Microsoft reportedly set to launch 'Xbox TV' set top box in 2013
That's according to The Verge, which cites "multiple sources familiar with Redmond's plans" who state the device will debut in time for the 2013 holiday season alongside a fully fledged successor to the Xbox 360.
The device is expected to run "on the core components" of Windows 8, and will deliver an 'always-on' experience with fast boot-times and the ability to resume near-instantly from idle states.
There's also a suggestion that Microsoft is investigating the possibility of building a full version of its Xbox Live services into other devices, such as smartphones and licensed television sets.
"Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend the console lifecycle by introducing controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships," explained a Microsoft representative when contacted for comment.
"We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention."
The news comes as VP of Microsoft's interactive entertainment business, Phil Harrison, talked of Microsoft's position as an entertainment giant fighting on many fronts.
"We are now really a multiplatform studio," Harrison told attendees at the London Games Conference, as reported by GamesIndustry.biz.
"We are not just building games for Xbox 360, we're building experiences for smart glass, we're building dedicated games for Windows Phone 8 and for Windows 8."
Harrison added that Microsoft is no longer just competing with console companies such as Sony and Nintendo, but is now also taking on Google, Amazon and Apple.
"We think that's great," he concluded.
"We think it's good for us, we think it's good for the industry and we think it also moves us into this network generation more aggressively and with more determination.
"There isn't an organisation that embodies that strategy more precisely and concisely as Microsoft Studios inside the interactive entertainment business."
[source: The Verge]