Rumor: Xbox 360 getting new IPTV services this year, codenamed 'Orapa'

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.