Microsoft TV: An Xbox 360 that doesn't play games makes more sense than ever

For many the Xbox 360 under their television isn't about playing the latest AAA games or dancing to the magic of the Kinect sensor, it's about watching movies, surfing the net, or playing one of the many LIVE Arcade games available.

If you think of the Xbox 360 as an entertainment device rather than the games console it began life as, it makes sense for Microsoft to start looking at ways to create an Xbox 360 without the core gaming element for those who want a lighter experience.

Here are the clues as to why we believe this will eventually happen:

1. Microsoft has been talking up the entertainment side of the Xbox 360 in recent weeks and enhancing the movie and TV capabilities of the device. While it hasn't gone as far as Sony and its PlayTV offering that lets you play live television, deals in the UK with broadcasters like Sky and the BBC mean you can get a vast array of live content through the web on the console.

2. Microsoft is expected to announce the launch of a streaming music service for Xbox 360 at E3 that will replace the Zune service it has had previously. TV, movies, and music don't need a powerful console to run on - just look at Roku.

3. Although many buy the Xbox 360 to play the latest Call of Duty, many enjoy the lighter games like Fez or classics that have been released. Again you don't need a powerful console to run these.

4. Now that Microsoft owns Skype there is already talk of it being integrated into the Xbox 360. A smaller form factor with Kinect support would be easily possible and boost appeal to those keen to talk from their living room, without feeling like they are buying a console.

5. Such a device could potentially encourage people to upgrade to the full-blown device, meaning that Microsoft could upsell consumers later down the line.

6. Windows RT, Microsoft's tablet-focused operating system, brings Metro apps to new form factors, thus ditching the desktop in the process. Perfect for TV computing.

7. Microsoft is also rumoured to be working on a system that would allow you to stream content from your phone or tablet to your TV. Such a device would allow you to do so quickly and easily without having to buy an expensive console.

8. Apple is slowly growing its focus in the TV space with rumours it will launch a full blown TV set with Siri support this year.

9. Microsoft has ditched Windows Media Center in Windows 8, so this may be another reason.

As you can see the argument is pretty sound for a cheaper £99 box to take on both the forthcoming Apple TV and Roku boxes.

Will we see a stripped-down Xbox TV in the coming months?



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