Microsoft's next Xbox will take over your TV [Report]

Report says Microsoft's home entertainment push is stronger than ever

A pair of reports on Microsoft's next Xbox sheds some light on why the console may require an always-online internet connection: the console is being developed to overlay existing televisions and cable set-top boxes to provide a Microsoft-driven multimedia experience. According to The Verge, the console will accept a cable box signal through HDMI, allowing the new Xbox to add features to your normal TV experience. The Verge report likens the features to the Google TV service built into some televisions. The service will go beyond Google's offering through Microsoft's partnerships with content providers.

The all-new Kinect will also be a part of Microsoft's television focus. The Verge says that the next Kinect can not only detect multiple users simultaneously, but it can also detect eye movement. The example case has the Xbox pausing video content when the Kinect detects the user looking away from the TV screen.

An additional report from Kotaku's internet sleuth Superannuation shows Microsoft's acquisition of developer VideoSurf and the creation of a Video Cognition team within Xbox Live in 2011. The VideoSurf mobile application had users pointing their smartphone cameras at the television to analyze the content and provide additional information and content suggestions. A profile of the Video Cognition team on Microsoft's Careers website could give a hint at the scope of the next Xbox's TV watching experience.

"As we enter the era of Natural User Interface (NUI) with full interaction for TV and computers, our aim is to streamline the way viewers search, consume, and share content, minimizing the time spent searching for programs, while maximizing the viewing and sharing capacities," said the Video Cognition team's senior software development engineer lead Eran Borenstein.

"As the Video Cognition team, we're excited to marry our capabilities with Xbox Live and drive even more innovation and value," said VideoSurf founder and Video Cognition leader Dr. Eitan Sharon.

Both reports point to a Microsoft that's looking to not only control your gaming experience, but your television experience as well.

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Latest comments (8)

Jakub Mikyska CEO, Grip Digital9 years ago
I just really hope that the Next XBox will be a lot quieter device than the original XBox 360 was. I don't want to "streamline the way I search, consume, and share content, minimizing the time spent searching for programs, while maximizing the viewing and sharing capacities" while sitting next to a vacuum cleaner equivalent :-)
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Craig Burkey Software Engineer 9 years ago
So if the internet goes down will I be prevented from watching the stuff I've PVR'd? Will I still be able to watch TV?
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Jeremie Sinic9 years ago
I "hear" you Jakub (well, trying to)! :)

This is the only reason why I go through the pain of installing games to the console's HD.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Jeremie Sinic on 11th April 2013 1:22pm

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Show all comments (8)
Chris Nash QA Engineer 9 years ago
"The example case has the Xbox pausing video content when the Kinect detects the user looking away from the TV screen."

Or pausing the unskippable advertisements when the Kinect detects you looking away, ready to resume so that you're forced to watch the whole thing? I do hope they don't decide to use the Kinect technology in this manner, but the potential for abuse is there.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus9 years ago
I don't want any device in m y house that is smart enough to stop itself when I'm looking away. That's virtually sentient. "You shouldn't have gotten popcorn during that commercial, Mr. Bowen..."
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Well, smart phones have the ability to know when your face is close to the phone or when you're looking at it, so they can turn off the screen when you're not. Pretty sure it's based off the same kind of sensor thing rather than some sort of sentient AI
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Unless it comes with digital tuners, its going to be fairly useless here in Australia - everyone watches FTA digital TV via the tuner, which has the antenna directly plugged into their TV - not via an external tuner/HDMI cable.

Reminds me of the TVii feature on the WiiU... which still doesn't exist here in any form. Thats fine though, as the WiiU is primarily used for gaming. The next Xbox has better too...
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Tom Keresztes Programmer 9 years ago
How is it going to compete with the current $99 Apple TV or TiVo ?
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