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Microsoft Reportedly Working On Xbox TV Device

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the just-don't-call-it-the-metrobox dept.

Microsoft 104

SternisheFan writes with news of rumors over Microsoft's plans for its next-gen Xbox console. According to The Verge, the company is working on a cheap, Xbox-based set-top box for some time in 2013. "The device will run on the core components of Windows 8 and support casual gaming titles rather than full Xbox games typically found on a dedicated console. Although hardware specifications aren't fully locked down, we understand Microsoft will use a chipset to enable an "always on" device that boots quickly and resumes to provide near-instant access to TV and entertainment services. Microsoft's Xbox set-top box work is said to be part of a broader effort to ensure its core architecture for the next-generation Xbox is scalable enough to be put together to run on a number of devices. We understand that the company could opt to combine its core system for the next Xbox with a phone stack to deliver a phone capable of running a full version of Microsoft's Xbox Live services."

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Failed xbox shrink (4, Interesting)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 2 years ago | (#42060525)

I have known for a long time the xbox 360 would be relegated to a lower end Xbox gaming device when the next Xbox came out. Im surprised this is a mini, scaled down version that wont run the whole 360 stack though. I figured they would be able to make the 360 cheap/small enough by now to do so.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (4, Insightful)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about 2 years ago | (#42060629)

More than likely, this won't be an xBox at all, but rather a small ARM based version of Windows 8 RT with Media Center built-in, and Metro apps for things like Pandora, Netflix, Hulu, etc...

It doesn't make much sense to make it an xbox unless you're planning to run actual xbox titles.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (2)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 2 years ago | (#42060919)

Unless you work for Microsoft's marketing department, in which case you'll want to stick an Xbox label on the box, since it's a Microsoft device that connects to your TV. I can't wait for the confusion this will cause.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42061389)

why would it be confusing? Xbox TV....all the over-the-top services of the Xbox, none of the games....99 bucks to compete with the Google TV and Apple TV.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42061545)

"PlaysForSure"

Re:Failed xbox shrink (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42063333)

Ohhh AC, why did you have to open that can of worms? Frankly Ballmer should have been FIRED over the PFS fiasco, here you have a successful and GROWING online rental business that was actually making people WANT to go out and buy Windows compatible players, and not only that it was actually a damned competitive alternative to the iTunes monopoly because it gave people the ability to have ALL the music they could possibly want for one low price every month, so what does Ballmer do? Does he capitalize on this growing business, use it to get that coveted slot in the media business he so obviously craved by talking to the movie studios and coming out with a PFS for video to compliment the PFS for audio?

Oh fuck no, that is what a good and competent CEO would do! Instead Ballmer burns ALL his bridges with the player manufacturers by taking a big wet shit on their growing market, leaving them with a ton of players with a now useless feature, and for what? So he could yet again try to turn MSFT into a badly done, half baked, and truly pathetic Apple ripoff...which fails quicker than you can say "Shit brown Zune".

if there is ONE thing we can take away from the reign of Steve "ZOMFG I want an iPad too!" Ballmer it is this: Take ANY product they announce such as this, think "How could I fuck this up royally, so nobody will want this damned thing and it'll flop miserably?" and odds are Steve will have come up with a dozen stupider moves than you could possibly imagine that will torpedo the product so badly Woot! will have trouble selling the leftovers at one fifth the price. Its gotten so bad that MSFT announces a product and I think "Cue the stupid moves that kill the product in three, two, one.." because its like he can't help it, Ballmer just HAS to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (1)

aztracker1 (702135) | about 2 years ago | (#42061799)

I don't know that there will be confusion... likely the development tools will remain the same... XNA should be supported/updated, and it's simply a new target.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063299)

XNA is not supported on RT, is it? It certainly isn't supported on Windows Phone 8, which is based on RT.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (1)

RaceProUK (1137575) | about 2 years ago | (#42065351)

From http://blogs.windows.com/windows_phone/b/wpdev/archive/2012/04/05/windows-8-and-the-windows-phone-sdk-pt-2.aspx [windows.com]

With regard to existing applications: today’s Windows Phone applications and games will run on the next major version of Windows Phone.

Emphasis his. So yes, XNA is supported on WP8.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (4, Funny)

Zaiff Urgulbunger (591514) | about 2 years ago | (#42062233)

XBox 360-RT. That'll clear up any confusion!

Discs for the original Xbox (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42060981)

It doesn't make much sense to make it an xbox unless you're planning to run actual xbox titles.

The Xbox 360 can't even emulate all Xbox titles.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (1)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#42062765)

Exactly, although i have to say its pretty damned stupid when you think about it. Not only have they been cranking the X360 for so long they can whip those off on the cheap, but frankly this doesn't sound any better than what we are already seeing baked into more and more TVs and STBs. I mean why would I want this when my TV could play casual time wasters already? But having a $100 X360 that can play the whole X360 catalog AND do all the media stuff AND the casual AND be the media hub of the house? Sounds like a winner to me.

