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Microsoft plotting set-top box launch alongside new Xbox?

A Microsoft set-top box TV streaming device is reportedly in the works, with the manufacturer said to be considering plans to launch the hardware alongside the new Xbox.

While much focus is currently being heaped on the new Xbox unveiling, formally scheduled for May 21, latest reports have claimed Microsoft could also launch its own set-top box, akin to Apple TV, allowing users to stream online content direct to their televisions.

Said to have undergone a number of prototype designs to date, the Wall Street Journal cited “people familiar with the matter” in stating: “Microsoft has been creating designs for a simple set-top device for streaming video and other entertainment options.”

Although Microsoft has yet to formally confirm such plans, it is possible that the Redmond based tech giant could introduce such a device in the coming weeks, with the set-top box a potential tie-in with the upcoming new Xbox.

Despite the strong launch platform that would be provided by the imminent new Xbox unveiling, which will take place at the company’s Seattle headquarters later this month, recent rumours have suggested Microsoft could potentially scrap its set-top box plans altogether.

According to the unnamed insider sources, “it is unclear whether the company will introduce the device.” With such a backtrack hinting that such features could end up slotted within the new Xbox itself, Microsoft has reportedly developed set-top box prototypes “that worked with the company’s Kinect motion-control technology.”

An answer to the recently unveiled Sony PS4, the new Xbox has been the thing of much rumour and speculation for a number of years, with latest reports claiming the next-gen console will feature always-on internet requirements and the title of Xbox Infinity.

Need a little something extra to tempt you into the rise of next-gen consoles, take a look at the best games of 2013.

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