With the next generation of its Xbox gaming console, Microsoft may be thinking small and trying to muscle into the set-top box TV business with a new Xbox Mini, expected 2013.

According to The Verge, which cites "multiple sources familiar with Redmond's plan" Microsoft is working on a set-top version of its popular gaming console that will compete with leading players in the market Apple and Roku.

Microsoft's strategy in creating an Xbox "Mini" is to broaden its beachhead in living rooms by offering an economically-priced device that would allow its owners to access some core entertainment services and "casual" gaming titles.

No price points were reported in the Verge story, which cited unnamed sources. Apple's set-top product sells for $99 and Roku offers a unit for as low as $50.

Xbox Mini would be an "always on" device, Verge reporter Tom Warren wrote, and its architecture would be a scaled down version of the next generation Xbox. It appears that Microsoft is trying to do with Xbox what it did with Windows 8: span all platforms -- desktops, laptops, phones and tablets.