According to that report, Ballmer claimed that Xbox One would extend what was possible with content given its new functions, which include improved voice control, and split-screen technology; the Xbox One also partially runs on the shared Windows core, opening the door to more expansive content experiences.
Ballmer reportedly maintained that Microsoft “doesn’t want to [become] a cable channel.” That pitch makes sense: If you are trying to woo content creators to build you something unique, promising to not compete with them directly is common sense.
The move by Microsoft to aggressively court Hollywood studios and the rest of the entertainment ilk underscores two facts: the future of the Xbox is a holistic entertainment device, and not a gaming console that has the mere ability to play Netflix. Secondly, Microsoft has real work ahead of it at the E3 event: it must prove to gamers that even though Xbox is growing up, the company hasn’t forgotten about its core constituency.
Thus, exclusive titles, new franchises, and other gaming goodies aren’t simply a good idea, they are requirements for Microsoft to succeed with the Xbox One. Microsoft has promised to invest $1 billion into games for its new console. That number may suffice.
What might Microsoft wring out of Hollywood? It isn’t clear, but Microsoft thinks that the Xbox One can ship 1 billion units. For comparison, the Xbox 360 is still light of 100 million units sold. If it can make that pitch with a straight face, it could sell the idea to studios that Xbox isn’t something to be thrown scraps, but a platform to be invested in.
We’ll know more on the 10th, at the next Microsoft event.