Just as Netflix thought they had the whole 'produce-high-quality-entertainment-and-distribute-it-yourself-online' market sewn up, Microsoft come in and blow a hole in their plan a giant ringworld wide. The computing giant has announced that not only will we soon be seeing the Steven Spielberg produced Halo TV series, but a whole lot more besides.
The company has just revealed their first lineup of 'Xbox Originals' - their answer to the original entertainment programming of Netflix - and revealed that they intend to offer what they call 'interactive entertainment', as opposed to the passive, sedentary sort of stuff we've been raised on up till now.
The most exciting part of the announcement for most was likely the confirmation a Halo TV adaptation will indeed soon be on its way - the Spielberg produced series has already been rumored to have acquired Neill Blomkamp as a director. We'll also definitely be seeing that Ridley Scott produced animated adaptation, too, apparently - which is now looking like a feature film rather than a TV series.
There's other exciting news, though - Jonathan and Simon 'Searching for Sugar Man' Chinn will bring a series of documentaries, Signal to Noise, "about technology's impact on the world" to the new media platform, including one that will be of particular interest to fans of famously lost Atari cartridges.
Soccer fans will get Every Street United, a reality series focusing on street-soccer players. Music fans will be seeing two live streams of footage from Bonnaroo in June. Robot Chicken fans will have a new series featuring 3D animated characters, named Extraordinary Believers.
There'll be shows competing more directly with Netflix and the like, too. The Jash project, an as-yet-unnamed comedy show starring Sarah Silverman and Michael Cera is sure to set many hearts a-flutter. Humans, a UK co-produced adaptation of a Swedish series to do with life-like robot servants will be similarly eagerly anticipated, and with comparisons to both The Killing and Downton Abbey easily raised, it'll be hoping for similar crossover success.
And biggest of all? The creative team have teased that we might yet see franchises like Gears of War, Fable and Forza Motorsport come to the screen.
It's all big, potentially industry re-defining news. There's no doubt that a major games player like Microsoft entering the television market will be of serious concern to the likes of Netflix, HBO and the already struggling major networks - and if they can lead off successfully with as established and long-awaited a franchise as Halo, who knows what they could go on to do?
It also allows us to begin to ask some big questions about the Halo adaptation itself. Can we expect to see Spielberg (and possibly Blomkamp) heavily involved, or will they take on a more advisory role? Could the 'interactive entertainment' Microsoft is pitching allow us to feel as though we're genuinely part of a television series for the first time - perhaps even integrating a simultaneously launched game? And, of course, who will take on the - presumably largely just a voice part - of Master Chief? Since the hero could well be entirely hidden by armor for much of the series, can we expect to see a major name take on the part?
What do you guys think? Who do you think we'll we see donning the iconic green armor? Let me know below!
Who will we see (or not see) as Master Chief?