We all know the next generation of gaming hardware is just over the horizon, soon the sun will break in the distance and the latest hardware will shine down upon us, but until that time comes, speculation and rumor are all we have. That being said there isn't usually smoke without fire and this story has plenty of smoke.
Microsoft are developing a set top box, much like a cable or Sky TV box that will be capable of streaming multimedia from the array of providers that already push content via Xbox live as well as many more with the introduction of services like Xbox TV that is set to launch next year.
Every company and their dog seems to have an internet telivision service, so why should Microsoft be any different? but they could be going one further by serving theirs as a low cost edition of their next gen console, which as rumor has it will simple be titled "Xbox", so well move on from that and call the light version "Xbox TV".
Apple TV and many others will be fighting for this market over the next couple of years, Apple will be pushing their unified device system, with integration from the iPad, iPhone and iWhatevernext, no doubt with cross platform apps and games that will prove popular with the masses. Microsoft seem to be placing the building blocks to tackle them head on, with the introduction of Smart Glass, slowly developing the current Xbox dashboard to further resemble Windows 8, Windows 8 and Windows RT as well as Xbox Tablet devices all starting to rock the same beat also further giving Microsoft hardware and software users a more cohabitant gadget environment, much like that of Apples product range. This is of course a good thing.
It's already known that many American consumers buy Xbox 360's only to use services like NetFlix, so it makes sense that Microsoft would capitalize on this and give the people what they want. Likely featuring an ARM based system-on-chip and with Windows RT already poised to tackle that hardware, the pieces slowly fall into place.
Of course Microsoft did not comment on the news-story, but the tech world is buzzing with whispers in the dark about what is to come, because if I know one thing about this industry, the hardware is out there, people have seen it and I don't think its going to be long before we do too.