Microsoft unveiled its latest Xbox console, Xbox One, today, and with it, an announcement that the company would be turning it's popular Halo video game franchise into a live-action series with Steven Spielberg as executive producer.
"The Halo universe is an amazing opportunity to be at that intersection where technology and myth-making meet to produce something truly groundbreaking," Mr. Spielberg said in a video clip during the press conference.
Introducing the multiple Oscar winner was Microsoft's president of entertainment and digital media Nancy Tellem. Ms. Tellem was formerly president of CBS Television Studios and a senior adviser to CBS CEO Les Moonves before going to Microsoft to spearhead the company's entry into original programming.
The Halo series is just one of several exclusive partnerships Microsoft announced in conjunction with the new gaming entertainment multimedia console. National Football League commissioner Roger Goodell also appeared during the product launch to announce that the Xbox One will host exclusive NFL content. What that content will be, exactly, was not revealed.
Xbox One will allow users to divide their television into windows, thus enabling them to simultaneously watch television or movie programming and surf the web. NFL fans will be able to view live games and real-time fantasy football scores side-by-side, for instance.
The device will also the exclusive home to Electronic Arts's (EA) new EA Sports Ignite initiative, a host of features designed to bring more advanced gameplay to the publishers sports titles Madden 25, FIFA 14, NBA Live 14 and UFC.
Activision is bringing the latest iteration of its enormously popular Call of Duty franchise -- Call of Duty: Ghosts -- exclusively to Xbox One. The console will launch with 15 exclusive games, eight of which will be brand new franchises.
Microsoft said the console will launch "later this year," meaning it will likely be in time for the all-important holiday season.
Many of the speakers at the event on Tuesday talked about the Xbox One being "always on" -- constantly connected to the Internet. Earlier this year, Microsoft's then-creative director Adam Orth left the company after engaging in a Twitter spat with gamer fans who complained about the inherent problems of always on gaming. (EA's SimCity -- arguably the biggest gaming release of the year, thus far -- experienced numerous problems due to its always on format.)
Microsoft issued an apology about Mr. Orth's outburst and he left the company shortly thereafter.
Whether Xbox users like it or not, it looks like their games (and movies, music and television shows) will be hosted in the cloud.