Microsoft hires Jonathan Ross to work on Xbox

Really.

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Microsoft has hired TV presenter Jonathan Ross to work on Xbox.

Gamer Ross joins Microsoft Studios as an executive producer working with a number of Xbox teams in the UK, including Fable developer Lionhead and Kinect Sports developer Rare.

Microsoft is yet to announce what Ross is working on specifically, but at an event last night in London executive Phil Harrison said the chat show host was hired to help "change our thinking".

"We wanted to bring in new talent that would challenge the way we build games and the way we think about what an audience is and what is entertainment," he said.

"We want to broaden the concept of gaming to maybe blur the distinctions about what is a traditional game and what is a traditional television programme and what is traditional linear media.

"These devices and boxes now allow us to do that in a really meaningful way."

Ross, whose production company Hotsauce created iOS game Catcha Catcha Aliens, will work at Microsoft part-time as a consultant, Harrison explained.

Lee Schuneman, boss of Microsoft Studio Lift London, has spent the last couple of months working with Ross, and praised his video game knowledge.

"We thought we should try and find someone who can think about gaming, TV, technology and toys and bring all that together," Schuneman said.

"I've had the pleasure to work with him over the last few months and what I've really appreciated is this authenticity and passion and real understanding for what we are as gamers, and the cool films and toys we like.

"Our ambition is to create these new experiences that join TV and gaming together."

This isn't the first time Ross has worked for Microsoft: he was the voice of "Unnamed Marine" in Xbox 360 exclusive Halo 3.

"He knows more about movies and Japanese manga than any person I have ever come across," Harrison added, "and I include a bunch of people in Japan I used to work with. It's quite extraordinary depth of knowledge in global youth and toy and game and movie culture. And I think he'll be a great addition to what Lee and the rest of the studios are doing."

Eurogamer's Ellie Gibson interviewed Ross at last year's BAFTA Games Question event.

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