Xbox Cloud Gaming Stick Taking 'New Approach,' Microsoft Says

We might be waiting quite a while before we can play Xbox Cloud Gaming without a console or PC -- Microsoft is refocusing its efforts on the project towards a "new approach."

Published: May 26, 2022 4:24 PM /


Xbox Cloud Gaming Stick cover

Microsoft has been working on an Xbox Cloud Gaming stick for some time. We might have to wait a while to get it, though -- Microsoft says it's taking a "new approach" to the project.

Xbox Cloud Gaming has been steadily improving over the last couple of years -- last year, the browser version officially left beta and it was later made available on Xbox consoles. The service recently got a boost with the addition of Fortnite to the service, but it has yet to launch a dedicated stick for players without a console or PC for playing games. Unfortunately, it seems like we might be waiting even longer before we'll get to buy one of these little doodads.

Xbox Cloud Gaming Stick slice

What's Happening With the Xbox Cloud Gaming Stick?

A report at Windows Central confirms that the long-rumored projected codenamed "Keystone" is indeed an Xbox Cloud Gaming stick. This device has been in development for at least a couple of years now, but it may be going back to the drawing board based on a statement it gave to the site.

Here's what a Microsoft spokesman told Windows Central said about Keystone:

"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."

Critically, this statement explicitly confirms that Keystone is indeed a game-streaming device that would let you play games without a PC or console. Unfortunately, it also confirms that the current prototype -- whatever it might look like -- isn't quite up to snuff and they're making a "new approach."

It seems like Microsoft is working on an improved version of the Xbox Cloud Gaming stick. Redesigning this device -- combined with chip shortages and supply chain issues -- means we aren't likely to get one anytime soon. For now, you can enjoy Xbox Cloud Gaming on PC and Xbox via its official website.

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One of my earliest memories is playing Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I… More about Robert N