Microsoft confirms it's still working on a streaming device

Daniel Sims

Posts: 447   +18
Staff
Why it matters: Rumors of Microsoft's plans for a game-streaming device have circulated since at least 2016, and the company confirmed its efforts towards one more than once over the last couple of years. A recent information drop reveals that work on the device continues but is still a while away from production.

On Thursday, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to Windows Central that the company is still working on a streaming-only device. It is iterating on hardware dedicated to Xbox Cloud Gaming—codenamed Keystone—but isn't ready to unveil it publicly.

This update validates a leak in March showing "Keystone" in a list of Microsoft operating systems. Gaming division head Phil Spencer hinted at Microsoft's answer to the Chromecast in 2020, and the company confirmed the development of such a device last year. The news followed earlier rumors of a $99 streaming box or stick.

Currently, Game Pass subscribers can stream games on an Xbox, a mobile device, or nearly any PC. However, Microsoft thinks it can still gain subscribers through hardware that can stream to TVs for a fraction of the price of an Xbox.

The device could become a stick, dongle, or a small set-top box running a version of the Xbox OS. On top of streaming games, it might also support entertainment apps already available on Xbox like Netflix and Apple TV. Whatever Microsoft brings to that market, it's safe to assume we won't see it this year.

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BigCatsByte

Posts: 10   +9
Agreed, me and my crew have Zero interest in something like this. Games/Software work out best when they are local.
Content, Eye Candy, and Speed, these are what people want. Streaming is fine for Music or Movies but I wouldn't use streaming software if you gave it away for free.
 
D

Dd663

Yeah, I don't get there being hype over game streaming. I've tried it out. It can work okay for games that aren't dependent on reaction times, like turn-based RPGs or puzzle games, but action games and anything reaction-based just suffer immensely from the inherent input lag.

And unless they invent some method of instantaneous communication to overcome that pesky speed of light, there's simply no getting around the input lag, no matter how good your internet is.
 

scavengerspc

Posts: 2,574   +2,799
TechSpot Elite
No thank you Microsoft! Game streaming just doesn't work and is very unlikely to. Focus that money somewhere else, or waste it. Whatever..
(y) (Y)

As has been mentioned, the reaction time for input devices is too slow. It's better than it used to be, but not there. I tried the Sony cloud gaming service (cant remember what they were calling it that week) and it is impressive, but controller lag killed my hopes that I would finally get to play The Last of Us series.

Why isn't there a service that downloads part of the game at a time? I know that kills the idea of playing games on weak hardware, but still. Isnt that how they do it on consoles?
 

Kirby1

Posts: 162   +264
I don't really see the point since you can already stream Xbox games to most smart devices.
 

Last1Standing

Posts: 39   +13
Finally a decent choice from Apple TV / Shield TV streaming devices that could render up to 8K content plus extra?! BRING IT!

There's definitely a market for these devices but only if MS do it right.

Open to Android apps (maybe that's MS reason for adding Android support to its OSs? 🤔)

8K content, and upscaling, supported.

All Dolby's goodness, etc.
 

ZedRM

Posts: 1,000   +711
(y) (Y)

As has been mentioned, the reaction time for input devices is too slow. It's better than it used to be, but not there. I tried the Sony cloud gaming service (cant remember what they were calling it that week) and it is impressive, but controller lag killed my hopes that I would finally get to play The Last of Us series.

Why isn't there a service that downloads part of the game at a time? I know that kills the idea of playing games on weak hardware, but still. Isnt that how they do it on consoles?
For me, it's local play, or no play. Streaming services can eat the stuff that comes out of the south end of a northbound cow.
 
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