Microsoft has already been positioning the Xbox as more than just a gaming console, touting its entertainment/video content offerings (accessible via an Xbox Live subscription).
Now, apparently, the company is planning to fully capitalize on the notion of Xbox as an entertainment and video content conduit with an Xbox set-top box, set to launch in 2013, according to a report in The Verge, which cites “multiple sources familiar with Redmond’s plan.”
This would be a lower-cost alternative to the Xbox gaming console and provide video streaming and casual games, as opposed to full Xbox games, according to The Verge report.
It is not clear whether such a device would require an Xbox Live Gold subscription (which costs current owners of Xbox 360 consoles $5 a month for access to channels such as Netflix and Hulu Plus, in addition to Xbox games).
Microsoft issued the following statement, which neither confirms nor denies the set-top box report:
Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend the console life cycle by introducing controller-free experiences with Kinect and reinventing the console with the new dashboard and new entertainment content partnerships. We are always thinking about what is next for our platform and how to continue to defy the lifecycle convention.