Xbox Entertainment Studios to close by the end of 2014

It's been a major week of decision making for Microsoft, and along with the huge job cuts announced, Xbox Entertainment Studios has become a casualty, with the arm to be shut down before the year is out.

As you probably saw yesterday, Microsoft announced no less than 18,000 jobs to be axed, the largest loss Redmond has ever executed (two-thirds of the casualties being from the recently acquired Nokia, though).

Xbox Entertainment Studios was created to provide original TV content for Microsoft's console, but head of Xbox Phil Spencer has sent an email to staff informing them of its closure, the BBC reports. Some projects will still see the light of day, apparently – such as the spin-off of Halo – but most of the shows that were in development will be canned.

According to the Beeb, Microsoft said in a statement: "Xbox will continue to support and deliver interactive sports content like NFL on Xbox, and we will continue to enhance our entertainment offering on console by innovating the TV experience through the monthly console updates."

But, in short, the streaming dream and idea of competing with services like Netflix appears to have died. And given that the new Kinect-less Xbox One is now out, Microsoft would seem to be renewing its focus on games, and moving away from the angle of the console being a media hub for the living room as much as a gaming machine. That angle, of course, hasn't fared too well when comparing sales figures with the PS4.

Microsoft says that since the standalone Xbox One bundle went on sale in June (minus Kinect), it has doubled up sales in May over in the US, but no hard figures were actually given.