TV Revelations from E3


This week, during the Electronic Entertainment Expo (an annual video game event known colloquially as “E3”), game publishers and console developers congregated to provide gaming enthusiasts with previews of upcoming releases, both software and hardware-related.

Last year, Microsoft was ridiculed and pilloried by attendees for failing to focus on games, as the software-maker instead chose to hype up various features of its forthcoming Xbox One system that had more to do with television and general entertainment. For 2014, they decided upon a different strategy, however their lead-in to the event remained similar.

PlayStation, on the other hand, received praise both years. And the intriguing part about this year is that Sony actually made some TV-related announcements.

Here’s the television news coming out of this event.


While Microsoft avoided talking TV at E3 itself, days before the convention they announced a slew of entertainment and video apps would soon be arriving on its Xbox One and Xbox 360 consoles. More than 45 new additions are going to be launching soon, including Showtime Anytime, HBOGo and Vine.

Furthermore, Twitter is being combined with the system’s television on-screen guide, allowing viewers to see tweets while watching TV or looking for shows.
Microsoft's Twitter EPG
Microsoft's Twitter EPG

“The Twitter experience on Xbox One will be integrated into the TV listings section of [the EPG] where you will be able to see the shows that people are tweeting about in real-time. These shows will also be highlighted in a new “trending” section,” the company stated.

Yusuf Mehdi, Corporate Vice President of Devices and Studios at Microsoft, said that they were “thrilled to break new ground in social TV experiences.”

Microsoft is also collaborating with director Ridley Scott and Steven Spielberg to develop television specials to directly tie-in with well-known game series “Halo.”

Scott’s feature, “Halo: Nightfall,” is described as a “story that basically connects the past to the future” by Bonnie Ross, 343 Industries general manager.

While the content of Spielberg’s offering is unknown, it’s rumored to be possibly be a Showtime series.


Unlike Microsoft of yesteryear, Sony evoked a positive response when they unveiled various television briefings.

First, the PlayStation Vita TV is making its way over to the U.S. and Europe from Japan with a slightly shorter name: the “PlayStation TV.” The device is a $99 set-top box that not only provides access to streaming services like Amazon, Hulu and Netflix, but also provides gamers with the ability to access the PlayStation Network store to purchase and play video games.

Playstation TV
Playstation TV via Flickr
"I think it's a smart move by Sony to try to extend the tentacles of their ecosystem, making devices and services that can touch people at different points throughout the day,” said Gartner analyst Brian Blau.

Second, PlayStation is making a foray into producing original television content. In December, the sci-fi show “Powers” will be released on its network, an adaptation of a graphic novel by Brian Michael Bendis.

The series will consist of 10 hour-long episodes that tell the tale of detectives who are investigating individuals with unusual and highly advanced skillsets.

Finally, PlayStation is also producing an exclusive movie based on the popular game Ratchet & Clank. Details on this film, however, are sparse at this time.

Author: Brian Cameron

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