But as long as Steve Ballmer is in charge Smart and Microsoft will probably be two words that repel each other like magnets. after all this IS the guy that ignored all the beta testers AND reviewers and shoved both Vista and Win 8 half baked, shoved the X360 with a fatal cooling flaw, not to mention gave us "winners" like the Zune, The Kin, GFWL, and killing playsforsure, which had built up a pretty damned respectable media rental business, for the megaflop that was Zune market....so yeah, smart and MSFT are two things that just don't go together ATM.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063229)

I think we'll start seeing "XBox" as more of a brand than as a device. They've already branded the formerly-known-as-zune the "XBox music service" in Windows 8.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063863)

set-top-box are always powered. Unless someone wants to walk around with it and be mobile, why would it be RT?? you're mixing up stuff here.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42064485)

Basically a Windows 8 phone in a set-top box, analogue to current Android set-top boxes and Apple TV.
Nothing revolutionary, just filling out the product line to match it's competitors' product lines.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42061357)

Rag of MS all you want. Apple didn't raise the bar very high to start with as far as media devices go. XBox in its present state kills it over what they offer. I query the need to separate the gaming aspect however, seems like the RT version of set-top boxes.

Re:Failed xbox shrink (1)

mwvdlee (775178) | about 2 years ago | (#42064507)

I query the need to separate the gaming aspect however, seems like the RT version of set-top boxes.

Not everybody (including me) would want the hard-core quality gaming, and since this part makes up large part of the cost of an XBox, it makes sense to sell a slightly cheaper product with significantly lower cost to a market that wants it.

Problem with set top boxes... (5, Interesting)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#42060597)

My previous TV was older with no internet connection and I ended up using my Xbox that last year or so more to stream netflix then actually play video games. When that TV died last year and I bought a new one, the new TV had a dozen services built in including Netflix and Hulu. Since then I actually let my XBL subscription lapse because I just didn't use it enough. If the idea works, what is to stop Panasonic/LG/Samsung et al from basically building similar services directly into the TV. My current TV is still wired into the home network, but I'm seeing a lot more TV's with built in Wifi.

My Cable bundle contract expires at the end of the year and I'm seriously debating whether or not it's time to cancel the TV subscription.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060647)

Unless you're a big sports fan you won't miss Cable TV at all. I haven't had it for several years and if they offered it to me for $5/month I would turn it down.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060793)

Unless you're a big sports fan you won't miss Cable TV at all.

If your like me, I purchased a $15 digital TV antenna and I get all the local sports broadcasts. I don't miss cable TV at all.

When the finals are on cable (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42061045)

I purchased a $15 digital TV antenna and I get all the local sports broadcasts.

How would you like to miss the finals because the finals are on cable? The NHL, for example, had the third and fourth games of its 2012 Stanley Cup finals on the network formerly known as Versus.

Re:When the finals are on cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42061429)

I watch them at the local bar like a real Canadian.

That, or there about 9000 people streaming the games on various sites (ustream, justin.tv, et al).

Re:When the finals are on cable (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42061797)

I watch them at the local bar like a real Canadian.

Where I live, kids aren't allowed into bars even with a parent. So what do you recommend for hockey fans who have kids who are also hockey fans?

Re:When the finals are on cable (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#42061873)

Move to the civilized part of the world, where they allow kids into bars, and trust that the bartender can tell a 10 year old from a 30 year old?

Re:When the finals are on cable (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42061995)

What does it take to get a work visa in the civilized world?

Re:When the finals are on cable (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about 2 years ago | (#42062921)

Depends where you're coming from, and where you're trying to go. If you're in North America, you may find you already have all the necessary paperwork to move to a different part of North America where they're civilized like that. :) If you want to go to Europe, it may require more paperwork.

Re:When the finals are on cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063731)

Dude he's trolling you, look at his posting history, he will find some ass-backwards niche that nobody ever encounters to try and suggest your method isn't viable, look already you have a person of age that is an NHL fan that doesn't want cable that can't stream it on the net who also has kids who are NHL fans and lives in a part of the world where kids can't go into bars, now he's asking about work visas, which he will likely suggest he isn't eligible for so you have to find another way for this braindead retard to watch the game. If that's your situation then fucking get cable, trust me with tepples he's always representing the 0.00000000000000000001% that has a viable option but also wants an alternative.

Re:When the finals are on cable (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 years ago | (#42064949)

He's not trolling. He's just that literal

http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20091028/NEWS01/910280316/1001/NEWS [news-sentinel.com]

From what I gather:

1. Before getting his job he was a babysitter, I think for a relative's children.

2. Said kids had an older game system connected to SDTV, same screen multi was favored.

3. Tepples desire to make games ultimately comes from that experience. He basically wants to make NES/SNES games, not realizing times have changed.

