Microsoft may not be so sure about its Xbox TV idea. According to Polygon, the company is "uncertain" about introducing an Xbox with limited capabilities. The company is said to have gone through many iterations of the unit, including versions that can operate with the Kinect. Microsoft is also said to be encouraging development of multi-platform applications that would run on the Xbox, a Windows Phone as well as a Windows 8 tablet.
The Xbox TV was originally meant to be an inexpensive alternative to the Xbox 360 and the next-gen Xbox. It is said to be developed to run on the core components of Windows 8. Originally planned for a release alongside the next-gen Xbox, Microsoft is said to be hesitant to do so because of the competition it is facing in the market, such as that from the Apple TV.
The originally-planned Xbox TV might never see the light of day
Meanwhile, the company is said to be planning cable integration for the next-gen Xbox. The company might bake in a feature in its next-generation console that would take over a TV and set-top box to overlay a Microsoft-developed UI on top of the existing service provider’s interface.
While the next Xbox’s always-on connection will be used for streaming content and access to TV signals, Microsoft has implemented functionality where a cable box signal is passed to the Xbox over HDMI. This will allow the company to overlay a UI and Xbox-specific features on top of an existing TV channel or set-top box.
The next-generation Xbox will supposedly go a step further than Google TV thanks to exclusive tie-ups with major content providers. However, the Xbox’s TV features will be basic at launch and more advanced features will come as part of later updates.
Besides this TV functionality, the console will come with a next-generation Kinect sensor that is said to detect multiple people simultaneously and even detect eye movement to pause content when viewers turns their head away from the screen, à la the Samsung Galaxy S4.
The next-gen Xbox will be unveiled by Microsoft at an event on May 21.