Microsoft’s next Xbox will be more like a set-top box

11 Apr 20131 Share

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Microsoft’s next-generation games console will be an all-encompassing digital entertainment delivery system that will take over the living room TV, putting the software giant in greater competition with the Google TV, the Apple TV and UPC’s forthcoming Horizon box.

Already, the existing Xbox 360 delivers internet services and apps to the living room TV via Wi-Fi and Ethernet, and users can stream Netflix and buy music, games and movies direct from Microsoft.

However, according to The Verge, these entertainment services and more will be joined by access to TV signals using a cable box that connects to the Xbox via HDMI.

The report also suggests Microsoft will make use of the Kinect to enable next-generation TV services, such as the ability to detect eye movement to pause content when a viewer looks a way.

Earlier this week, reports emerged suggesting Microsoft will preview the next Xbox on 21 May ahead of a full reveal at the influential E3 games convention in LA. The new device is expected to go on sale in Q4 ahead of the Christmas sales rush.

The new Xbox has been code-named ‘Durango’ and as well as Durango, Microsoft is also intends to begin selling a US$99 Xbox 360 code-named Stingray before the end of the year or early next year.

Earlier this week, Microsoft agreed to sell its Mediaroom IPTV business to Ericsson in a move that will enable it to focus more heavily on making its Xbox console a central hub for digital entertainment in the home.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com