4. He wants to make console games, but since he's "one guy in a basement" no dev-kit for him. Because he knows his limitations, suggesting that he join some established dev house is rebuffed. For someone like tepples, a major cross country move to silocon valley or redmond or some large city would be harder for him, let alone the interview.

5. His portfolio is knock-offs, mostly tetris clones with slightly modded rules. Being what he is, original ideas are not his forte, and he knows it...he's a "hyperfocused robotic parrot" with his: "what about SDTV, or same screen multi, or people who watch sports, or people with only one system or PC, or people who live in bumfuck Indiana." It's not trolling, he's just that focused on the edge cases, because he was/is one..

I work with people with autism. while it sometimes exists alongside developmental disabilities, it doesn't always. He's not "retarded" (that term is frowned upon), he just has a disability.

Re:When the finals are on cable (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42066987)

Because he knows his limitations, suggesting that he join some established dev house is rebuffed. For someone like tepples, a major cross country move to silocon valley or redmond or some large city would be harder for him, let alone the interview.

So let's say I am willing to make an effort to overcome these limitations so that I can work for a developer licensed on devices such as this Xbox TV device that Microsoft is reportedly working on. What should I know about moving and being able to afford living while I search for a job? Is driving necessary?

His portfolio is knock-offs, mostly tetris clones with slightly modded rules.

What Tetris clones? Let's say I were to make a platformer not closely based on any existing product. Would that be enough to shake this "only makes knockoffs" perception?

When I ask about work visas (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42066831)

When I ask about work visas, it's to tell people that "just leave the country" is far easier said than done, and "sucks to be you, American" isn't very polite.

Re:When the finals are on cable (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#42063977)

If we're speaking about Canada, then a job offer in an area where there's a shortage of skilled workers is generally enough (software developers qualify in most provinces). Work for a year, then you get to apply for permanent residency under the fast-tracked provincial nominee program - a year or two later you'll have your PR. Three years later, citizenship.

That's assuming you are actually serious...

Re:When the finals are on cable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063783)

Cable

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 2 years ago | (#42061091)

that only works for the NFL games.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

proslack (797189) | about 2 years ago | (#42060747)

It seems like this will compete for the Wii / casual gamer crowd (or Apple TV), especially if it isn't restricted to just games but allows any Windows 8 apps to run.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about 2 years ago | (#42060757)

Well, I do prefer my TiVo to any other interface I've used, and it's far better at finding new content for me to watch. And I do have a number of shows I like to watch right away rather than waiting for them to appear on Hulu or Netflix..

Certainly, I can torrent them at some point (again, usually a day or two later) but that's a huge pain to manage. TiVo is so much simpler.

As such, i'll probably keep my cable and TiVo subscriptions.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060883)

Sickbeard is a damn fine show aggregation tool. It doesn't use torrents but another USE for the NET... I find that I never worry about getting shows anymore. I just check my unwatched shows on XBMC.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

man_of_mr_e (217855) | about 2 years ago | (#42061253)

XBMC is *NOT* a TiVo. As anyone that has used a TiVo knows, the TiVo is all about the UI and (more importantly) the remote. The TiVo remote is the single most intuitive and easy to use remote on the planet.

What's more, I use the Bluetooth remote, which means I don't even need line of sight to the TiVo, and it can be hidden away in my cabinet.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

damien_kane (519267) | about 2 years ago | (#42065871)

Sickbeard is a damn fine show aggregation tool. It doesn't use torrents[...]. I just check my unwatched shows on XBMC.

Sickbeard drops torrents fine into any blackhole, such that uTorrent, Transmission, or most other current torrent downloaders can pick up, then can grab the resultant file from wherever your torrent app downloads it.

To the GP/Sibling; while it's true that XBMC is not TiVo, parent's note about "checking unwatched shows on XBMC" relates to the fact that XBMC can automatically pick-up the sorted downloads managed by SB+Transmission/SAB
Process is akin to this:

Configuration:
1. Configure blackhole + download path in torrent client, or SAB
2. Define usenet host/torrent blackhole in SB (match [1])
3. Define download path from SAB/Transmission/uTorrent to search for "new" downloaded shows (match [1])
4. Define output path in SB to place scraped + sorted (by show/season) shows
5. Define XBMC library path to match [4]
6. Define "show" in sickbeard (or multiple shows)

[automated part]

