Could Microsoft Xbox One Replace The Set-top Box?

  • Posted on: 22 May 2013
  • By: Patrick Oliphant

The features discussed during the unveiling of game consoles usually based around speed, graphics quality and general performance.  Microsoft yesterday unveils it next game console – Xbox One but unlike before the tone was different and features discussed were softer and circle more around entertainment via the web.  A look closer and it seems that Xbox One will eclipse the need for a set-top box in the home.


I think the new Xbox is equally about gaming as it is about entertainment. “Xbox One is designed to deliver a whole new generation of blockbuster games, television and entertainment in a powerful, all-in-one device,” said Don Mattrick president, Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft.

“Our unique, modern architecture brings simplicity to the living room and, for the first time ever, the ability to instantly switch across your games and entertainment.”  The new box offers television entertainment, Video calling via Skype, among other on-demand and online services.

Microsoft said the Xbox One is the future of gaming, television and home entertainment all in one box. To prove their commitment to this, they recently sold Mediaroom to Ericsson, a move they said will allow them to focus on the Xbox platform.

The power of Xbox One was mentioned yesterday, it has on eight-core x86 processor and more than 5 billion transistor, making “log and load a thing of the past”. Power is important but this is not what this Xbox is about, it’s about intelligence, communicating and entertainment in different areas of our lives. Even the power mentioned above, Microsoft said was to create an entertainment platform.

Therefore, it is possible that in the future Xbox One could replace Set-top boxes in our homes. A good example is Virgin and Tivo; operators could offer their own boxes but offer Xbox as a premium service.  However, at the moment Microsoft is happy for us to watch TV from our cable, teleco and satellite Set-top box through the Xbox One.

When you compare the Xbox with the Set-top box, Xbox win easily as a game console – that comes natural. It is in entertainment such as Television is where most of the advances seem to have been made - on Xbox One. Microsoft seems to have stopped at nothing to make Xbox One the home entertainment platform of choice.

Microsoft has transferred voice activation into television entertainment. With just your voice, you can find your favourite entertainment, search your program guide by network or name and present a tailored program guide. Using the same game console you can switch between playing a game and watching your favourite movie, talk with friends on Skype while watching live TV – using its Snap feature.

To make it a bit more compelling Microsoft have struck exclusive television partnerships with filmmaker, director and producer, Steven Spielberg to executive-produce an original “Halo” live-action television series with exclusive interactive for Xbox One.

Microsoft have also partnered with the NFL to offer Xbox One owners a different viewing experience on the Xbox One platform using its Skype, Xbox SmartGlass and player-worn technology.