James Dennin, Kapitall: Sales are lagging for XBox consoles. Could a Microsoft TV studio save the underwhelming device?
Sales for the XBox One are lagging behind Sony's (SNE) Playstations. And even before that, there were many who felt that the company should sell off their gaming wing entirely, thinking that enterprise-oriented Microsoft (MSFT) wasn't all that good at competing in a crowded market for consumer electronics.
It's seems like these calls are likely to be ignored. This June, Xbox will roll out its new television studio, showcasing the technology company's foray into programming and content creation. That will make Xbox a one-stop shop to compete with Netflix (NFLX), Apple TV (AAPL) and the numerous other options which consumers have to arrange their streaming.
The studio will follow a different tactic than the rest of the industry by focusing heavily on the audience which makes up XBox's user base: men aged 18-34. To that end expect more niche offerings in sketch comedy, science fiction, and sports as opposed to the catch-all programming favored by big studios.We can also expect Microsoft will also explore interactive programming, a concept which is in the works at many studios but which has yet to really catch on with viewers. Read more analysis from Kapitall on Microsoft's Xbox One. This initiative will start with a soccer series that will roll out during the World Cup, where viewers will be able to play mini-games and access extra scenes using their XBox controllers. It seems like Microsoft's new CEO, Satya Nadella, will be overseeing the execution of a number of former CEO Michael Ballmer's projects. Perhaps the TV studio is an attempt to make the Xbox segment more alluring to potentian buyers.