Microsoft is currently working on building next-generation Xbox interactive TV experiences.
The software giant issued a job posting on Tuesday advertising a new role working for the Interactive Entertainment Business in the Entertainment and Devices Division. The job listing hints that Microsoft is making a “big bet on interactive TV experiences.” In particular, the company confirms it is working on a new Xbox ESPN version. “Help us build our next version of ESPN on Xbox,” states the job listing:
Do you like Xbox? Are you a sports fan? Do you like watching TV? Do you enjoy enabling a team to solve big challenges? Do you want to help combine all of these things into Microsoft’s big bet on interactive TV experiences, focusing on ESPN Sports?
We’ve got great content and now we’re building interactive television experiences that will showcase what next-generation TV can look like for sports. Personalized and social experiences that will make watching sports on Xbox the next best thing to being at the stadium. Build the experience that will make people crave their sports fix on Xbox.
We’re looking for an experienced Principal Development Lead to help us build our next version of ESPN on Xbox. Our seasoned client team shipped the first version of ESPN on Xbox, and we are accelerating with new services on Azure, new client technology to add more magic, and more focus on interactive, personalized entertainment. This opportunity is to lead a development team building client and services, enabling rapid iteration on both (aspirations of monthly feature updates), and adding to a great team culture along the way.
Microsoft is also currently readying “Orapa”, a mash-up of the company’s Mediaroom IPTV services and Microsoft’s Xbox services. “Orapa” will reportedly marry Avatar Kinect and the company’s Ventura music and video services. Microsoft has long been in talks with media companies to produce a TV service for its Xbox console. Microsoft is proposing a “virtual cable operator” which will be delivered over the Internet and charged with a monthly fee. Microsoft has also suggested that cable companies could use the Xbox as a device to authenticate existing cable subscribers to watch shows and interact with their Xbox LIVE friends. Microsoft offers a similar service in the UK where Sky customers can use their Xbox LIVE avatars during sporting events.
Microsoft tried to woo Conan O’Brien into its Xbox LIVE subscription TV service last year. The software giant refuses to comment on reports of a TV subscription however. Microsoft is planning to make Orapa available by holiday 2011. If the company’s schedule is accurate then this could pave the way for the much talked about Xbox TV service just in time for Christmas.