It is no secret that Microsoft is looking to make a big move into the TV video content market with its new Xbox One gaming console. Leading up to its US release date later this year, the company has hinted that the console’s new TV capabilities will potentially be a big step toward Microsoft’s takeover of living room media. Why? Paul Sweeting breaks down Xbox One’s new TV features:
The Xbox One is designed to support a TV content ecosystem…
- Rather than spending its money to license non-exclusive linear distribution rights, Microsoft is investing in creating exclusive original TV content directly for the Xbox Live platform.
- Microsoft is co-opting the incumbent pay-TV service providers rather than disrupting or displacing them from the living room; Xbox One’s HDMI pass-through technology is a compromise that spares it the need to negotiate individual agreements with service providers and avoids antagonizing them.
Microsoft officials have already met with big studios, such as CBS and Sony TV, to probe the idea of creating content exclusive to the Xbox video platform, Xbox Live. However, they would be well-served to proceed with caution in that endeavour, as the cost-effectiveness of exclusive OTT content has yet to be proven.
Whether or not Microsoft will pursue localized TV partnerships to accompany Xbox One’s Asian release (said to be in late 2014) still remains to be seen. Conventional wisdom says that the company won’t put too much effort into it, as the total number of pay TV subscribers in the US is double that of Asia’s top two – Japan and South Korea – combined.