1. SB downloads show information (ep guide, air dates, etc) from internet (tvdb)
2. SB starts searching news feeds or torrents for "missing" shows
3. SB either queues DL in SAB (usenet) or downloads a torrent and places it in black-hole (torrents)
4. SAB/Torrent client downloads show to downloads folder
5. SB identifies new show in downloads folder, parses filename + scrapes against internet for all requested metadata, moves file + writes metadata to library path
6. XBMC identifies new (fully scraped) media file in library path, adds to library DB, flagged as "Unwatched"

And you get TV shows, usually within hours of their airing, appearing automatically for you.
SB also has reports on Missed and Upcoming episodes, (i.e. it's already looking ahead to start downloading next-week's ep of current-running, or next-season's start of on-hold shows)

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

s0nicfreak (615390) | about 2 years ago | (#42060881)

Depending on the price (compared to a Roku) and the games, this may be a good idea for my kids' rooms. The have older TVs in there, if/when those die I expect we'll replace them with something cheap and old and wifi-less. I'm unwilling to give them full-out xbox 360s (as I want to encourage coming into the main area and interacting, playing games together etc. more than everyone shutting themselves off in their own room). We have the xbox live family plan, and though I myself have switched to a mainly PC gamer (and was surprised when the other day the xbox live site informed me that I'd played a total of 2 hours online this year) my kids play on xbox live quite a bit, and it does still seem to be the preferred service for younger gamers. So we're still going to be paying for that. I'm sure there are many other people in the same position whom this would be perfect for.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (2)

El Rey (61125) | about 2 years ago | (#42060887)

The FUBAR thing about Hulu built into TVs and set top boxes is that they say there are titles that they have the right to stream on the web but don't have the right to stream to set top boxes, so you can't get all Hulu content on a set top box. Often the TV / box version is also Hulu Plus only (though I do subscribe to H+ currently to get it on my Roku).

It's one of reason's I'm looking to build a HTPC in the near future (well, that and getting tired of plugging the laptop into the big screen all the time for family viewing). Too much freakin lock in on the set top boxes...

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060903)

Microsoft's probably hoping to sell this software directly to the TV manufacturers as well.

But there's plenty of existing televisions out there, so those would be a target as well.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060963)

Well, this product obviously doesn't apply to people who don't want a game machine who have a new spiffy TV with all kinds of stuff built in. How does that translate into a problem with the concept? MS doesn't need to keep this product alive in its current for for a decade for it to make sense, it's a fine solution for people who don't have your particular needs in your particular situation.
 
What you're doing is saying "Hey, I own a V12 Bentley, why on earth is BMW bothering to bring out new 5 series cars?"

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42062407)

better performance, larger ecosystem of apps, more updates for the software....

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (3, Informative)

jittles (1613415) | about 2 years ago | (#42061317)

I got an Apple TV3 precisely because I am able to buy the NHL Center Ice package for about $130 a season and watch all the games I want. Its cheaper than cable, and the quality is better than playing through a web browser. The quality is better because NHL streams HD content to the Apple TV and does stream that high of a quality over the web viewer. They also have plugins for MLB, and NBA as well. My TV doesn't offer anything but Hulu and Netflix. I wish they had an Amazon Instant Video plugin, but oh well. Maybe I just need to update my Apple TV for that. I have been hesitant to do so with hopes that they would jailbreak. Either way, a set top box will have a longer life period than a TV. I can tell you that there hasn't been a firmware update, or new plugins for my TV in over a year.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

ducomputergeek (595742) | about 2 years ago | (#42061973)

Not sure if it's any different with Apple TV, but one year I bought the MLB.tv subscription so I could watch games on my computer and at the time iPhone if I was traveling. Problem was if I try watching a St. Louis Cardinals game in St. Louis it was blacked out. What's the point in getting the sports subscription if I can't watch the home town team without a blackout. I'm not sure if that's changed or not, but that was one of the biggest reasons why I stuck with my Cable TV subscription was I like to watch Cardinals Baseball in the summer and Blues hockey in the winter.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42062439)

that has nothing to do with the Apple TV or the app or Apple's ability to cut the right deal....MLB has contracts with local networks and they avoid competing with them by blacking out the game for local markets.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42070561)

Blackouts still happen with Apple TV. However, you can just get an antenna to pick up those broadcasts for free...

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062275)

I hope you haven't paid for Center Ice this year...

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42061459)

The built in Apps, unless it is a google TV, are dead ends. The services you want will take for ever yo get there and updates will never happen. Set-top boxes (Google TV, Apple TV, Boxee, Roku and this Xbox TV device) get updates, have a much larger ecosystem and if tehy do it right (like Google TV) they do HDMI pass-through so you can use the device's UI as an overlay and then TV becomes an app on the device (or in the case of comcast, XBox provides you the cable service.

I think Cable companies will look to making over the top streams available for multiple set-top devices and then they can get out of the cablebox game and people can BYOD to their service.

