Earlier in May 2022, a rumor suggested that Microsoft might be nearly ready to launch a Chromecast-like game streaming stick for its Xbox Cloud Gaming service. The company has now confirmed that such a device (codenamed Keystone) does exist, but it may not be coming any time soon after all, according to a report from Windows Central.
Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming
“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,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Windows Central. “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.”
Last year, Microsoft confirmed that it was making Xbox video game streaming sticks and baking the technology into Smart TVs. “We’re… developing standalone streaming devices that you can plug into a TV or monitor, so if you have a strong internet connection, you can stream your Xbox experience,” the company said at the time.
Taking Stock of Own Project
Since Stadia did not light up the market as much as Google likely hoped, Microsoft may be taking stock of its own project. “As part of any technical journey, we are constantly evaluating our efforts, reviewing our learnings, and ensuring we are bringing value to our customers,” the spokesperson said.
Xbox Cloud Gaming (née xCloud) has rolled out to PCs, mobile devices and Xbox consoles as part of the $15/month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription — though it’s still technically in beta almost a year after launching widely. However, Stadia can run on Google’s relatively inexpensive Chromecast devices, plus NVIDIA Shield TV and numerous Smart TVs. Microsoft is obviously being careful about its own streaming device, so it doesn’t look like a launch is in the near future after all.