Xbox TV could take shape as a settopbox not a service

first_imgAccording to “multiple sources” familiar with Microsoft’s  plans, the company is gearing up to release Xbox TV late next year. But while previous rumors had pegged Xbox TV as a service that might compete with traditional cable companies or streaming video services such as Hulu or Netflix, it now appears as though Microsoft is working on an actual set-top box.The device sounds a bit like a very scaled-down Xbox 360, and it’s going to be positioned as a companion to Microsoft’s next-gen gaming console. That should mean the Xbox TV will line up alongside devices like Roku, Western Digital’s TV Live, and Google TV STBs like the Vizio CoStar. It’s a safe assumption that the box would have access to the same entertainment line-up that Xbox 360 users currently enjoy — which now includes HDTV service in some market as well as the traditional music and video offerings.Xbox TV won’t be just about media, however. Some gaming will be supported too, which could mean access to all the awesome indie and casual games you can access via Xbox Live Arcade. And beyond just building its own STB, Microsoft has reportedly also given consideration to letting television OEMs integrate this new Xbox experience into their own products. Would a Windows OEM partner like Samsung or LG be interested? Absolutely, especially if they thinkg Xbox TV integration would give consumers added incentive to choose their HDTVs over Sony’s.It certainly makes sense for Microsoft to make a secondary push into the living room. The Xbox and Xbox 360 have been hugely successful, and that brand strength would give a tremendous boost to an Xbox TV device. And while second-gen Google TV hardware has arrived on the scene, it’s still not generating the kind of buzz that it could have. If Microsoft can get Xbox TV to market before consumer interest picks up — and any time next year should be soon enough — it could cement the company’s position as the go-to name in home entertainment devices.More at The Vergelast_img read more