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New Xbox set-top device in the works; planned release next year

Microsoft is rumored to be planning a new upgrade for its home entertainment Xbox platform in the new set-top device.

The Verge reported that an Xbox set-top box will focus more on casual gaming and streaming video.  The report revealed that the new device will be offered as an alternative to the vaunted Xbox 360 console. It will have the capability to stream videos and play casual games. It would also be sold together with the current Xbox.

The Verge said: “The device will run on the core components of Windows 8 and support casual gaming titles rather than full Xbox games typically found on a dedicated console. Although hardware specifications aren’t fully locked down, we understand Microsoft will use a chipset to enable an ‘always-on’ device that boots quickly and resumes to provide near-instant access to TV and entertainment services.”

The report also contends that the new device is just one of the elements of a “broader effort to ensure its core architecture for the next-generation Xbox is scalable enough to be put together to run on a number of devices.” It said that a phone that could run Xbox Live is among those. It was also revealed that Microsoft is courting television manufacturers keen in selling an Xbox Live TV set an offer to allow them to provide Xbox functionality.

Microsoft was vague how the new console will sell when the Xbox was released in 2005. seven years later, Microsoft is selling tens of millions of units around the world, making  Xbox Live the leading channel in streaming movies, TV shows, streaming games, among others.

The Redmond company is currently hiring more engineers to work on its Interactive Entertainment Business dedicated to the development of the “new cloud-based TV platform.”

source: cnet