Microsoft’s Xbox Interactive TV Plans Detailed

13 February 2013, 7:13 am EST By Prarthito Maity email: Mobile & Apps

While the next generation Xbox is still rumored heavily on the Internet with details about its specifications and features popping up almost every day, the company has already started discussing about the possibilities of an Xbox interactive TV for later this year.

Per reports, speaking at the D: Dive into Media conference, Microsoft executives Nancy Tellem and Yusuf Mehdi has discussed about the company's efforts to develop an entirely new and original video content that could roll out later this year.

The new interactive TV is said to be the product of the newly formed Xbox Entertainment Studios in Los Angeles that boasts over 150 employees. The company, with the introduction of this new interactive TV, will be taking an approach that is quite different from what Netflix does.

Instead of following the Netflix's footsteps, Microsoft, instead, per The Verge, is "taking a very Microsoftian approach that will leverage the many advantages the company already has in the living room. To do it, the company is resurrecting the old chestnut of adding 'interactivity' to traditional viewing experiences, but this time the firm may actually have the features, infrastructure, and partners to make it happen."

The production team, under Tellem, is currently working on video that viewers will be able to do more with than just watch, and Tellem states: "You can either watch linear content or really interact with it."

However, the company isn't trying to replace video partners like Netflix and says that all it is trying to do is trying to be the friendliest player in the industry in that space. Microsoft, with the introduction of the new technology, is said to offer content that is a mix of both video and interactivity.

The options "Microsoft has for that interaction ranges from leveraging Kinect motion control to simple push-button voting - something the company has already tried with the US presidential debates, where it conducted live polling. There will also likely be an (optional) second-screen experience via SmartGlass, but Tellem says that 'I really don't believe in just adding interactivity for interactivity's sake,' but instead that there are 'some natural things that evolve out of it that enhance the experience'," The Verge adds.

The new content will be available to paying Xbox Live subscribers. The service currently costs $60 a year.

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