Xbox Keystone in development lets you play Xbox without an Xbox

Microsoft is currently working on “Keystone,” an Xbox-branded “HDMI Streaming Device” that lets you connect to a TV, much like a Google Chromecast does. Through it you’ll be able to play Xbox games without an Xbox, via cloud streaming.

According to a Windows Central Report, Keystone will run Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Streaming services and players would only need a controller and a good, stable internet connection to play Xbox Games on their TVs. However, the device and the project is still a long way off before it’s ready for release. A spokesperson confirmed that Microsoft is making changes to Keystone which will have them “pivot away” from the current plan and tackle the challenges of the project via a different route.

“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,” the spokesperson said.

“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.”

Xbox Keystone

Back in June of 2021, Microsoft initially announced their plans on making a streaming stick for Xbox that would allow them to reach a wider audience. They’ve even gone so far as to coordinate with TV manufacturers to put Xbox directly into TV sets much like how smart TVs come with Netflix, Youtube and a streaming service chosen by the manufacturer. Keystone may have been that current project and the current iteration might not be up to their standards now.

The idea is pretty solid, and feeds directly into Microsoft’s vision of making the Xbox platform available to anyone, anywhere regardless of what kind of console they own or don’t own. All a person would need is a controller to play any Xbox Game Pass game on a TV that can output the stream. The only real issue I think that would make this hard to achieve is a spotty internet connection. For now however, we can just keep playing as per usual on our Xbox consoles as it is still Microsoft’s flagship experience.