Re:Problem with set top boxes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42065939)

The TV apps are hit-or-miss. If a particular app works well enough, then great! But they don't always- TVs have itty bitty slow CPUs, and as mentioned elsewhere they are not generally updated with regularity.

It's not Xbox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060703)

That's Mediaroom 3.0, not Xbox... nuff said...

Why? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060739)

Why?????

Why can't they just make an XBOX 360 with a TV Tuner built-in???

Why????

Why make a cheaper XBOX - by the time this XBOX TV is released the XBOX 360 will already be considered cheap???

Why?????

Why does Microsoft fragment their market????

Why????

Re:Why? (1)

dehole (1577363) | about 2 years ago | (#42060909)

Microsoft is expanding their ad network onto as many devices as possible. I imagine games developed for Windows 8 RT, will work on this platform. If not, well, that would be stupid.

Re:Why? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 2 years ago | (#42061027)

Why can't they just make an XBOX 360 with a TV Tuner built-in?

They do, sort of. I have IP-TV served up over copper wire by my Telco ("Telus Optik TV"). The infrastructure is Cisco (Scientific Atlanta) hardware running software by Microsoft. It works well, and one of the options is to use an Xbox as your set-top box. I don't, because the controller is goofy, but the option is there.

CableCARD (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42061123)

Why can't they just make an XBOX 360 with a TV Tuner built-in???

Because not all shows that people like to watch are on ATSC. Monday Night Football, for example, is one of the big draws of cable over Netflix. Microsoft would have to make a separate tuner for each cable TV provider and each satellite TV provider. I don't think DirecTV and Dish support CableCARD at all, and older versions of CableCARD don't work with cable systems that have switched their lesser-watched channels to switched digital video [wikipedia.org] .

Re:CableCARD (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42062509)

specialty hardware is dead...TV providers will move to over the top delivery and dedicated apps for these settop boxes.

Re:Why? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42066057)

Why make one with a tuner at all? Over the top delivery of cable TV via an app will do away with the need for cable card.

Another set-top box ? (3, Insightful)

vikingpower (768921) | about 2 years ago | (#42060741)

They all failed. Invariably. So what makes this one different ???

Re:Another set-top box ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42060761)

Unfortunately Microsoft STBs didn't fail at all... Microsoft Mediaroom is the world's biggest IPTV middleware...

Re:Another set-top box ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062209)

This will do well becaused the time is right, set top is taking off. Microsoft money is in play. Plus the upfront cost and logistics have already been eaten. Appletv doesn't have a device already hooked into a number of tvs. Time was wrong for any predecssor in the past few years save those with the blessing of calbe providers... but now cable providers might wanna get on board.. comcast 100 internet pack with 100 mbps and xfinity capless excepted to your xbox 360, set top, or whatever nex gen is

Re:Another set-top box ? (2)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42062545)

Microsoft already has a deal with Comcast to deliver their content over-the-top into the xbox so this device can replace a DVR from comcast and provide a better app ecosystem for entertainment....cable operators will jump all over this kind of setup because it will make it cheaper for them to deliver and support their content and they get the best of both worlds...you subscribe to fast internet service and you subscript to their cable offerings.

Re:Another set-top box ? (1)

gtall (79522) | about 2 years ago | (#42062771)

Microsoft + Comcast...now there's a marriage made in Heaven. I wonder which one will get to eat the knife?

Re:Another set-top box ? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42066075)

Sorry, but the reality is that Comcast is the largest cable provider in the country. Do you expect to have cable content delivery with out cable companies?

Re:Another set-top box ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42063219)

Timing.

Re:Another set-top box ? (1)

yvajj (970228) | about 2 years ago | (#42063829)

AT&T UVerse boxes run Windows CE. I was surprised to see this when I browsed to the details of the OS on my box.

It runs surprisingly really well. It's an IP Based tuning system (IPTV). Currently it supports 4 concurrent streams i.e. you can record 4 streams at once (mix / match watch vs. record). This is purely limited by bandwidth. With the previous UVerse profile (before they did a firmware update), it supported 3 concurrent streams. Once AT&T bumped their profile, the box automatically supported 4 profiles.

I've had no problems recording multiple HD streams.

The box also supports playing DLNA / UPnP music from a media server. I had hoped that at some point they would also support DLNA video streaming, but I suspect they don't due to it cannibalizing their VOD / pay features.

Combine the features they support on 360 with what they do via the UVerse boxes, they could come out with a kick ass media box.

Re:Another set-top box ? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | about 2 years ago | (#42063991)

If it can actually run Windows Store (formerly-known-as-Metro) apps, that would be an interesting turn.

Re:Another set-top box ? (1)

Xest (935314) | about 2 years ago | (#42065429)

I don't think it's really meant to be different as such, but it's part of Microsoft's strategy.

