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Spielberg logs on to Halo series

Steven Spielberg will exec produce a live-action TV series based on the Halo videogame franchise to accompany the launch of Microsoft’s new Xbox One console.

Xbox One

Xbox One

Microsoft’s 343 Industries and Xbox Entertainment Studios will coproduce the show, having previously made web series Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn.

A feature film version of the videogame has long been in the works but has not materialised, with Peter Jackson, director of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, once tipped to exec produce.

The TV series is about an interstellar war between a group of human super-soldiers and an alien species.

Spielberg has previously exec produced Band of Brothers and Pacific for HBO and is also currently adapting a Stanley Kubrick screenplay about Napoleon Bonaparte as a TV miniseries.

With Xbox One, which was unveiled yesterday and launches later this year, players in the US will also be able to watch live TV from their cable, telco or satellite set-top boxes through the console.

Microsoft expects to “scale” the feature, which is subject to geographical restrictions and requires a supported receiver device with HDMI output, globally “over time.”

Other new media titles coming to XBox One – the successor to Xbox 360, which combines gaming, television, movies, music, sports and Skype – include Quantum Break, a game/drama hybrid produced by Remedy Entertainment.

Microsoft says the game, from the creators of Max Payne, “blurs the line between gaming and TV by integrating drama and gameplay into one seamless, uniquely immersive experience.”

The software giant has also paired up with the National Football League (NFL) to offer viewers the chance to watch NFL games through their consoles, alongside Xbox features such as Skype and Xbox SmartGlass, which connects separate devices to the Xbox One.

“Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” said Don Mattrick, president of interactive entertainment business at Microsoft.

“Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.”

Microsoft has hired a string of execs from the TV industry over the past year as it steps up its focus on original content as part of efforts to put the Xbox at the centre of the living room.


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