Microsoft has shared new details about its plans to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to TVs with new dedicated hardware. In a statement shared with Windows Central, the company confirmed that it’s still working on a device codenamed “Keystone” that can be connected to TVs and monitors, though the device is apparently far from ready.
“Our vision for Xbox Cloud Gaming is unwavering, our goal is to enable people to play the games they want, on the devices they want, anywhere they want. As announced last year, we’ve been working on a game-streaming device, codename Keystone, that could be connected to any TV or monitor without the need for a console,” A Microsoft spokesperson told Windows Central.
“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.”
It’s unclear why Microsoft changed its plans for its Keystone device along the way, though it’s quite possible that the company is still figuring out the software that will run on Keystone. Microsoft still doesn’t have a “smart TV” OS, and adapting the Xbox OS to a low-cost ARM-based device with far less RAM than Xbox consoles may not be a viable option. Using an Android-based OS for Keystone may make more sense, especially if Microsoft wants to leverage the growing catalog of Android apps optimized for the big screen.
In addition to this brand new Keystone device, Microsoft is also planning to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to smart TVs from Samsung and other manufacturers. “We want to empower everyone around the world to play the games they want, with the people they want, on the devices they already own. We call this Xbox Everywhere,” said Catherine Gluckstein, Vice President and Head of Product, Xbox Cloud Gaming earlier this month.