AV Peripherals and Systems Guide
Is Microsoft Developing a Set-top Xbox?
Two weeks ago, we brought you tidings of Microsoft's probable 7-inch Xbox Surface gaming tablet which the Redmond firm is believed to be working on. More recently, another Microsoft-related article has popped up on The Verge yet again, but this time, it has something to do with a barebones version of the Xbox gaming console in the works, rumored to be a set-top box with streaming and casual gaming capabilities.
Reportedly named as "Xbox TV", the mysterious device is said to be part of Microsoft's two-pronged approach for consumers. Prospective buyers may choose between the upcoming next-generation Xbox console, or the more affordable set-top Xbox. Both devices are slated to be unveiled in 2013. Details of its hardware components aren't apparent as yet, but according to The Verge's report, Ballmer's empire has plans to install a rapid-boot chipset within the Xbox TV to "provide near-instant access to TV and entertainment services". These details were furnished by alleged multiple sources, cited to be chummy with Redmond's schemes. When questioned, Microsoft did not deny the rumors but has this to say instead:
"Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend the console lifecycle by introducing controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention."
The device is purportedly powered by core components of Windows 8. This is also part of a broader effort by Microsoft to ensure the core architecture for its next-generation Xbox is scalable enough to run on various devices.