Microsoft’s plans for an Xbox streaming stick head back to the drawing board

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Enlarge / It might be a while until you can stream Halo Infinite to a TV using just a small dongle.

Microsoft


Last year, Microsoft officially confirmed years of rumors and announced plans for “standalone streaming devices” that could stream Xbox games through the company’s Xcloud service. Now, though, the company says it’s essentially going back to the drawing board and “pivot[ing] away from the current iteration” of that streaming-focused hardware.

In a statement to Windows Central, a Microsoft spokesperson reconfirmed that the company has “been working on a game-streaming device, codenamed Keystone, that could be connected to any TV or monitor without the need for a console.” At the same time, that spokesperson suggested that it may be a while until we see that hardware being finalized and released:

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.

Microsoft’s statement comes weeks after a GamesBeat report suggested that Microsoft’s game-streaming device would be released “in the next 12 months,” citing “people familiar with [Microsoft’s] plans.” That report also said that certain Samsung smart TVs would be getting an Xbox cloud streaming app in the same time period.

Data miners have recently uncovered the Keystone codename amid OS lists in certain Microsoft code, leading to some speculation that the product line was nearing a final release or announcement.

Despite the increased focus on game streaming on multiple devices in recent years, Microsoft said last year that “console remains our flagship experience. We want to deliver the most powerful, capable consoles in the world, devices that empower our players to enjoy amazing games for years to come, including gameplay we can’t even imagine yet.”

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