Xbox Entertainment Studios, the relatively new part of the Xbox ecosystem tasked with producing original content and extending Microsoft’s reach into video streaming, will launch this coming June.

Microsoft announced the launch of what it’s calling Xbox Originals on the Xbox Wire news blog earlier today. Ironically, the post was heavy on details about upcoming programming and very light on what everyone really wants to know: how users get this content?

Today the Xbox Originals slate of programming includes the Halo television series Microsoft announced at last year’s E3 press conference, a soccer reality show that Microsoft announced more recently, an animated show from the makers of Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken and the documentary series that dug up the famed E.T. The Video Game cartridges that were buried in the desert by Atari.

So far the company has no less than 12 shows planned, excluding that comedy the company was rumored to be producing in partnership rapper Nas. Many of the shows will have some sort of “interactivity” layer on top of them, according to Microsoft.

Instead of making each show available across all of its platforms, which would make sense, it appears many Xbox Originals will be available in specific places. For example, Every Street United, that soccer reality show, will premiere in June on the Xbox 360, Xbox One, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8. By comparison, Microsoft notes that “Atari: Game Over” will air “exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360” sometime this year.

If that weren’t confusing enough, it’s unclear how users will pay for this content. Most interested users have assumed that content produced by Xbox Entertainment Studios will be available free with an Xbox Live Gold subscription. Microsoft has yet to confirm that. As such it’s entirely possible that users will need to purchase these shows separately or subscribe to yet another video service.

Hopefully, Microsoft will share more specifics about Xbox Originals content soon.


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