There are whispers going around at the moment that Microsoft is currently working on a device that will rival the Apple TV when it is released, but it does come with an advantage – to feature casual gaming. Different sources on the ground do report of claims that Microsoft’s strategy of spinning off a new set-top box range is to help supplement its future Xbox strategy. Apparently, it is part of an alleged dual SKU strategy for the next generation of Xbox hardware which is tipped for a 2013 announcement. Not only that, the rumors have it that this new hardware strategy will result in a release before the frenzied holiday shopping season begins, placing Microsoft in a rather strategic position of capturing the attention of living rooms.

The Verge did mention that this upcoming device, if true, will run the core components of Windows 8, with the possibility of RT thrown into the mix, where it is capable of supporting casual gaming titles instead of the full blown Xbox gaming experience. We await leaks on the hardware specifications – what do you think of Microsoft’s alleged effort? Will it be able to carve out a niche of its own?

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