You’ll Need an Xbox If You Want to Watch That E.T. Landfill Documentary

What's lurks in a New Mexico landfill? Only Microsoft's platforms know.

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Now this is how you sell systems: with exclusive, must-watch content — say deep, insightful, riveting documentaries no one else has. Documentaries like…well, you remember the one they’re supposed to be making about digging a bunch of crushed copies of an Atari 2600 game no one wanted back in 1983 out of a landfill? Did I say “deep,” “insightful,” “riveting” and “must-watch”?

I guess we’ll see, but the point is, in addition to original content like a Halo live-action series, Microsoft plans to further feather its Xbox nest with documentary content you won’t find anywhere else.

Remember when Alamogordo’s city commission gave a Canada-based film company planning a documentary about the burial site for (possibly) millions of unsold Atari 3600 E.T. game cartridges the thumbs up to crack open the concrete seal and sift through whatever’s down under? That was news back in May, at which point the company had six months to get the job done. Apparently that timeframe’s been extended, because the excavating hasn’t happened yet, and it’s now going to be captured for a series that’ll air exclusively on Xbox One and Xbox 360 in 2014. Shooting starts in January.

Don’t faint or anything, but hey, it worked for Geraldo Rivera (up to that final brain-melting moment, anyway). And the filmmakers claim they’re aiming much higher than mere spectacle, planning to contextualize the dig with stories that “expose how the digital revolution created a global democracy of information, entertainment and commerce, and how it impacts our lives every day.”

I don’t really care about E.T.-in-a-landfill, but I do care about well-told stories that aren’t exploitive or obsessed with sensationalism, so fingers crossed this turns out to be more than a stunt. We’ve seen a scant handful of important, insightful game-related documentaries (alright, really just this one). We deserve many more.

MORE: The History of Video Game Consoles – Full