The Verge is reporting on a rather interesting bit of information regarding Microsoft’s next major play to dominate the living room and home entertainment industry. Supposedly, Microsoft is planning to release this device in addition to a traditional gaming console. This device, dubbed the ‘Xbox TV,’ will be based on Windows 8, and focus on the entertainment aspects. While it won’t specifically be used for gaming, it is said to support more casual gaming titles – it seems that full-fledged titles will still be targeted to the higher-end, presumably more expensive next-generation Xbox console.
We’re told that the set-top box is part of a two-SKU strategy for Microsoft’s next-generation of Xbox hardware that will be unveiled in 2013, with a release date ahead of the holiday shopping season. The device will run on the core components of Windows 8 and support casual gaming titles rather than full Xbox games typically found on a dedicated console. Although hardware specifications aren’t fully locked down, we understand Microsoft will use a chipset to enable an “always on” device that boots quickly and resumes to provide near-instant access to TV and entertainment services.
As the gaming industry shows signs of being disrupted by the onslaught of tablets and smartphones, it will be interesting to see how these products fare in the market: the Xbox brand does look to be a brilliant way to gain more traction in the living room, and potentially an effective method of cutting off Apple’s entertainment plans before they are even put in to action.