Microsoft is working on a Xbox-branded “modernized HDMI streaming device” that connects to a TV like a Google Chromecast, but the device needs more work before it’s ready for release, the company says.
Windows Central reports that the device, codenamed Keystone, will run Xbox Game Pass and the Xbox cloud streaming service. Players would apparently only need a controller and good, stable internet to play Xbox games on their TVs. However, a spokesperson confirmed that Microsoft is making a change to Keystone, telling the site that it will “pivot away” from the current plan and go a different route.
“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. 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,” the spokesperson said.
“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,” the spokesperson continued. “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.”
The nature and extent of the changes Microsoft is planning for Keystone are unknown.
In June 2021, Microsoft announced plans to create its own Xbox streaming stick to help Xbox reach an even wider audience. Additionally, Microsoft is working with TV manufacturers to put Xbox directly into TV sets. The idea is you’ll be able to play Xbox games with no additional hardware, except for a controller. This is a very big deal because it opens up a potentially much larger audience for Xbox: people who don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars for a console but still want to play games on their TV.
VentureBeat separately reported earlier this month that an Xbox streaming stick and Xbox app for Samsung TVs will arrive in the next 12 months.
Microsoft cannot sell a console to every potential Xbox customer on the planet, so the company is thinking beyond the console with Game Pass, cloud streaming, and the new streaming stick and TV manufacturer partnerships. This planned expansion for Xbox comes as the company is already riding high, with Xbox recently setting a revenue record dating back to 2001.