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Xbox 720 to take over your set-top box, launched 26 April?

The next Xbox could take over your set-top box, and might be launched as soon as 26 April, according to today's next-gen console gossip.

The next Xbox could take over your TV and set-top box, and might be launched as soon as 26 April, according to today's next-gen console gossip.

Microsoft's new console will be able to control your cable box, according to The Verge, which quote "sources familiar with the company's Xbox plans". Apparently you'll connect your set-top box to your Xbox via HDMI, instead of plugging them both into your TV separately. You'll then use your Xbox's interface to control your channels, so you don't have to change inputs on your TV.

Kinect, which is rumoured to be included with every console, will be part of this control system, with eye-tracking technology pausing what you're watching if you look away. That doesn't sound compatible with using your phone while you have the TV on, but it's a neat idea. The Samsung Galaxy S4 has a similar feature.

Presumably TV recording will be supported, with the Xbox able to access the big hard drive in your set-top box rather than use up its own storage.

Microsoft is said to be doing deals with cable providers to make this happen, but that means it might not work with UK services such as Virgin Media and Sky straight away, if ever.

We shouldn't have long to wait to find out. The launch event for the new system is scheduled for 26 April, according to CVG's Rob Crossley, who has the date from "someone I trust". Earlier this week we heard the event had been pushed back to May though, so I wouldn't hold your breath.

In other Xbox-related news, Adam Orth, the creative director who tweeted that he "didn't get the drama" about an 'always-on' requirement and entreated us to "#dealwithit", has left Microsoft, according to Polygon.

Microsoft was forced to apologise for Orth's comments, which it said was not "how we would communicate directly with our loyal consumers". Having accused him of "peevish douchebaggery", I can only wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

Would you want to control your Virgin Media or Sky box through your Xbox? Would that feature make it being always online more palatable? Leave your thoughts down in the comments, or over on our Facebook page.