Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter expects that Microsoft’s next-generation "Xbox 720" console will be released in the Spring of 2014, adding that he expects the new console to function much like a set top box. Anyone that has followed Microsoft in the last ten years knows that the company has been working on a set top box strategy for a very long time – even before it considered making a video game console.
Pachter adds that he does not believe the speculation on a late 2013 release.
"If I were a betting man (and I am), I would say a spring 2014 launch makes more sense, since hard core Xbots could get a console without having to compete with moms buying gifts at holiday, and it is likely that they won’t manufacture more than a few million units for launch," he said.
He also pointed out that Microsoft is moving its set top box strategy forward with the next Xbox by providing a ton of entertainment options.
"It's pretty clear to me that Microsoft intends to allow the Xbox 720 to function as a cable TV box, allowing cable television service providers to broadcast over the Internet through the box, with SmartGlass as the remote controller, and with the Xbox 720 using Windows 8 to split the TV signal into multiple feeds, allowing consumers to divert different channel feeds to different displays within the home," he said.