Microsoft confirms work on ‘Keystone’ Xbox game streaming dongle

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Microsoft’s long-in-the-making xCloud streaming device is getting a few changes, as reported by Windows Central. The company first announced the dedicated streaming dongle in June 2021, but in a statement given to Windows Centralthe company said it had moved on from the “current iteration” of the device, which it said is codenamed Keystone.

Here is Microsoft’s full statement shared with Windows Central:

Our vision for Xbox Cloud Gaming is unwavering, our goal is to empower people to play the games they want, on the devices they want, where they want. As announced last year, we’ve been working on a game-streaming device, codenamed Keystone, that could be hooked up 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 that we deliver value to our customers. We have made the decision to move away from the current iteration of the Keystone device. We will build on our learnings and refocus our efforts on a new approach that will allow us to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to more gamers around the world in the future.

It’s unclear what those changes might be, and Microsoft didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. But there’s plenty of promise for a dedicated Xbox streaming device. Although the Xbox Series X is more readily available than the PS5, it’s still not the easiest console to find, and it costs hundreds of dollars. A (presumably) cheaper streaming stick could be a more affordable way for many to experience games offered by Microsoft through the cloud – including, starting this month, Epic Games’ fortnite.

And Microsoft isn’t just working on a streaming device; it also has an Xbox app for TVs in the works. In November 2020, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer said The edge that “I think you’re going to see this in the next 12 months”, and although the company missed that deadline, VentureBeat reported on May 6, an Xbox game streaming app for Samsung smart TVs “is expected to debut within the next 12 months.” VentureBeat said the streaming device is also planned for the next 12 months.

While we don’t know exactly when Microsoft plans to share more about these projects, a big showcase is scheduled for June 12.

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