Microsoft is cooking up a set-top Xbox, according to multiple sources who spoke with The Verge. The system would come in at a lower price point than the next mainline Xbox console, offering support for casual games (not the standard Xbox library) as well as the usual television-centric services of a set-top box.
The Verge says this will be part of Microsoft's expanding next generation of hardware set to reveal in 2013 and release ahead of the holiday season. The lower price and casual games mixed with native TV support sound to us like a clear shot across Wii U and Nintendo TVii's bow.
Hardware specifics for the device are still shifting, though the sources indicate it will run on a Windows 8 core with an always-on chipset for instant browsing and watching. Microsoft may also license out the systems for integration with TV manufacturers.
The Xbox brand looks like it could expand significantly in 2013, with these next-generation entries as well as the rumored Xbox Surface tablet.