Microsoft launching ‘Xbox TV’ in 2013

News Aaron Birch 22 Nov 2012 - 18:11

Microsoft looks set to take a bite out of Apple with the launch of a new TV-based service…

It’s no secret that Microsoft is, with the Windows 8 operating system and its Metro interface, trying to make its products become the centre of your digital life. With Windows 8’s influence eventually being placed throughout its range of products, including the OS on PCs, mobile phones and, of course, the Xbox 360, thanks to the new dashboard, not to mention the next Xbox, the cohesive connectivity and communication is set to be buttery.

This is already demonstrated to owners of Windows 8 and compatible devices. For example, install Windows 8 on your PC, and appointments made on your Windows phone will pop up when you boot up the system, all thanks to a single account login and no further setup. This kind of connectivity isn’t something others can easily compete with, and now Microsoft is looking to boost this even further.

Reported on The Verge, and coming from what are claimed to be credible sources, it’s been revealed that Microsoft intends to launch a set-top box unit that will subscribe to a gaming service, and will provide a budget option to the full-fledged Xbox.

The approach is believed to be a two-pronged strategy concocted by Redmond to ensure a bigger slice of the gaming and entertainment pie.

The device itself, it’s believed, will run on Windows 8 and will focus heavily on the casual gaming market, and may even be able to incorporate aspects of Xbox Live. No real technical details are known the time of writing, but it’s safe to say that it’ll be far less powerful than the upcoming next generation Xbox, and as it’s a set-top box, will likely not match the current Xbox, either.

It’s a brave move, but not an overly surprising one, and this reveal makes perfect sense. Microsoft would be able to tackle rival services, such as Apple’s own Apple TV and products like OnLive, and earlier rumours about the next Xbox not having an optical media drive are also now a little more understandable, as this is the unit that’s going to be digital download only.

The unit is said to be slated alongside the next Xbox for a late 2013 release and with this double-whammy strategy, Microsoft would be taking on both Sony and Nintendo too, with two distinctly tailored options. But, would two separate and standalone SKUs be profitable? Time will tell.

The Verge

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