According to "some reliable tipster types" speaking with ZDNet, Microsoft may be adding some new features to IPTV on the Xbox 360. The various tipsters specifically named "Orapa" -- a Botswanan city known for its enormous diamond mine -- as the codename for said project. Allegedly, Microsoft has plans to combine Xbox Live and its Mediaroom IPTV service, said to be heading to the Xbox 360 first with Windows/Windows Phone 7/set-top box following.

Orapa is said to incorporate "Xbox Live social features (like Avatars and recommendations)," and "Kinect sensing capabilities," as well as another rumored Microsoft project -- a video/music service codenamed "Ventura."

And if the rumors are correct, the service could be available by later this year -- ZDNet speculates that we could even see a test preview some time this month, though we're not holding our breath. Sources also indicate a "holiday 2011" launch, so we'll find out if this is all smoke has any fire behind it.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.