The new Microsoft Xbox that will be unveiled next week not only opens up a new front in the battle of the games consoles but also launches a whole new war.
It’s not just the games consoles that are going head to head while trying to hold off the rise of the app games. Microsoft’s new Xbox is being called a first strike against Apple in a campaign for the next generation of TV.
'Microsoft wants to create a device that everyone, gamers and non-gamers alike, will want to have in their living rooms.'
- Forbes writer Paul Tassi
Microsoft has kept its cards close to its chest in the lead up to the unveiling of the new Xbox Wednesday morning, which is expected to be called the Xbox Infinity.
But that hasn’t stopped gaming writers from predicting what is to come.
Paul Tassi, a writer for Forbes, sees this as a fork in the road between the Sony PlayStation 4 and the Xbox.
"Sony is going to have a laserlike focus on games this time around, while Microsoft wants to create a device that everyone, gamers and non-gamers alike, will want to have in their living rooms," Tassi recently wrote.
The Microsoft Xbox 360 is already an “entertainment” unit, providing music, movies and TV content, but many expect the new system to take that even further. Other leaks predict a new system of payment using gift vouchers that would replace the current Microsoft Points system used to buy games through the Xbox.
If Microsoft does launch the new Xbox as a smart all-in-one set top box, it will give it the jump on Apple which is rumored to be working on it’s own Apple iTV.
Before he died, Steve Jobs envisioned a new TV interface that would work with all devices and iCloud content and be the “simplest user-interface you could imagine."
Last month analsyst Brian White of Topeka Capital Markets predicted the the "iTV" would be a 60-inch screen which viewers would control with an "iRing."
One thing that seems certain about the launch of the new Xbox next week is that Microsoft will show off the actual console.
Back in February, Microsoft's Xbox Live programming director Larry Hryb mocked the launch of the Sony PlayStation 4 where the focus was on the games rather than the hardware.
"Announce a console without actually showing a console? That's one approach," Hryb tweeted.