The Next Microsoft Console Might be an Xbox TV

By Gary Cutlack on at

Microsoft is said to be preparing two versions of its next home console, one high-power gaming model, plus a lower-spec unit more geared toward casual play and use as a home media hub and streaming solution.

According to The Verge, the two Microsoft consoles will be sold side by side, with the cheaper unit based around playing the sort of casual titles currently offered through Xbox Live and Kinect, while those who do nothing other than stare at Halo lobbies will be able to opt for the full, more powerful, and no doubt more costly, "hardcore" alternative.

It sounds like the idea is to offer something like the current Xbox 360 dashboard, running on a set-top-box, so you can buy your films from Microsoft's server and play cheap little games.

The most exciting part of the rumour concerns possible plans for licensing out the technology, with Microsoft said to be planning to sell the Xbox software to other manufacturers, so we could see future TVs arrive with Xbox gaming services, Kinect and PVR features built in.

Which means, in some distant world, we might see Xbox TV, Apple TV and Google TV all battling to provide us with our telly, gaming and media needs. [The Verge]