Microsoft’s streaming service, xCloud is a huge deal in regions where the service is available. Sadly, here in SA, we don’t have any form of xCloud streaming whatsoever due to the lack of proper Azure implementation. Still, in regions where xCloud is available, users are able to stream their Xbox Game Pass library to all sorts of devices without actually having to download any game. This means you can game on your phone or PC without installing any data from the title you’re playing.
Microsoft aims to take this to the next level soon with a device codenamed “Keystone”. According to Windows Central, this new standalone piece of tech will reportedly enable xCloud on any hardware that has an HDMI port and in a location where internet is available. Think of it as an Android TV box. You plug it in and it turns your TV into a smart TV so you can install apps and use services,
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This xCloud Keystone device does the same thing but with Xbox Game Pass instead. Microsoft says Keystone has been in development for a couple of years already and that the company is finalizing the product’s feature set. Keystone will basically turn your TV into an xCloud device enabling Xbox Game Pass without owning an Xbox console.
XBOX KEYSTONE pic.twitter.com/warAwisfKh
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The report claims that Keystone would eventually run some sort of slimmed-down Windows or Xbox OS. Other reports claim Microsoft might go with an Android OS route for this device which in turn enables the users to install Netflix and other apps. The big push, however, is the implementation of xCloud on the system. Think of it as having a console on your TV but you’ll just need fast internet to play the games.
A reportedly leaked image of the hardware
Outside of the Xbox Game Pass service, Microsoft will most likely release a feature than allows users to purchase cloud games. So you can build up a library of titles even if you don’t own a console or PC. You will most likely be able to download these games you purchase onto your console should you get one.
Microsoft is most likely prepping Keystone for a full reveal in June. The company is set to host its Xbox and Bethesda showcase event on 12 June. The event will play host to a number of game reveals and updates.