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Rumor: Xbox Mini Set-Top Finally Slated for 2013 Release

By - Source: ITWorld | B 13 comments

The Xbox Mini set-top box will likely make its debut during E3 2013.

Just hours before Best Buy spilled the beans on Nintendo's new Wii Mini console for Canada, reports surfaced that Microsoft is still working on an Xbox Mini console to be launched in 2013.

This rumored Xbox Mini is actually the set-top version we've heard about before which will compete with Apple TV and Roku set-top boxes. For a low price, the device will allow owners to access core entertainment services and casual gaming titles that can be purchased, downloaded and installed from the Marketplace.

Currently it's unknown what components the mini-console will contain: will it be a scaled down version of the upcoming Xbox Infinity, or will Microsoft simply remove features from the current version and cram it into a smaller form factor. Given the device's "casual" nature, the latter seems more likely, especially if Microsoft is looking to achieve the $50 to $99 price point.

Microsoft has already made it clear that the upcoming Xbox Infinity will feature a Windows 8 core so that many games and features can be experienced across all Windows 8-based platforms: desktop, console, tablet and smartphone. The Xbox Mini will likely sport the same OS for the same reason, differentiating it from the current generation.

So what kind of games will the Xbox Mini play? Likely those that can be purchased on Windows Phone 8 and the Windows Store like Angry Birds Star Wars (seen above), SoulCraft, Riptide GP, Hydro Thunder Hurricane and more. It may even be capable of many Xbox Live Arcade titles like Doom, Minecraft and other casual titles.

As we've seen with the launch of Windows 8, the Xbox brand no longer solely means hardcore gaming, but rather a multimedia service that includes music, movies, TV shows, games and more. The new chatter only signals that Microsoft is moving closer to landing deals for live TV streaming which will be the Xbox Mini's primary function.

With Windows 8 now under its belt, 2013 should be an interesting year for Microsoft. The company is expected to finally reveal the Xbox Infinity console in June during E3 2013 as well as the Xbox Mini set-top box. Kinect 2.0 is also supposedly making its debut in both embedded and standalone formats as well.

Looking ahead, the Xbox Mini might actually go on sale next summer while the full-blown Xbox Infinity will land on retail shelves during the fall.

 

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  • 0 Hide
    NuclearShadow , November 28, 2012 9:27 AM
    With how much consoles are starting to mimic PCs in features and as their price tags drastically rise with each release how long before we stop calling them consoles and start calling them PCs as well?
    Granted a closed market PC but that isn't reason to label them as something entirely different alone, we don't say iPhones aren't a line of smartphones because it uses a closed market strategy.

    If they are going to put a full fledged OS's have the same hardware companies provide for them as we would expect a PC to have. Require patches, updates, installations of software, and everything else one would expect on a PC then they no longer distinguish themselves enough to be called something different. They are closed market, weaker hardware, over priced, PCs. It is the fool's PC.

  • 0 Hide
    cknobman , November 28, 2012 12:41 PM
    OH I cant wait to buy an Xbox mini and pay $40-$60/year just to use services like Netflix and Youtube that are offered free on every smart TV and blue ray player on the planet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I'm also looking forward to playing smartphone games on my TV too!!!

    /end sarcasm
  • -7 Hide
    kellybean , November 28, 2012 12:56 PM
    Will probably be another DX9 piece of trash, hopefully the RROD rate will be >50%
  • -8 Hide
    ushyperion , November 28, 2012 12:57 PM
    XBOX is for Tools & Fools. The only console i know is PC. Ps3 is nice but it isn't just as good.
  • 1 Hide
    freggo , November 28, 2012 1:37 PM
    Is there a reason to buy/own an XBOX if you do not play games ?
    Can it do stuff I can not do with a PC ?
  • 7 Hide
    Gundam288 , November 28, 2012 2:57 PM
    ushyperionXBOX is for Tools & Fools. The only console i know is PC. Ps3 is nice but it isn't just as good.

    PCs are not a console. =/
  • 1 Hide
    clonazepam , November 28, 2012 3:14 PM
    This must be their response to smart tvs. I called Microsoft and cancelled my Gold membership, telling them I had only used it for viewing Netflix anyway, and now that my smart tv can handle the job, goodbye Gold, hello Silver... I may have to check this out though. My Smart TV is not perfect when it comes to audio with Netflix. I have to turn the volume up at least double, fiddle with options, and still can barely hear the voices. Hmmm... I'll have think about it when it comes.
  • 0 Hide
    DRosencraft , November 28, 2012 3:58 PM
    PCs and consoles each have their place in a home for those who can use them. That being said, I find a set-top X-box to be a ploy to get in the way of the Ouya. The conspiracy theorist in me also thinks that they're doing this so that they can do an end-run around killing traditional consoles. A very cheap console that plays online content and stuff downloaded from their store, and more expensive one that has a blu-ray player for games that they will otherwise likely be on their online store. The cheap one will sell much better, and they'll then have an excuse to never make a traditional console again and going for the full online thing that part of rumor over the summer and got roundly rejected by gamers. Just a conspiracy theory.
  • 1 Hide
    atminside , November 28, 2012 5:33 PM
    I would love to have a console that has a built in cable TV decoder/cable card reader so i can replace my damned comcast set box. Plus it would shave off 15 dollars a month in lease fees. Since the rumors are claiming this new mini will also act as a DVR I have high hopes......But Comcast and the other major cable/telco being as they are I am not sure they would allow this....sad face
  • 2 Hide
    nvidiaguy07 , November 28, 2012 6:10 PM
    atminsideI would love to have a console that has a built in cable TV decoder/cable card reader so i can replace my damned comcast set box. Plus it would shave off 15 dollars a month in lease fees. Since the rumors are claiming this new mini will also act as a DVR I have high hopes......But Comcast and the other major cable/telco being as they are I am not sure they would allow this....sad face

    Im using my 360 as my set top box right now with comcast. Granted i spent $120 on a HD homerun prime, but my god was it worth it. It has 3 tuners built in and works through your network. Also my logitech remote works with my 360 as well, so overall it is an awesome experience.

    PM me if you have any questions.
  • 0 Hide
    belardo , November 28, 2012 7:22 PM
    Aren't there already android devices that play these casual games?

    I hate it when companies use a name across a spectrum of products... like the 2-3 different gaming/xbox "apps" that come with Windows8 and I still don't know why or what they do... don't care, as Win8 sucks.
  • 0 Hide
    bigdog44 , November 28, 2012 10:37 PM
    Depending on whether or not kinect 2.0 is a part of the control scheme for this, I can see them using the current SoC with a die shrink. I imagine that 2.0's added processing requirements is what will prevent the use anything more than high-end arcade games. Then again, this could be a part of the 720's upgrade path...
  • 1 Hide
    clonazepam , November 28, 2012 11:28 PM
    if kinect 2.0 was part of this device, it'd need better bandwidth on the usb bus to support higher resolution camera, guess thats not too hard tho these days