They want your PC to run Windows, your laptop to run Windows, your tablet to run Windows, your phone to run Windows, and your console to be an XBox. If you want a set top box, they want to make sure they offer something that integrates with everything else you have.

It's about providing an offering for every facet of your digital life, in the hope that if you buy into one of these, you'll be more likely to buy into the others due to the nice, easy integration and familiarity they will all offer. In other words, the more options Microsoft provides to enter the Windows ecosystem, the more chance there will be that you'll do so, and buy their other offerings in that ecosystem.

The danger for them is that if they don't fill a niche - i.e. a set-top box, then you'll go to say, Apple, or Google, and then there's a chance you'll buy an Apple or Android Phone, and then you may buy an Apple or Android tablet, and so on, until you move to one of these competing ecosystem offerings and ditch MS altogether.

DirectX11.1 (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | about 2 years ago | (#42060767)

Which means many of these games won't be backported to Windows 7. I guess it is part of the strategy to get use to use Windows 8 and Modern whether we like it or not.

Re:DirectX11.1 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062319)

Yes, because people positively flocked to buy Vista the last time they tried that.

Re:DirectX11.1 (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42062563)

Who said you have to use modern (metro)? the start screen is just an app launcher/search tool....remove all metro apps and do not install any metro apps and you are not using the metro UI

Win8 Embedded (2)

nojayuk (567177) | about 2 years ago | (#42060775)

MS recently announced the availability of Windows 8 Embedded in early 2013, basically a modular version of the complete Win8 system which can be pared down for devices like set-top boxes, terminals etc. to run on limited CPU, graphics and memory as required. The description of this set-top box sounds like it's going to run Win8 Embedded but as a Xbox Live content delivery system rather than being aimed at console gaming i.e. it's going to be MS TV.

Is there really a pressing need/demand for an upgraded Xbox? Are console gamers crying out for more CPU and more graphics or are folks like MMO players satisfied with what they can see on their HD teevees right now with the current generation of consoles?

Re:Win8 Embedded (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062463)

Is there really a pressing need/demand for an upgraded Xbox? Are console gamers crying out for more CPU and more graphics or are folks like MMO players satisfied with what they can see on their HD teevees right now with the current generation of consoles?

Are you serious? They lower the real resolution of xbox games every year in order to run games at acceptable framerates. The 360 is aged as fuck.

I"M sure they will call it XBOX 360 RT (1)

ClaraBow (212734) | about 2 years ago | (#42060837)

It's going to confuse consumers like Windows 8 RT tablets are doing now. Most consumers think that Windows RT tablets will run desktop Windows software and people will think that XBOX 360 TV RT will play XBOX games. Just saying!

Why even call the 360 an Xbox? (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#42061161)

people will think that XBOX 360 TV RT will play XBOX games.

And people thought Xbox 360 would play Xbox games, but not all are compatible [wikipedia.org] . Nor do most PlayStation 3 consoles play PlayStation 2 games.

Re:Why even call the 360 an Xbox? (1)

CronoCloud (590650) | about 2 years ago | (#42065005)

It doesn't matter because the market for backwards compatibility is a niche market. Only the most hardcore of the previous generation's fans want it, especially if it raises the price of the machine, the others who buy the system after the first couple of years...don't care. They'd rather have cheaper hardware.

So just to let you know, the majority of folks buying 360's or PS3's this year, probably don't have large Xbox or PS1/PS2 libraries. Those who did....already have their 360's and CECH(A/B/E) PS3's..

Cheaper for SCEA to re-master the best of the previous generation than keep on including additional hardware chips.

New & Improved, Coming Soon (2)

hutsell (1228828) | about 2 years ago | (#42060843)

The article was an unpleasant read. It felt as if it was really written (imho) by a marketing department; sentences that included a variety of pleasant sounding adjectives that were abstract enough to give multiple meanings to the reader -- all designed to make the product's capabilities sound impressive, important and possibly giving the mistaken impression it's a new product release (without actually saying so).

From TFA:

"We reached out to Microsoft for comment on its Xbox set-top box plans and the company issued the following statement:"
"Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend the console life cycle by introducing controller-free experiences with Kinect and re-inventing the console with a 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 life cycle convention."

Did I understand this correctly? It appears this could have been just as easily done with any potential product coming from any company

That one is going to be really popular (not) (2, Informative)

hAckz0r (989977) | about 2 years ago | (#42060879)

This must be the infamous XBox that watches the watcher to make sure they are legitimately paying for what they are watching.

.
Xbox team’s ‘consumer detector’ would dis-Kinect freeloading TV viewers
http://www.geekwire.com/2012/microsoft-diskinect-freeloading-tv-viewers/ [geekwire.com]

Maybe they will watch you to see if you are skipping out on the wonderful commercials and instantly rewind the show for you, just in case you missed something important. Or maybe they will charge you more money for their service if you don't watch at least a minimum of their intellectually challenged TV shows each day? There are lots of ways they could increase the popularity if this system, only I bet they misuse all of its capabilities to the max. After all the stupid decisions Microsoft has made in the recent past, this one is likely going to be a real dud as well.

