May 21, 2013 at 2:15 PM ET
In a surprise move at Microsoft's Xbox One announcement Tuesday, the company revealed that it has partnered with Hollywood director Steven Spielberg to create a live-action television series based on the long-time Xbox-exclusive first-person shooter franchise "Halo."
Speaking alongside Microsoft's entertainment and digital media president Nancy Tellem, Bonnie Ross, studio head at "Halo" developer 343 Industries, said that she looks forward to merging "the storytelling magic of television with the interactive innovation of Xbox One."
Then Spielberg himself took the stage, albeit digitally.
"For me, the Halo universe is an amazing opportunity to be at that intersection where technology and myth-making meet to create something really groundbreaking," Spielberg said, speaking on screen.
As part of Microsoft's general push to recreate its flagship gaming console as an all-in-one home entertainment device, Xbox Entertainment Studios plans to apply a game development model to producing original TV-style programming such as movies, sitcoms, live events and digital shorts.
Previously, 343 and Microsoft worked with director Stewart Hendler to create a web-series, "Forward Unto Dawn," to complement the release of last year's "Halo 4." This would be the first feature-length (or, more properly, TV-length) live-action production for the popular "Halo" franchise — not to mention the first to attract a director of Spielberg's stature.
"We've welcomed Steven Spielberg to the 'Halo' universe," Don Mattrick, president of the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft, said after Tellem and Ross left the stage.