Cloud-based Xbox set top box in development

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A while back we predicted Microsoft could release a streaming-only Xbox built around its new cloud-based games service. The idea is the cheaper box wouldn’t be a dedicated machine that plays games on its own, but instead be similar to a set top box that acts as a receiver for games beamed from Microsoft’s Project xCloud servers. Then a few weeks after our prediction, word broke out that Microsoft was indeed making such a device. It’s been a while since we last heard about the box, but now reports have resurfaced.

Sources tell Windows insider Brad Sams that the streaming-only box is in active development. Details are still shaky but the system, which could be an HDMI stick, a dongle, or even a smaller box, was likely built from the old experimental Project Hobart device. The timing isn’t a coincidence, either: Microsoft will launch its Project xCloud service later this year. Gamers will have two options for xCloud when it releases: stream games remotely to mobile devices for free via an Xbox One, or pay a set subscription fee to use Microsoft’s servers for game streaming.

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