Xbox 720 will be hub of all your TV viewing
With the sale of Mediaroom, Microsoft's IPTV platform, to Ericsson, the Redmond software giant said it would be investing its TV time and efforts into the Xbox television offering instead. According to a new rumour, it seems that will be targeted mainly around the Xbox 720 (or, simple, "Xbox", as many are calling it now).
The Verge claims its sources say that Microsoft will use the next-generation console in part to combat Google TV. As well as providing internet streamed programming, it will sit between a cable box and television and offer extra content and information on the shows you already watch, using partnerships with providers to control their boxes through the new Xbox itself.
At least, in the US. In the UK, TV works differently. As well as paid television subscription services from Sky and Virgin Media, and non-subscription platforms like Freesat and YouView, we have Freeview, a digital TV platform that is free-to-air and often doesn't even come through a set-top-box but the digital tuner in the TV itself. It makes it harder for Microsoft to strike deals with individual providers and offer a service that caters for all.
How such a feature will work in the UK, and other regions across Europe, is still to be seen? Or will the new Xbox lock out functionality on a regional basis. We can't see that going down well.
However, The Verge also claims that the Kinect 2 believed to be mandatory with the new console will be used with TV viewing too. Similar to the eye-tracking functionality of the Samsung Galaxy S4, the site's sources say that the Kinect will be able to recognise multiple viewers and will pause the action on screen when a person turns their head away, for example.
These features could still work regardless of from where content comes.
Whatever the TV plans of Microsoft for the Xbox 720, we'll know for sure come May, when the company is said to be unveiling the new console.