Interactive TV Shows Coming To Xbox Live By End Of Year

By Megan O'Neill 

It looks like it won’t be long before Xbox Live users will be enjoying Microsoft original interactive TV content.  GigaOM’s Janko Roettgers reports that at All Things Digital’s Dive into Media conference, Microsoft’s Entertainment and digital media President, Nancy Tellem, announced that the company is working on producing its own premium interactive TV shows by the end of this year.

Tellem says that her studio, which currently has 125 employees, is working to make shows interactive through technology like Kinect, so it’s likely to be very different than the second-screen brand of interactivity we’ve seen up to this point.

She adds that Microsoft isn’t looking for gimmicky interactivity, but rather something that adds to the programming—”it has to be organic and a natural extension of what we’re doing.”  Roettgers writes, “Examples could include live shows, or children’s programming where kids can interact with the characters on screen.”

While Tellem did not say how much money Microsoft is investing in interactive original content, she did report that, “We are currently looking at a very robust content production schedule.”

About a year ago, Microsoft reported that Xbox is now being used more for entertainment than gaming, with services like Netflix, Hulu, EXPN, HBO Go and others streaming live on the gaming console.  It only makes sense that Microsoft would meet this niche with original programming of their own, designed with the specific interactive elements of Xbox in mind.  It will certainly be interesting to see how this plays out!

Image credit: risteski goce via

Megan O’Neill is the resident web video expert here at Social Times.  Megan covers everything from the latest viral videos to online video news and tips, and has a passion for bizarre, original and revolutionary content and ideas.