Apple’s Apple TV set-top box is regularly described by CEO Tim Cook as “a hobby”, despite its disruptive potential. Next year, it may be getting more competition from one of the company’s key rivals, Microsoft though. The Verge has uncovered plans for the launch of an Xbox-branded set-top box in 2013 – a stripped-down version of its Xbox 360 console that will provide “casual gaming titles rather than full Xbox games” as well as entertainment services (which you can read as including Xbox Music). “We understand Microsoft will use a chipset to enable an ‘always on”‘device that boots quickly and resumes to provide near-instant access to TV and entertainment services,” reports journalist Tom Warren, who is widely respected for his contacts within Microsoft.

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