Today saw the reveal of Microsoft's newest gaming console, the Xbox One. The console looks like a VCR from 1985, and in keeping with that motif, Microsoft spent about 2 hours telling you all the cool and interesting ways you can watch TV on it. Then there were 15 minutes of games you'll be able to play, and then there was a mocapped dog that everyone thought was cute, and that was the end. The TV stuff was a very, VERY big part of Microsoft's presentation today, and probably the largest of the TV-centric announcements came from Steven Spielberg, who told attendees via video that he will be producing a Halo TV series.
The series will be co-produced with 343 Industries, who inherited the game from Halo creators Bungie, and will premiere on Xbox Live. No word so far as to whether they'll license it out to other media providers (Netflix, Amazon,
actual television networks) or whether it will stay Xbox One exclusive.
Could this be awesome? Sure. Anything can be awesome if you get the right creative minds at the helm, and those minds hire more strong creative minds to collaborate with. If a legitimately fun adventure movie can be made out of Pirates of the Caribbean, or a decent comedy can be made out of Clue, I'm sure someone can take the collection of warmed over Aliens callbacks that constitutes 95 percent of Halo's DNA and turn it into something fresh and fun to watch. Forward Unto Dawn was a Halo webseries that many considered one of the better entries into the canon of video game adaptations. But considering the quality of adaptation in that canon....
Could this be mediocre? Sure. Steven Spielberg won't be writing anything but checks, so there's no guarantee it's going to be a good show. Terra Nova is probably the most recent example of that. Also, the overriding of appeal of Halo, tie-in books notwithstanding, is not in its story. People don't really buy Halo for its single-player. [Editor's note: I DO! :( —Erik] Nor did it become an entertainment juggernaut about 10 years ago because of that story. It became a pop-culture fixture because it looked really pretty and it had really fun multiplayer. So it's entirely possible this could become yet another example of game companies chasing a false legitimacy by trying to translate their bonafide success in gaming to a format it is not built for, and doesn't even need to maintain or increase cultural saturation.