Re:That one is going to be really popular (not) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062263)

Recent?? You do realize we hate on microsoft for fucking up dos, crushing novell and digital resedarch, and making windows 95 and family so popular and yet so shitty.

What's left for Microsoft to ruin? (1)

Nybler (830853) | about 2 years ago | (#42061009)

The Xbox was one bright spot in an otherwise bleak product landscape. And now they're hell-bent on ruining that? They got rid of Sinofsky. When are they going to get rid of Ballmer?

I'm tired of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42061053)

They work on everything and nothing. Whatever they touch it is complete failure.
Morons.
Stop jumping on every wagon without any directions.

It is the $60 per year fee that will kill it (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42061163)

What Microsoft doesn't get about casual gamers and media users is they don't want an additional $60 per year Xbox Live Gold tax just for the privilege of being able to use the broadband connection they are already paying for.

Most Netflix users I know would rather pay a one time fee of $99 to Apple or $49 to Roku than have to pay an additional $60 per year, even if a Xbox 360 is *given* to them for *FREE*.

Most casual gamers would rather pay Apple $320 for an iPad mini or Amazon $200 for a Kindle Fire than to pay an additional $60 per year.

It just doesn't make sense to pay for Xbox Live Gold just to unlock access to Netflix and being able to play Uno online. You can get the same online functionality with no yearly fee with everyone else's offerings.

I bet 100:1 that it totally sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42061301)

Good luck with that. Both Google and Apple tried to make STBs and they're just plain useless garbage compared to the not-nearly-as-arrogant companies like Western Digital (and some others). But Microsoft is going to make something which doesn't suck, right?

Here's a tip: if your want your STB not completely suck, it needs to support standards at a bare uncompromising minimum. If it's anything like a stock Windows or Mac OS X system, both of which come with media players but are crippled out-of-the-box without the ability to play common file types, then it's useless shit.

Remember when Linux was "codec hell" and the mainstream OSes just worked? Yeah, me neither, because it was so long ago. Nowdays an STB ought to work at least as well as a generic Ubuntu system. WD understood this, so they sell boxes which actually work with whatever the hell files you have and whatever network shares you have. Google and Apple: typically can't access your files, and couldn't play them anyway even if it could access.

Of course, if you make a media STB which actually works, it removes all your incentive to make the box to begin with, since the whole point is to lock users into using your online store. A store where most of the videos that people actually want, aren't present or for sale at any price. But maybe, like iTunes, you'll have the video equivalent of AC/DC, though twenty years too late. And maybe, like Netflix, you'll have whatever movies were on SyFy ten years ago, and maybe Hogans Heroes reruns. Yes, Hogans Heroes was a good show. I still get chuckles out of it. "I see nothing!" Ha! And a gonkulator! OMFG, gonkulator! Ha ha ha!!

Is that how you're going to sell your STB, Microsoft? Are you really that with it?

Re:I bet 100:1 that it totally sucks (2)

DeathFromSomewhere (940915) | about 2 years ago | (#42061447)

They already have the worlds most popular STB software. It's called Mediaroom. [wikipedia.org] I think they know what they are doing by now.

xbox live (1, Interesting)

kemp0master (1117575) | about 2 years ago | (#42061463)

why in the fuck would i pay 50 dollars a year to access netflix (which i already pay for), youtube and crackle? wtf is the syfy app that's running on xbl - other than completely useless... ps3 does it all for free. srsly m$????? srsly?????

Consoles are dying (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#42061659)

If the rumors are indeed true, then this is further proof that stand-alone consoles are dying. The tabletop non-mobile console will be merged into the home TV; the portable consoles will become a tablet or an oversize smartphone. Everything will be downloaded, so while the world waits for gigabit Internet, smaller, less graphically intense games that require less minutes to download will become overwhelmingly popular.

As for the hardware controller zealots that insist that touch is no substitute for buttons, think of smartphone docks where you can embed your phone should you want old-fashioned console gaming. Separate controllers are already being sold for the Xboxen, PSations and Wiis of today, so for couch potato gamers, the decision will be whether to buy a hardcore controller or simply frag the enemy with their pointy fingers.

No, I don't like the way technologies are converging into a gadget singularity. But the writing is on the wall, or should I say LCD screen.

Re:Consoles are dying (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | about 2 years ago | (#42062143)

The tabletop non-mobile console will be merged into the home TV;

What? No, of course this will not happen any time in the near future. For anything like it to happen, Android (or something similar) would have to be a viable game platform, and everybody would have to stop liking graphically intense games and get more into "Angry Birds." Neither of these are at all true. Maybe it could happen in a couple decades, but perhaps by then TVs will be passe and we'll all be watching holograms. Why are you browsing games.slashdot in the first place?

