Microsoft confirmed before its E3 media briefing last year that it had been working on streaming devices for Xbox that would plug directly into TVs or monitors, allowing users to play games via the company’s cloud gaming service without the need for a console or other sorts of costlier hardware. A new report from Windows Central’s Jez Corden can now confirm that Microsoft has indeed been trying to build an HDMI streaming stick as part of a project codenamed “Keystone,” but that the current iteration has been canceled as the company continues to explore better ways of bringing the technology to market. Keystone has reportedly been in development for a couple of years and is speculated to run a slimmed-down version of Windows or Xbox OS. Alleged renders of the device that were shared last year, which have been proven to be fake, alluded to a streaming device with design cues inspired by the Xbox Series S.
“Our vision for Xbox Cloud Gaming is unwavering, our goal is to enable people to play the games they want, on the devices they want, anywhere they want,” a Microsoft spokesperson stated. “As announced last year, we’ve been working on a game-streaming device, codename Keystone, that could be connected to any TV or monitor without the need for a console.”
“As part of any technical journey, we are constantly evaluating our efforts, reviewing our learnings, and ensuring we are bringing value to our customers. We have made the decision to pivot away from the current iteration of the Keystone device. We will take our learnings and refocus our efforts on a new approach that will allow us to deliver Xbox Cloud Gaming to more players around the world in the future.”
XBOX KEYSTONE pic.twitter.com/warAwisfKh— Tero Alhonen💙💛 (@teroalhonen) March 9, 2022
A low-cost streaming device makes obvious sense from a business perspective, as Microsoft pushes to bring Xbox Game Pass to more households who perhaps aren’t interested in owning a full-blown console. Microsoft has also previously hinted at bringing TV apps for Xbox Cloud Gaming as well, which would lower the barrier even further.
Source: Windows Central