Microsoft has officially given credit to years-long speculation about maker Xbox’s standalone game streaming hardware – reports Windows Central.
The Hobart project first sparked rumors of planned expansion of the Xbox line beyond game consoles. More recently, code references to “Keystone” spotted in a listing of Xbox operating systems indicated that Microsoft was exploring its own version of a streaming stick or dongle for Xbox Cloud Gaming, a Chromecast-like product. or Google Stadia.
Microsoft confirmed in a statement Windows Central that the company is working on an HDMI streaming device that can run Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming on “any TV or monitor without the need for a console”.
“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 have been working on a a game-streaming device, codenamed Keystone, that could be hooked up to any TV or monitor without the need for a console,” a Microsoft spokesperson told the publication.
Microsoft has not provided a release schedule for this legendary device. Don’t expect that anytime soon, especially since the company has said it’s not happy with the current iteration of Keystone and will be going back to the drawing board with everything it’s learned. so far.
“We have made the decision to move away from the current iteration of the Keystone device,” the spokesperson added. “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.”
Whether this new device will be powered by Xbox OS, a lighter version of Windows, or something else remains to be seen.
Xbox Cloud Gaming is more viable than ever, especially since the cloud gaming service saw a performance boost late last year when Microsoft upgraded it to custom Xbox Series X hardware.
A low-cost game streaming device would be ideal for customers looking for low-cost Xbox games or those who don’t want a full-fledged game console in their entertainment unit. It would make sense for Microsoft to add content streaming platforms and TV apps to the device to make it a more complete entertainment solution.
Earlier this month, Microsoft partnered with Epic Games to bring Fortnite back to iPhone and iPad by making it available for free on compatible devices in supported browsers with Xbox Cloud Gaming.