Re:Consoles are dying (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 2 years ago | (#42070239)

"Why are you browsing games.slashdot in the first place?"

Beats me. These weird stories keep popping up in the front page.

Re:Consoles are dying (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42062207)

If the rumors are indeed true, then this is further proof that stand-alone consoles are dying. The tabletop non-mobile console will be merged into the home TV; the portable consoles will become a tablet or an oversize smartphone. Everything will be downloaded, so while the world waits for gigabit Internet, smaller, less graphically intense games that require less minutes to download will become overwhelmingly popular.

As for the hardware controller zealots that insist that touch is no substitute for buttons, think of smartphone docks where you can embed your phone should you want old-fashioned console gaming. Separate controllers are already being sold for the Xboxen, PSations and Wiis of today, so for couch potato gamers, the decision will be whether to buy a hardcore controller or simply frag the enemy with their pointy fingers.

No, I don't like the way technologies are converging into a gadget singularity. But the writing is on the wall, or should I say LCD screen.

Spoken like a non gamer.

windows media center (1)

mlong (160620) | about 2 years ago | (#42062051)

I am wondering if such a device will be able to be used as a media center extender, and how that would tie into their strategy of allowing media center to languish and die

Why do we call everything Xbox when it's not? (1)

Nyder (754090) | about 2 years ago | (#42062197)

I don't get it. We don't call the PS2 or the PS3 "Playstation", We don't call the WiiU stuff Wii. Why do we call the Xbox 360 the Xbox? The Xbox was the first game console they released, not the xbox 360, yet everyone still calls it the 360. So if the new console is named Xbox 720, are we still going to call it Xbox? Even though it's the third generation and does NOT run any of the previous generation games?

wtf people. Lets call it by it's name. Xbox 360 or the 360.

Re:Why do we call everything Xbox when it's not? (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about 2 years ago | (#42063805)

In short, syllables and words. The fewer the syllables the easier it is to say (and usually easier to write out too). Meanwhile if you can get it down to one word you have something you can base a brand on that will show up well in searches.

PS3: 3 syllables, 1 word, and unique
WiiU: 2 syllables, 1 word, and unique
Xbox: 2 syllables, 1 word, and unique
Xbox 360: 5 syllables, 2 words, and unique
360: 3 syllables, 1 word, but not unique.

The problem with "Xbox 360" is that its two words (bad for searching), and more syllables. If it was just called the "360" then the syllable and word count is down, but now it's an extremely generic term that does nothing for the brand or for searching. So we're left with just "Xbox". If MS had named it something more concatenation-friendly like the "Xbox 2" then we wouldn't be having this problem since everyone would just write it as XB2 or Xbox2 and call it a day.

Netflix? (1)

Teckla (630646) | about 2 years ago | (#42062269)

Would I have to pay Microsoft $5 per month just to watch Netflix, like I have to with the Xbox 360?

Nickel and diming bastards...

Surface (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42062379)

During my two visits to the MS store, I have asked several employees how I use a projector with the Surface. The standard answer is to use a wire. Upon pointing out how impractical that is, and asking how to mirror wirelessly, none have had an answer. They need the equivalent of the $99 AppleTV. I would partner with Roku to bring out this functionality next month, but Ballmer prefers the slow route. And no, the college I teach at cannot afford new wireless projectors.

Cheap Discount UGG Boots sale (0)

dsangdhw (2778837) | about 2 years ago | (#42064101)

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What is cheap ? $50 ? (1)

terminal.dk (102718) | about 2 years ago | (#42064419)

With the Mk802 / Mk808 / Ug007 out for $40-$70, we know what cheap is. It has to be way below $99.

what is happening? (1)

pbjones (315127) | about 2 years ago | (#42064775)

MS is following when it should lead!. The Xbox is fine, competing with sub $100 media boxes is a waste of resources. Get the OS right, and I also mean right price, and it would be much better than spending resources across many products. STOP it NOW!

Re:what is happening? (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | about 2 years ago | (#42066137)

proof that the geeks on this site are morons when it comes to marketing and sales.

XNA!!! (1)

elabs (2539572) | about 2 years ago | (#42067005)

Infamously, Microsoft chose not to support XNA for Windows 8 app/game development. However, XNA powers a large percentage of Xbox Live / XBLIG games. Hopefully this new device will promote the use of XNA an all Microsoft platforms.

Only 10 years too late... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#42067047)

XBMC was providing this sort of experience without the paid content 10 years ago.

Cheap Discount UGG Boots handbags sale (-1, Offtopic)

kaituwei (2779791) | about 2 years ago | (#42070909)

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