Report: Next-Gen Xbox Controls TVs And Set-Top Boxes With Kinect

According to a report by The Verge, the next Xbox will control your TV, and makes some actual sense out of the rumoured "always online" feature of the new console. It's also packed with some interesting new Kinect features that could foreshadow the direction Microsoft is headed.

Here's how The Verge breaks it down:

The functionality will work by taking a cable box signal and passing it through to the Xbox via HDMI, allowing Microsoft's console to overlay a UI and features on top of an existing TV channel or set-top box. We're told that this is a key part of the next-generation Xbox and that it will go a step further than Google's TV implementation thanks to Microsoft's partnerships with content providers.

The Wii U has a similar functionality to this with its TVii feature, though that is through a limited number of US providers. The Wii U uses the 5-inch touchscreen on its gamepad to operate as a remote, while the Xbox would presumably use its own standard controller, possible remote control peripherals, and the Kinect.

The Verge says that the Kinect plays a big part in the the living room arrangement. It will apparently be able to detect multiple people at once, and have the ability to pause when you or anyone looks away from the TV, similar to the Samsung Galaxy S 4. This seems like a natural pairing, since the main way a lot of people use their Kinect is to control what they're watching when their Xbox controller is out of sight.

Microsoft's also been rumoured to be working on a low-cost set-top box for Xbox TV, but word is that it won't be out until 2014, while the new Xbox is expected later this year. [The Verge]

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    Still not interested. I trust that Sony & Valve will lead the industry forward without Microsoft, the PS4 is looking to be the console that tailors towards smaller developers which is where the heart of innovation resides.

      I'm with you on that, I don't need a set top box, kinect sensor and all this other app crap they're throwing into it. I just want a pure gaming machine.

      I am with both of you. Microsoft, IMO, have lost their way with the Xbox. The kinect dose nothing to make me want it. I hate all the advertising the Xbox seems to have now. I can't see Microsoft doing anything that will win me over with the next Xbox.

        Lost their way with the Xbox? Are you stupid? They outsold the PS3 for absolutely ages until years later the PS3 finally caught up. They have a much much much better online gaming experience, and kinect went a hell of a lot further then Playstation Move ever did. And this is coming from a Playstation owner.

          That is actually a good point...and I'm a PS3 fan.

          XBOX hardware is still inferior though.

            Hardware doesn't always correlate to user experience as we already know.

      I think it's too early to make that call.

      For the next generation the Wii U doesn't have anything killer in it's back pocket so lets shelve it. The PS4 and Durango (still codenamed) appear to both utilise modified x86 topology. This means translation of games across the 3 main platforms will become a piece of cake.

      So the next generation console war is really about "additional" content and user experience.

      Content - Yes PSN has the advantage in AU because Microsoft historically puts up too many roadblocks and we don't even have the Indie store yet. But at the other end by linking the console experience with phone and PC they get a win there. This one is too close to call yet.

      User experience - Microsoft wins with Live. It's a superior gaming service platform but as everyone is pointing out the UI has been progressively iterated over the last 3 years to the point now it's an advertisement rich mess that can not be carried onto Durango or many people will be looking elsewhere. While the PS4 UI enhancements we've seen actually look like an improvement.

      All of these points represent a simplification but I'd say right now I'd say yes the PS4 has the advantage - but only slightly - and the Durango is yet to be unveiled.

    Contrary to the comments above me, I will be buying the next Xbox. I am really looking forward to seeing Microsoft's "3 screens and a cloud" strategy develop and move forward. I am liking WP8 and W8, and can't wait to see the next Xbox and then how it ties together.

    I am not a big console gamer though, so besides the odd game here and there my main use of the xbox will be as a media center.

    Being able to control your TV channels with kinect and not having to use annoying remote controls? Yes please! But if the rumors of always on connection is true to play games, I can see how that'd be a turn off to some, even myself, and I rarely play games on my PS3.

      i guess it would force fat people to use their arms while they watch TV. Don't get what is so hard about using a remote...

        Too many buttons, especially if you have multiple remotes (tv, dvd/bluray, foxtel etc) :p. if MS can make the interactions easy and natural, I can see it becoming very popular, but thats 'if' they can pull it off.

    Is this the natural sucession to WMC? Sounds like it could be fantastic if you can control everything!

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