Citing sources familiar with Microsoft’s plans, Petri IT Knowledge Base reports the company is again planning a slimmed down set-top box with capabilities falling somewhere between a content streamer and a full-fledged gaming console. Similar rumors cropped up when the Xbox One launched in 2013, the report says.
“I have heard from internal sources that the company is considering plans for a lightweight Xbox One that may only be for Windows store games and would compete with the Apple TV,” said Microsoft blogger Brad Sams. “But it’s not clear if these plans have been scrapped.”
The rumored device would be a lower-powered version of its big brother, and would likely be limited to streaming video, lightweight apps, and casual games sold over the Internet, similar to Apple’s new tvOS App Store. The tvOS App Store allows Apple TV users to download apps and games for use on their HDTV.
If the “slimmer” Xbox One does see the light of day, it would likely not launch until the second half of 2016, and would be priced “much lower” than the full-sized Xbox One, which starts at $350 USD. The Apple TV currently retails for $149 and $199, for 32GB and 64GB storage models, respectively.
This report is, of course, just a rumor, and should be taken as such. If Microsoft is planning such a console, it obviously hasn’t been discouraged by Sony’s flop earlier this year with the low-selling PlayStation TV. That lightweight device supports PS Vita, PSP, and PS1 classic games, as well as streaming PS3 games via the PlayStation Now service.