Thursday, September 28, 2023

Microsoft confirms it is taking a ‘new approach’ with its game streaming device

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Earlier this month, a rumor suggested that Microsoft might be nearly ready to launch a Chromecast-style game streaming stick for its Xbox Cloud Gaming service. The company has now confirmed that such a device (codename Keystone) exists, but may not be coming anytime soon, according to a report from Windows Central

“As announced last year, we’ve been working on a game streaming device, codenamed Keystone, that plugs into any TV or monitor without the need for a console,” said a Microsoft spokesperson. Windows Central† “We have made the decision to move away from the current version of the Keystone device. We will take our lessons 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 it was making streaming sticks for Xbox video games 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.

Since Stadia didn’t light up the market as much as Google probably hoped, Microsoft may be taking stock of its own project. “As part of any engineering journey, we are constantly evaluating our efforts, evaluating our lessons and making sure we add value to our customers,” the spokesperson said.

Xbox Cloud gaming (no xCloud) has been rolled out to PCs, mobile devices, and Xbox consoles as part of the $15-a-month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription — though it’s technically still in beta for nearly a year after a wide launch† However, Stadia can run on Google’s relatively inexpensive Chromecast devices, plus NVIDIA Shield TV and countless Smart TVs. Microsoft is clearly cautious of its own streaming device, so it doesn’t look like a launch is in the foreseeable future.

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