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Microsoft will close its direct-to-Xbox entertainment branch as part of its extensive layoffs of up to 18,000 people announced Thursday, ending many plans for original programming targeting the gaming demographic. Re/code reported the news of the closure first as rumor, which was confirmed by Xbox chief Phil Spencer. The decision to cut Xbox Entertainment Studios reflects the recent pivot Xbox has undergone. The console originally launched as an “all-in-one games and entertainment system,” but that seems to be a strategy in flux in response to the large market lead by Sony’s PlayStation 4.



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