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Plans for Microsoft's purported 'Xbox TV' set-top box remain 'uncertain,' reports WSJ

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Microsoft remains "uncertain" about introducing the so-called "Xbox TV," the company's own video-streaming set-top box, into the market, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The Verge reported last November that Microsoft was working on a device dubbed "Xbox TV" as a cheaper alternative to an Xbox 360 or the company's next-generation console. According to The Verge's sources, the box was being developed to run on "the core components of Windows 8."

Microsoft has gone through numerous iterations of the unit, including versions featuring interoperability with Kinect, said the Wall Street Journal. The company is also encouraging the development of cross-platform applications, software that can run on devices like an Xbox, a Windows Phone and a Windows 8 tablet.

The Xbox TV was said to be planned for release this fall, alongside the next Xbox, but Microsoft may be hesitant to release it because of competition in the market — not just with similar streaming devices like the sub-$100 Roku and Apple TV, but with the company's own products. The Wall Street Journal cited a source who pointed out that a $99 Xbox could reduce interest in a streaming-only box.

Microsoft is set to unveil the next Xbox on May 21. According to Polygon's sources, the console will feature some form of always-on functionality, a revamped Achievements system and video capture capabilities. A supposedly leaked memo suggested last week that the device will allow users to stream live television, and The Verge reported last month that the console will "interact with your cable box."

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