As cloud gaming has improved, Microsoft has been not-so-secretly working on an Xbox streaming device known as â€œKeystone,â€ but as it turns out a big part of the reason the company canned the project was its price.
Last month, Xbox chief Phil Spencer revealed that the Xbox â€œKeystoneâ€ device had been canceled for the time being, with a dedicated piece of hardware for streaming from Xbox potentially being â€œyearsâ€ away. That news arrived unexpectedly just weeks after weâ€™d had our first look at the hardware, and after numerous reports claiming the device was not far off from a release.
In a new interview with The Verge, Phil Spencer offers a bit more insight as to why â€œKeystoneâ€ was canned.
Apparently, the core reason comes down to the cost of the hardware. Xbox â€œKeystoneâ€ would have been aiming for a price between $99 and $129. Thatâ€™s well underneath the next Xbox device, the Series S, which costs $299. But that price didnâ€™t include a controller, which would have pushed the cost up further.
In stark contrast to that, Googleâ€™s soon-to-be-shuttered Stadia game streaming platform worked with a native app on Android TV which allowed for super affordable hardware. That included the $50 Chromecast with Google TV and the $20 Walmart Onn streamer to play games with any Bluetooth controller or the optional $70 Stadia Controller. Microsoft has since taken a similar path, debuting an Xbox app on Samsung Tizen smart TVs, but not on Android TV OS.
Itâ€™s still quite a shame that â€œKeystoneâ€ has been paused, as Spencer further says that the device was virtually finished saying that â€œa bunch of us took it home, and it worked. It worked really, really wellâ€ and confirming that it would have had an interface close to Xbox consoles. But as it turns out, the device hasnâ€™t been quite as canceled as most folks thought. Spencer teases that â€œweâ€™re still focused on it and watching when we can get the right cost.â€
More on Cloud Gaming:
- As Stadia dies, Xboxâ€™s Phil Spencer says cloud gaming shouldnâ€™t be an â€˜either/orâ€™ â€“ heâ€™s right
- Xbox Cloud Gaming undergoes performance updates on ChromeOS
- Stadia refunds start today as Google provides more details on what to expect
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