Xbox set-top box coming in 2013?

22 Nov 2012

With the launch of Xbox SmartGlass earlier this year, Microsoft is increasingly trying to brand Xbox as an entertainment hub, not just a games console

According to reports, we can look forward to Microsoft’s answer to the Apple TV by around this time next year.

The so-called ‘Xbox TV’ will apparently be a low-cost alternative to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 – a games console at heart but now more of a full-on entertainment hub.

Claiming that multiple sources have confirmed the story, The Verge reports that the device will be built for ‘always-on’ operation, allowing users to access entertainment services quickly without having to wait for a bulky system to boot up.

It’s also speculated that the device will operate on Windows 8 and will allow for casual gaming, as well as video streaming, as opposed to the full, heavy duty gaming titles available on the Xbox 360.

The set-top box is predicted to arrive in late 2013 and will compete with other media streaming devices, from the Apple TV to the likes of the Nintendo Wii and PlayStation 3.

Elsewhere, speculation on when Apple will release a longed-for television continues, with one analyst changing his prediction to November 2013. Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster previously believed the mythical Apple TV set would arrive this December, then the first half of next year. While it’s all just guesswork, really, it will be interesting to see if Apple and Microsoft simultaneously launch new television products at the same time next year.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic