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

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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  • NuclearShadow
    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.
  • cknobman
    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
  • kellybean
    Will probably be another DX9 piece of trash, hopefully the RROD rate will be >50%