Microsoft's next Xbox will 'take over' your TV and cable box, not dissimilar to the way Google TV operates right now, a fresh report indicates.
The Verge reveals that the next-gen Xbox will accept HDMI input from your cable box, allowing the console to overlay a UI enabling additional features. In other words, the Xbox sits in-between your current set-top box and the TV, giving you a single way to control your entertainment experience, whether you are watching TV or playing games.
The new report, if true, would also explain why we've been hearing rumours of the next Xbox needing an always-on Internet connection, since enabling this additional functionality would indeed require persistent Internet connectivity. Whether playing games would also need an always-on Internet connection remains to be seen.
The report also indicates that the next-generation Kinect sensor, to be bundled with the next Xbox, will be able to detect multiple people simultaneously. The new Kinect will also have the ability to detect eye movement to pause content when a viewer looks away from a TV, similar to Samsung Galaxy S4's Smart Pause feature.
Microsoft is expected to preview the Xbox 360 successor on May 21, with a full launch expected at E3 in June.
Previously rumoured next-gen Xbox specifications include an AMD eight-core x64 1.6GHz CPU, a D3D11.x 800 MHz graphics solution and 8GB of DDR3 RAM. It is also expected to come with USB 3.0 and HDMI 1.4a (which supports 3D over HDMI) Ethernet, audio return channels and 4K resolution.