Microsoft is developing a set-top box as an alterntative to a fully-fledged next generation gaming device. The set-top will run on core components of Windows 8, offering casual gaming titles (most likely through Xbox Live) instead of the big productions you'll find on the next-generation of Xbox consoles.
Furthering the casual theme of the set-top box, Microsoft is planning on incorporating a chipset enabling the device to boot up practically instantaenously for quick and simple access to TV, games and other entertainment services.
The set-top box is but one step in Microsoft's plan to bring the core architecture of the next-generation across several devices, such as a phone capable of handling a complete Xbox Live experience.
Microsoft has put together another custom-designed Xbox 360 console, this one celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Xbox Live. As you can see in the image above, it's a dark gray console with green and orange accents, and an "X" design papered all over the hardware. It's a great looking device to our eyes. It was announced on Twitter by Major Nelson, who confirmed that the company is giving these out to a number of Xbox Live members who've stuck around since the beginning.
Microsoft's My Xbox Live companion app for iOS has just been updated with new functionality and a new name: Xbox SmartGlass. What does it do? Well, you can now use your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch as remote controls and keypads for the Xbox 360. This includes dual-screen experiences as well. The app is available now, and is not yet compatible with the new 4-inch Retina display. Xbox SmartGlass for iOS is free.
Read More | Xbox SmartGlass
Among the smaller tablets of the world like the iPad mini, Kindle Fire HD, and Nexus 7, Microsoft's platform is nowhere to be found. Sure, the company just launched Surface a couple of weeks ago, it's first first-party tablet device, and it has the Surface Pro on the way too…but what about the smaller form factor? Well, it turns out that Microsoft is working on it's very own 7-inch tablet, the previously-uncovered Xbox Surface.
Read More | The Verge
Xbox Music has hit the Xbox 360 consoles of beta users, and now we are hearing that the fill service rollout is set for October 26th, just three weeks from now, and the same day that Windows 8 is released. Reportedly, the rollout will begin with the Xbox 360, Windows 8, and Windows Phone, with iOS and Android Xbox Music apps coming soon after. Smart. The service will have a paid subscription, as well as a free, ad-supported option as well.
Read More | The Verge
Today Microsoft has announced a permanent Kinect price cut, bringing the motion controller peripheral down to $109. The change in price is immediate, as you can buy it right now on Amazon for the newly-reduced price tag, which still includes Kinect Adventures, by the way. Kinect also sees price drops in Latin America and the Asia Pacific area, with the exception of Japan.
Read More | Major Nelson
Remember that Halo 4 Limited Edition Xbox 360 console we told you about the other day? Yep, it's real, and it's now availabe for pre-order. The console will sell for $399.99, and will be released on November 6, 2012. You get the Xbox 360 console that decked out in Halo 4 artwork, along with two wireless controllers with artwork as well. The green LEDs are swapped out for blue, and the console has custom sounds from the Halo world. The actual Halo 4 game is also included. Pre-order it now at Amazon.
- Exclusive design: Limited-edition, one-of-a-kind console was custom designed by the Halo 4 developer, 343 Industries, and Xbox 360.
- Two custom Halo 4 wireless controllers: With rotating D-pad and blue LED lights.
- Halo 4 Standard Edition game
- Exclusive sounds: Hear actual Halo 4 in-game sound effects when console is turned on and when the eject button is pushed.
- 320 GB hard drive
- Custom downloadable content: Unique armor skin, unique weapon skin, unique emblem, matching avatar armor, and unique avatar prop.
- Black Xbox 360 headset
Details of the console were accidentally posted on the Microsoft Store, and have since been pulled, but not before the details above, along with images, were saved. We assume this one will sell for $399 this fall. We've got an image of the controller after the break.
Read More | Xbox Forums
Xbox Live has been down for the past 90 minutes or so, and Microsoft says it's doing its best to bring the service back online.
The outage appears to affect many (if not all) Xbox Live regions, as complains are coming in from outside of the United States as well. Users who were connected to the service were disconnected from Xbox Live at the time of the outage, so this isn't just an issue where new players aren't able to connect.
As soon as Xbox Live is back, we'll update to let you know.
Microsoft is set to take the stage in just a few hours to make a major product announcement. Rumors have been running rampant that the company will finally reveal its own tablet. Over the weekend, a document surfaced that goes into detail on a product called Xbox Surface. Xbox Surface is purportedly a 7-inch multi-touch tablet that runs at 720p with WI-Fi, Bluetooth, SD card slot, and up to 7 hours of battery life.
The Xbox Surface would interface with a "stationary computing device" as well, allowing you to stream content from a device that's more powerful than the tablet itself. While utilizing the Xbox brand for a new consumer device seems to make sense, always remember that documents like this one are easily faked. We'll know later today, and of course, will keep you updated.
Read More | CNET
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