In a statement seen in Windows Central, Microsoft has confirmed new details on their "Keystone" Xbox streaming stick. The company mentioned that this new dedicated hardware is indeed in the works, but went on to detail that it is also taking a new approach to it.
Microsoft did not dive into the specifics of the actual hardware side of what you can expect from the "Keystone" streaming stick. Those are still up to rumors. Yet, Microsoft did indicate that it wants to "pivot away" from a current interaction of it. Here's the company's full statement.
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,
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 definitely seemed to have a big change of plans for some reason, and it is hard to pinpoint exactly why. The operating system of the device could be one reason, as running the Xbox OS, Android, or Windows on a low-end streaming stick could have proved challenging. Price or production cost could also be another factor, as Microsoft does seem committed to bringing Game Pass and Cloud Gaming to more people.
Even with the changes for "Keystone," Microsoft has shown that it is capable of partnering with hardware makers to bring Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming to those who might not afford a console. Together with Samsung, Xbox Cloud Gaming is now on select smart TVs. Microsoft even worked with Steam to bring Game Pass to the Steam Deck.
As for when you can expect Microsoft to talk more about "Keystone," the incoming E3-style Bethesda and Xbox June 12 event might be a little too soon. We'll just have to wait and see.