The X Factor

L.A. Filmmaker Blows the Lid off the Xbox

The X FACTOR: Inside Microsoft's Xbox, part of Discovery Channel's "On the Inside" exposes what it takes to make a game for Microsoft in their one hour Discovery Channel and Discovery Times program. Going where no cameras have ever gone before, The X FACTOR program reveals never-before-seen footage of Microsoft and three game studios all racing to complete the next big Xbox blockbuster game. Inside these studios, the effort to build the next million-selling game is intense. Will the next Xbox superstar be Microsoft's Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Oddworld Inhabitants' tightly held secret (the fourth game in their ongoing series), or Bungie Studios Halo 2? The X FACTOR lets viewers decide for themselves by following these three games in development and the teams creating them through many phases of the game production process, and by offering exclusive interviews with Microsoft's vice president of its game studios, Ed Fries; Bungie's project lead, Jason Jones; the design lead of Crimson Skies: High Road to Revenge, Jim Deal; the president/creative director of Oddworld Inhabitants, Lorne Lanning; and many more.

The X FACTOR program also explores whether the software giant has the mettle to make it in the exploding video game business - an industry that surpasses the movie industry more and more every year. Can this company known for innovation in business software really have the know-how to make a 5-billion dollar gamble in fun?

The X FACTOR lets the audience see inside Microsoft for themselves what it takes to get the nod to produce a game for the Xbox and explores whether Microsoft is on the right track. Each game costs millions of dollars to develop, and 60 percent of them fail. In The X FACTOR, viewers get a glimpse inside the production process, from concept art to "go/no-go" meetings, where the teams have to make their case to Microsoft in order to keep their funding. Hard decisions are made, projects succeed and fail, and the viewer gets to watch it all happen from the inside.

The X FACTOR also examines Xbox Live, Microsoft's proprietary online gaming service, which allows gamers around the world to compete against each other over high-speed Internet connections. Microsoft is betting that the broadband technology they've built into the Xbox is their ticket to dominating the video game industry. They're designing the ultimate place where social experiences and online gaming co-exist. If they succeed, every game will have a LIVE component-- making it possible for Microsoft to own the largest entertainment web site in the world.

In short, the Xbox isn't just about games: it's a key component to Microsoft's long-term strategy to move from the office into the living room. Microsoft's new battlefield is your TV.

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