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'Xbox TV' tipped to be set-top box for movies, casual games

Microsoft is reportedly cooking up an Xbox TV set-top box, that would serve as a scaled down Xbox console.

Microsoft is tipped to be cooking up an Xbox-branded set-top box, that would deliver movies, TV shows and casual games, without the hefty price tag associated with a full console.

The Verge cites "multiple sources" who reckon the mysterious device is due to be released at some point next year, and will be powered at its core by Windows 8, providing a lighter, less pricey alternative to its upcoming Xbox 720 system.

The box is apparently unlikely to support blockbuster games like Halo 4, likely because Microsoft would want to keep the price down by using cheaper, less powerful components.

Speedy boot times and quick resumes are said to be in place however, so you don't have to wait ages for the system to start up when you're reclining on the sofa.

A console that doesn't play big-budget games might seem like an odd decision, but Microsoft's Xbox 360 console already offers a tonne of tasty movie, TV and music treats that could make it appealing, especially in the UK where we don't have access to that many streaming services.

Sky Player, Netflix, iPlayer, 4oD and others are already sitting pretty on Microsoft's machine, though you will need to be a paid-up Xbox Live member to access them (as well as having a Sky subscription if you're using Sky Player). Throw some of the tempting casual treats on Xbox Live Arcade into the mix, and the idea of a small, cheap Xbox set-top box doesn't seem such a daft idea.

Would you buy an Xbox TV set-top box? Or should Ballmer and pals stick to chunky, high-powered consoles? Tell me in the comments or on our Facebook wall.