Microsoft‘s new Xbox One console moved as many as 1 million units in 24 hours this week as it smashed records in 14 countries including the US and U.K., the company boasted over the weekend. The Xbox One, the first new Xbox design in 7 years, is priced at $500 a pop and billed as not just a video gaming system but an entertainment console which includes Kinect integration, voice commands, videoconferencing, Blu-ray, and media functions. Sony’s competing PlayStation 4 debuted just over a week ago in North America, also selling 1 million units in a day.
Deadline’s financial editor talks with host David Bloom about Sony’s big investor meeting this week and the changes and cuts it’s promising to make to enhance the health of its “vital” entertainment unit; the race between Sony and Microsoft as each finally launches long-awaited next-generation videogame consoles; more big cuts at the long-suffering Tribune Co.’s newspapers; and John Malone and Charter Communications look like they’re about to go hunting for more cable companies.
EXCLUSIVE: Xbox Entertainment Studios, which announced in May its Steven Spielberg-helmed live-action Halo TV show, is bolstering its executive ranks under President Nancy Tellem. Lydia Antonini has been hired as SVP of Innovation Labs after serving as consultant and producer for the Microsoft-owned studio. She previously exec produced the Emmy-nominated live-action Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn series and served at Warner Bros. as Director of Digital Content where she led creative on McG’s Aim High, Bryan Singer’s H+, and Kevin Tancharoen’s Mortal Kombat: Legacy web series. Antonini is a strategic advisor for the bilingual digital MiTu Network and worked with Fullscreen, dance group Jabbawockeez, and TakePartTV.
David Bloom is a Deadline contributor
Microsoft finally unveiled the Xbox One, its next-generation successor to the Xbox 360 game console, with an impressive demonstration of a voice- and gesture-controlled device focused more on integrating and controlling all kinds of entertainment and social capabilities far beyond just playing videogames. The #XboxReveal event at Microsoft’s Seattle-area campus included the announcement by Xbox Entertainment Studios President Nancy Tellem that Steven Spielberg will create a new live-action TV show based on the “Halo” game franchise. In a video, Spielberg, a longtime game fan who also oversaw the launch of the DreamWorks Interactive game studio in the 1990s, briefly said “the Halo universe is an amazing opportunity to be at an intersection where technology and myth-making converge.”
Nancy Tellem has always been a pioneer, first as a woman in the traditional TV entertainment biz and then as #2 to Les Moonves at CBS Inc. When she transitioned to a consulting role in January 2010, Tellem indulged her passion for the digital world full-time. Meetings with Microsoft to discuss CBS/CW evolved until June 2012 when, after three months of negotiations, Microsoft announced her appointment as Entertainment & Digital Media president. Now she’s expanding her turf while Microsoft expands its entertainment footprint. At the ’D: Dive Into Media’ industry event late Monday, she spilled about her vision for entertainment on Xbox and about her new Los Angeles-based Xbox Entertainment Studios. But Microsoft and innovation do not go hand in hand: it’s been a digital slowpoke from the beginning and now can’t even make a decent computer operating system. Not only is Windows 8 a bomb, but its brand new Surface tablet is a bust. Which leads us to successful Xbox.
Tellem said that, during 2013, Microsoft is planning to launch more than 40 new voice-controlled customized TV and entertainment apps on Xbox. “We want to partner with the Industry to bring entertainment into a new era,” she told the panel. “It’s an era when interactive entertainment becomes the greatest form of all entertainment – and we couldn’t be more excited to play a part in it.”
Microsoft is one of the most secretive companies in the world. So it’s news that Yusuf Mehdi, corporate VP of Microsoft’s Interactive Entertainment Business, on Monday night released new data about entertainment usage on Xbox and how it’s “exploded”. He claims there are now more than 76 million Xbox 360 consoles around the world — or 3 times the number of original Xbox consoles sold. In 2012, the amount of TV and other entertainment offerings on Xbox almost tripled, Mehdi claims, now surpassing 100 custom voice-controlled TV and entertainment apps on Xbox LIVE. “Yes, we started with video games, but we have been on a journey to make Xbox the center of every household’s entertainment.” Here’s more, according to a Microsoft news release about Mehdi’s talk at the ‘D: Dive Into Media’ conference:
Living room entertainment is in its largest evolutionary period since the transitions of black-and-white to color, and from standard definition to high definition. The Xbox 360, alongside Microsoft’s entertainment industry partners, is at the forefront of that evolution as one of the only devices that brings all forms of entertainment together in one device, while making access to content easy and providing new ways to interact with existing programming.
Social has been an important part of Xbox from the beginning, and that’s true today more than ever. The Xbox LIVE community has grown to 46 million members, a 15% growth since last year.
2012 also marked the Xbox’s biggest year for entertainment and games usage. Users enjoyed more than 18 billion hours of entertainment in 2012, with entertainment app usage growing 57% year over year globally. Last year in the United States, Xbox LIVE Gold members averaged 87 hours per month on Xbox, an increase of 10% year over year.
The latest report should carry an asterisk. The formal results show this to be the first quarter in which Microsoft recorded a net loss — due to the previously announced $6.2B writedown of ad sales operation aQuantive, as well …
The business media rumor mill can be put to rest. Microsoft made it official today with the unveiling of its Microsoft Surface Windows 8 tablet. Windows president Steve Sinofsky said today at …