It’s being rumoured that Microsoft is working on an ‘Xbox TV’ set-top box for streaming media content to your living room.
According to The Verge, “Multiple sources familiar with Redmond’s plans” have confirmed that a low-cost Xbox TV will be launched next year. It will omit the ability to play top end games in favour of granting access to “core entertainment services,” rather like the Apple TV.
It’s part of a new two-model next generation strategy – the other being the next Xbox console itself – that Microsoft intends to launch before the end of 2013.
The Xbox TV will apparently run on the core Windows 8 OS, and will be capable of playing only casual downloadable games. It’s said that Microsoft is aiming for a chip-set that allows “always-on” functionality as well as the ability to boot up almost instantly.
The report also claims that Microsoft is looking into the possibility of a core Xbox architecture that can be scaled down to run on mobile devices. This raises the tantalising possibility of the full Xbox Live experience on your phone.
One other possible advantage of such a scalable approach is that Microsoft could license out the technology to television manufacturers to produce an integrated Xbox TV set.
Naturally this is all rumour and conjecture at this stage, but it can’t be denied that Microsoft’s focus with the Xbox 360 has shifted away from hardcore gaming and toward a more general living room entertainment service with the last few software updates.
Microsoft clearly has designs on taking over your living room, just as it took over your office in the 1990s.
What do you think of the prospect of an Xbox TV? Are you worried this wider focus could detract from the next Xbox console proper? Let us know in the comments box below, or take to our Twitter and Facebook feeds to have your say.
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