The Verge is reporting (via Polygon) that Microsoft plans to launch a set-top box with Xbox branding sometime ahead of 2013′s holiday season. This device will reportedly be a cheaper alternative to buying a full on Xbox 360 simply to watch Netflix or any of the other entertainment apps.
The rumored box will also run on the core components of Windows 8. This will be part of Microsoft’s general plans to modify Windows 8 so that it can run non-PC devices like smart phones. They have even gone so far as to contact TV manufacturers to perhaps create an Xbox branded TV.
With a modified version of Windows 8, the device will be able to play games, but the plan isn’t to port the next Call of Duty onto it moreso than the next Angry Birds or Words with Friends. In other words, it will support small, casual games over full console games.
The Verge has also reached out to Microsoft and gotten this response.
“Xbox 360 has found new ways to extend the console lifecycle 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 lifecycle convention.”