Back before E3, I received quite a bit of information about what Microsoft was going to announce at their upcoming gaming event. Everything from a new standard controller to a smaller white Xbox One was accurately leaked but one item I said would be announced, failed to make an appearance.
The device, or possibly devices, was a media streamer that would fill the gap in Microsoft’s lineup that would make it easier to get Windows and even Xbox content, on to more displays in your house. The device, which was codenamed Hobart, was canceled and Microsoft was reportedly set to order 300,000 of these devices for manufacturing shortly after E3.
The report comes from Jez Corden and while I knew the name Hobart, his independent report of the device further confirms its existence and sadly, demise too. I cannot confirm the 300,000 figure but seeing as the device has not materialized, it’s fair to say that the project is on hold, or more likely, canceled.
It’s not exactly known why Microsoft decided to cancel the device and it’s unfortunate too. While the home media streamer market is well established, Microsoft doesn’t have anything in this segments to promote their own products like Groove Music or even apps in the Windows store. Hobart would have been able to run UWP apps and some games from the Windows store natively with a price of around $99.
Hobart now joins the Surface Mini in the pile of products that were nearly on store shelves but killed at the last minute. Will the company actually release a device in this segment? Who knows, but I think that they should as Miracast has not caught on in a way that has been meaningful to sharing content inside your house with a Windows PC and Hobart would fill this void nicely.