Microsoft will release a feature called Xbox TV late in 2013. Although that may seem like a long ways away, it’s never too early to learn about a device that’s going to change the world – well at least that’s what Microsoft wants you to think.

What is Xbox TV?

Today, people use their Xbox for all sorts of different tasks. You can watch Netflix over your Xbox, play casual free games over Xbox Live Arcade, or play the hottest new video games with your friends. But an increasing number of Xbox users are only using their Xbox to do non-game-related things. They stream TV shows and play a few casual gaming titles, but they rarely if ever access the console’s core gaming functions.

Xbox TV is designed for those people who only use the Xbox for basic media functions. Expect it to be released alongside the Xbox 720 as a more casual (and probably more affordable) option. It will probably look like a much slimmer version of the current Xbox 360, since far less hardware will be required in order to access streaming options.

Xbox TV release date

Xbox TV will be released in time for the holiday 2013 shopping season. It should be released sometime between October-November of 2013, which is also around the same time the ‘new Xbox’/Xbox 720 should be released. Expect Xbox TV and Xbox 720 to be released on or around the same date.

Xbox TV software and user interface

You know Windows 8? Even if you’re not using Microsoft’s newest operating system, you’ve probably seen the colorful tiles and buttons that make up its unique-looking interface. And since Microsoft is so proud of how that interface looks, expect Xbox TV to feature a similar UI.
Xbox TV will likely feature a kernel version of Windows 8, which features the core functionality of the OS but is streamlined for Xbox TV. Some rumors state that Xbox TV could also feature Windows RT – the mobile operating system included on the Surface tablet.
Expect a cross between the existing Xbox interface and the Windows 8 interface. That means lots of colored tiles and an app-centric focus.

Xbox TV price

There is a considerable amount of debate over the possible price of Xbox TV. Some rumors suggest that you would need an Xbox Live Gold subscription, which costs $50 per year. Other rumors state that an Xbox Live Gold membership would allow users to access premium features, but it won’t be required in order to use Xbox TV.
And as far as the price of the console itself, few details have been revealed so far. All we know is that it will (most likely) cost less than the Xbox 720. Microsoft may also offer subsidized Xbox packages to those who purchase 2-year Live subscriptions, much like it has done with the current Xbox.

Should you buy Xbox TV?

If you enjoy playing video games over your Xbox 360, then Xbox TV isn’t designed for you. But if you use Xbox to access live streaming options and other TV features, then Xbox TV should be a good way to save money while sacrificing features that you never actually use. What’s not to like?

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