Just a few weeks back, Microsoft’s head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, had accidentally offered a look at the company’s Xbox streaming device. Codenamed “Keystone,” the device was touted to allow users to stream games by connecting it to their TVs. It now appears that Microsoft is no longer pursuing the project.
In an interview with The WSJ, Spencer talked about the development of the Keystone streaming device. “Keystone was the codename of something we were incubating internally, which was, think of it as a streaming console, so there’s no local gameplay, low cost, plug it into your television and you’d be able to stream to your television the Xbox games that are available,” he said.
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He explained how Microsoft later shifted focus and teamed up with Samsung, leaving Keystone in the dust. He explained, “Keystone was something that we were incubating internally. Late spring we pivoted to working with Samsung. I still have the prototype… will we do a streaming device at some point? I expect we will, but it’s years away.”
In early October, the prototype was spotted sitting on a shelf at Spencer’s office. Little did we know that the project would be “shelved” so soon. It would have been an affordable and convenient way of accessing Xbox Cloud Gaming on your TV. Currently, you can use the service from the Xbox console, Samsung Smart TV, smartphones, and via the web.
While the axing of Keystone comes as a disappointment for gamers, we can expect something exciting from Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming. The service has now surpassed 20 million users. Spencer stated that the company’s cloud strategy includes offering games that can be easily accessible via the cloud and provide platform choice to gamers. He added that Microsoft will be offering a host of cloud-based options for players in the future.