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From the rumor mill: Microsoft’s TV set-top box in prototype stage, will have Kinect support

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With the next generation Xbox, codename Durango, set for announcement on May 21st, a new report suggests that Microsoft is already working on prototypes of its TV set-top box, but it may be delayed.

According to the report, citing unnamed sources, Microsoft has been actively creating designs for a simple set-top device for streaming video and other entertainment options. The set-top box design “has gone through several iterations” the report states, including “recent prototypes that worked with the company’s Kinect motion-control technology.” This set-top box would compete against rivals such as Apple TV and Roku.

The idea behind the set-top box is to be a low cost alternative to having the Xbox entertainment console just to use Xbox Live for entertainment services. Apple TV, for example, runs for $99 without an online subscription while Roku offers a subscription for $49.

Plans are still unclear on what Microsoft is shooting for when it comes to the set-top box, but the software giant wants to make the creation of apps and games easier than ever. According to the report, Microsoft’s development team wants apps written using coding standards that allow apps and games to work on the Xbox, Windows Phone, and Windows. Hopefully Microsoft touches on this set-top box and reveals some details on it during the next-gen console announcement on May 21st.

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