Just when talk of an impending Apple TV release date seemed to steal the spotlight all to itself, rumor has it that Microsoft is planning to hit back with a set-top box to rival Apple’s entry. According to a slew of new reports surfacing this week, a low-cost version of the Xbox console may be on the way that offers both casual mid-range gaming and comprehensive access to Microsoft’s television and entertainment services.
Running the new Windows 8 OS and remaining operational at all time the TV is powered on, the Microsoft set-top box will arguably be looking to capture the interest of those unable to shell out for an expensive Apple TV set.
The concept is in theory a relatively ingenious one, as it has the potential to allow Microsoft to target a new market of consumers that do not want to pay full-price for an Xbox 360 (or 720) games console for the use of streaming video and multimedia, given the way in which their interests in gaming are of a more casual nature.
Predictions have earmarked the project for a 2013 release date, though exact specifics including price details remain unknown.