thus spreading resources over two platforms.