We still have yet to hear anything official on the next iteration of the Xbox home console, but we have heard some rumors that will persist until Microsoft makes a formal announcement themselves. It looks like hot on the heels of details about the next Xbox, some more information about Microsoft’s future for the Xbox brand has leaked out, and this one is quite interesting. According to a rumor posted by The Verge, Microsoft will release a set-top box for the holiday season of 2013 called “Xbox TV.” Xbox TV will not be the proper, full Xbox experience, but instead be a more toned down one and serve as a media center with some gaming capabilities.
It will be directly in competition with devices such as Apple TV and Roku and be used primarily for streaming media to your television and will run some form of stripped-down Windows 8. This will be part of a “two SKU strategy” for the company, with the next generation of Xbox as the “premium” device and this one as the value device that will sell for much cheaper with only a partial Xbox experience. It will run some games, though, but not the full Xbox games or possibly even the ones you find on Xbox Live. Expect it to be stuff in the vein of Angry Birds and whatever else you can get for other set-top boxes.
Microsoft is working to make the Xbox Live platform scalable to work with more devices than just what we assume will be the upcoming behemoth that is “Xbox,” and could include usage on phones or television, making for licensed Xbox Live devices beyond just the next Xbox itself and this set-top box. The set-top box will include an “always on” chipset to ensure that you can at the touch of a button have instant access to media, if you’ve ever used another set-top box you’ll probably recognize the technology and that it is quite useful. Even if I only use my Roku in our office/gym room in my house, it is great to just push one button and be ready to go without a long boot-up sequence.