Microsoft has been very aggressive lately, with CEO Steve Ballmer stating numerous times that the company wanted to battle Apple for supremacy in the living room. In fact, ever since Apple cornered the market on the creation of “living room entertainment,” Microsoft has become seemingly obsessed with stealing the Cupertino tech giant’s consumer base. The rivalry has seemingly reignited, with Microsoft attempting to create new services and products that will topple Apple from its living room throne.
It started a while back when Microsoft began flushing out some of its entertainment services on its Xbox 360 console. It even began to add new applications and features, like MLBtv, Hulu, Nerflix, and the Zune Marketplace (which has been renamed to simply the Xbox Marketplace). The Xbox 360 is still a gaming console, at its roots, but it has begun to accommodate a mass variety of casual services, most of which appeal to non-gamers. This has helped to spike the sales of the console significantly, with some people purchasing it purely for the add-ons and entertainment apps.
But even with all their features, many individuals have been turning to Apple’s set top box, which works in conjunction with any television and gives users access to almost everything Xbox Live does, but for a half of the cost. Apple is currently offering their Apple TV Box for around USD $99.99, which is at least a hundred dollars cheaper than Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Apple TV cannot play games, like the Xbox, but it is capable of using the AirPlay function to stream from any iDevice.
Microsoft may have an answer to Apple TV’s growing popularity though, according to new reports. Sources close to Microsoft are stating that the company is actively working on its own version of a set top box that will directly compete with Apple TV. The box would likely feature all of the services currently available on Xbox 360, as well as casual games. However, it would not offer access to full feature-length games. The sources state that Microsoft wants the Xbox 360 to still retain all its services, yet allow users to choose between a full-fledged gaming console or a TV box.
We aren’t exactly sure when we will see this new Microsoft project, but the sources point to sometime in 2013. It is also highly likely that we will see a combination announcement of both a next-generation Xbox and the TV Box. Hopefully we will get some more information soon regarding this device, so stay tuned to AppleMagazine for the latest!
Photo Credit: Microsoft