Xbox's "Streaming Console" Put On Hold Due To Pricing Concerns

Nov 15, 2022 · 13


The Xbox "streaming console," often referred to as Project Keystone, has been the topic of much rumor and speculation ever since Microsoft confirmed its existence back in May via Windows Central, but, unfortunately for some, it would seem as though its release is further than expected, apparently due to the company's inability to reach a desirable price point. Speaking to The Verge in a recent podcast, Head of Xbox Phil Spencer spoke at length about the streaming console and explained the company's current predicament.

The idea of a streaming console is pretty straightforward. It would work similarly to a regular console, except you would only be able to play games by streaming them via the internet. That means the console wouldn't need to run games natively on its hardware, so it could be much cheaper, but, as transcribed by VGC, Spencer explained that Xbox couldn't make it as cheap as they wanted to.

"Keystone was more expensive than we wanted it to be," said Spencer, referring to its cost of production. He explained how he thinks that its price should be between $99 and $129, due to the Xbox Series S being $299. "I think in order for a streaming-only box to make sense, the price delta to S has to be pretty significant." However, due to the production costs, Xbox felt unable to safely price it at that amount while including a controller.

Xbox's "Streaming Console" Put On Hold Due To Pricing Concerns

A controller was something Spencer felt was necessary, which only makes sense. All consoles come with at least one controller, so if the Keystone lacked it, even if it's only a streaming console, it would stand out. Spencer states that Xbox is still focused on the Keystone, but that it would only come "when [Xbox] can get the right costs." He did say though, that a lot of members of the team took the device home and that "it worked. It worked really, really, well."

He went on to confirm prior reporting that the streaming console was indeed on his shelf when he uploaded a picture for Fallout's 25th anniversary. He explained it was on his shelf because he loved the effort the team put in to make it. "[They] rolled up their sleeves and in nine months they built that thing." Since the console wasn't feasible for the moment, the team shifted their focus to making a Smart TV app with Samsung, to which Spencer states, "we're really happy with the results there."

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