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Xbox Shelves ‘Keystone’ Cloud Gaming Dongle

A mockup of the Xbox streaming stick.
Andrew Heinzman / Review Geek

Microsoft delivered a major disappointment to fans of the emergent cloud gaming industry this week. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Xbox chief Phil Spencer stated that the company isn’t moving forward with its cloud gaming dongle dubbed “Keystone.”

Gamers have anticipated an Xbox streaming stick for well over a year now. And there’s been some confusing messaging from the company along the way. So, it’s nice to have some resolution regarding this particular device. Here’s the relevant portion of the Journal interview via audio tweeted by The Verge senior editor Tom Warren:

“Keystone was something that we were incubating internally. Late spring we pivoted to working with Samsung. I still have the prototype… will we do a streaming device at some point? I expect we will, but it’s years away.”

Cloud gaming is a huge potential market for Microsoft. According to 9to5Google, Xbox Cloud Gaming surpassed 20 million lifetime players recently. That figure has doubled since May, when Microsoft revealed that 10 million players had tried the cloud gaming platform.

It’s easy to see the appeal of cloud gaming. Removing the requirement of having a gaming console to play your favorite games opens up a whole world of possibilities for players, game developers, hardware manufacturers, and retailers. Unfortunately, it wasn’t the time for this game-streaming dongle to break into the world.

Xbox Series S

While Keystone may never see the light of day, there are still plenty of options for gaming with Microsoft.

Sources: The Verge, 9to5Google

Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »