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Microsoft reportedly launching 'Xbox TV' devices next month

Microsoft reportedly launching 'Xbox TV' devices next month

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Microsoft is said to be planning to unveil new Xbox streaming devices at E3 next month. The software giant has been considering an "Xbox TV" device for at least three years, and it appears a variant of it will be unveiled in June. Brad Sams, executive editor at Petri, revealed that Microsoft is "going to be announcing at least two streaming devices at E3" during an online podcast today. Sams previously reported on the new Xbox elite controller, ahead of its announcement at E3 last year.

Microsoft is reportedly preparing a Chromecast-like device that will work as a basic streaming stick for Xbox digital content. Sources familiar with Microsoft's Xbox plans tell me that the company has long been experimenting with a Chromecast-like device that would allow you to stream Xbox One games from a main console in a living room to a second TV elsewhere in a house. If Microsoft does introduce such a device, it will be a basic streaming stick that works with the Xbox One controller.

An Xbox TV that runs Windows 10 apps

Microsoft's second streaming device is the more interesting of the pair. Sams speculates that it will be a streaming device with advanced functionality. Microsoft originally planned a two-SKU strategy for the Xbox One, but it canceled an "Xbox TV" device. The original TV streaming device was supposed to support the core components of Windows 8, with support for casual gaming through apps. Microsoft's Windows 10 strategy with the Xbox One means that its new rumored Xbox TV device could access universal apps and games from the Windows Store.

While the "Xbox TV" won't be capable of running the latest games like Forza, it's easy to imagine it running basic casual gaming titles. It could also be used to stream Xbox One games from the main console in a house. Microsoft stopped the production of its Xbox 360 console last month, and many consumers had been purchasing the aging console just to use it as a basic gaming device and to stream content from Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon. The popularity of streaming devices has largely replaced the Xbox 360, but a dedicated "Xbox TV" could renew interest for consumers if it's priced aggressively. Microsoft is due to hold its Xbox E3 press conference at 1:30PM ET / 9:30AM PT on June 13th, and The Verge will be covering it live.

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