Microsoft could plan on challenging Cupertino’s recently launched Apple TV with a brand new device. The product is believed to be a smaller-sized Xbox One, which offers download-only functionality and, we expect, a more affordable price tag, too.
Better suited to your living room
The Xbox One’s position as a gaming console that doubles, quite effortlessly, as a home media player makes this a smart move for Microsoft to make. Though nothing has been confirmed (the news comes from Petri IT Knowledgebase, via Business Insider), it does make a lot of sense. Apple has positioned its fourth-generation set-top box as a device capable of proving limited gaming functionality, and this is something consumers are interested in; Amazon did the same with its Android-powered Fire TV months before, even offering a dedicated gamepad for customers to use.
Apparently, Microsoft had planned to bring a smaller Xbox to the market back in 2013, but decided against it. This time around, the rumored device would be designed “to only run games and apps from the Windows Store app market,” and as such, higher-end disc games like “Halo 5: Guardians” wouldn’t be supported. Business Insider adds:
If it happens, Microsoft is thinking about a late-2016 launch window, per the report. It would be sold alongside existing models of the Xbox One, not replace it.
Though no price is put forward in the original report, Microsoft is considering a price point that is “much lower” than the $349 Xbox One. The Apple TV, on the other hand, starts at a far more affordable $149; physically, it’s also a much smaller, less obtrusive, and more aesthetically pleasing device. The new Xbox is expected to take cues from all of these.
If you add to that the same media functionality we already have on Microsoft’s platform (in the form of Netflix and Hulu apps, as well as home media streaming), then what you have is a product which could take a bite out of the market Apple is currently trying to capture. As such, 2016 could be a really interesting year for your living room.
Apple introduced a brand new operating system, tvOS, and native App Store with its fourth-generation Apple TV; since, a plethora of native applications for the platform have launched on the App Store (for our hand-picked favorites, click this link).
As usual, we’ll keep you updated with more information as we receive it.