Was Microsoft's Xbox Game Streaming Hardware ‘Leak’ Intentional?

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Was Microsoft's Xbox Game Streaming Hardware ‘Leak’ Intentional?

Microsoft had indicated in 2021 that it was developing a streaming device that would allow gamers to stream Xbox Game Pass on any display. The cloud-focused game-streaming device, codenamed "Keystone", might have made an appearance in a tweet that was sent out by none other than Xbox chief Phil Spencer.

 

Microsoft managed to closely guard its Xbox Series X|S gaming consoles. However, the production-ready version of the long-rumored Xbox game streaming hardware may have been accidentally revealed. The device would allow gamers to stream Xbox gamers over the cloud, just like Amazon Luna, GeForce NOW, and other services.

Miniature Xbox Series S-like Device Appears in A Tweet

Microsoft hasn't kept its intentions to develop and sell a dedicated streaming device that will be optimized for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate a secret. This device would act as an intermediary device that would connect a large-screen television or display to Microsoft's servers that hosted the Xbox Cloud Gaming games.

Gamers could simply plug in the streaming device, enter their Xbox Game Pass login credentials, and start playing games via the internet. Needless to mention, the device would cost significantly less than any dedicated Xbox gaming console as it would merely need to stream games that are hosted remotely.

The device would not need to pack a powerful CPU, GPU, RAM, and a beefy cooling solution. The device could be similar to the standalone Android TV boxes that plug into an HDMI port on a TV. These devices pack an SoC (System on a Chip). These miniature devices can comfortably drive a large display and run Android apps as well as games.

 

Microsoft had openly admitted it was developing the streaming device, code-named "Keystone", back in 2021.

"We've been working on a game-streaming device, code name Keystone, that could be connected 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 we are bringing value to our customers. 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."

The statement was not only cryptic, it was disappointing as well. As Microsoft Xbox Game Pass is working well and is gaining subscribers, it was strongly believed that the company may have given up on the hardware.

The lack of information resulted in several rumors about the design, hardware, and specifications of the Keystone streaming device. And now, hope has been rekindled after a white box, which strongly resembles the Xbox "Keystone" device, made an appearance on the shelf of Microsoft's Phil Spencer in a recently tweeted image.

If Microsoft hasn't killed the Keystone device and is secretly developing a retail unit, it would immensely help gamers. A competitively priced streaming device, if bundled with an Xbox controller, could drive gamers to Xbox Cloud Gaming in even larger numbers.

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