Microsoft's Rumoured Set-Top (X)Box May Never Appear

By Gary Cutlack on at

The second of Microsoft's next-generation lumps of hardware is unlikely to appear, with the rumoured media-centric set-top box currently stuck in a development hell with Microsoft unsure whether to entirely bin the project or not.

We've heard about Microsoft's set-top-box plans before, with the maker previously reported to be planning two versions of its next Xbox -- a hardcore gaming model and a more casual machine designed as a cheaper media organiser and Angry Birds player for the less discerning gamer.

The WSJ says Microsoft in fact has several prototypes of a simpler media-themed set-top box machine up and running, one even integrating Kinect support, but is currently undecided on whether to actually release it or not.

Not that it bothers us too much. As with reports that the next Xbox may come with integrated TV options, such a move would likely be US-only or arrive severely limited for us over here, where we tend to pull our telly in through satellites, bent coat-hangers and the internet, rather than the cable options used in the US.

The other option is that it would be a super-cheap Apple TV-like streamer, but again, who really turns to Microsoft when it's time to watch a film? [WSJ]