Microsoft (MSFT) will reportedly launch an “Xbox TV” set-top box in 2013 geared toward casual gaming and streaming entertainment, according to The Verge’s sources. The report echoes a similar report from earlier this year that said Microsoft is building an ARM-powered “Xbox Lite.” Wednesday’s new report says the Xbox set-top box will be a “low-cost alternative” to the Xbox 360 and is part of a two-pronged strategy that will see it launch ahead of the next-generation Xbox console next year.
The Xbox TV is said to run on “core components of Windows 8” that allow it to power on quickly and remain in an “always on” state. Microsoft didn’t deny the report, but told The Verge, “we are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention.”
The gaming landscape is going to look very different next year than it does today. Nintendo’s (NTDOY) Wii U will have been out for a year and the $99 Android-powered Ouya game console will look to disrupt traditional console gaming with its low-cost strategy. In fact, the Xbox TV set-top box sounds almost exactly like an Ouya that runs a stripped down version of Windows 8.
Add on the rumors that Sony (SNE) will be releasing its PlayStation 4 by the holidays and 2013 is shaping up to be a very good year for gamers.