A Peek at Microsoft’s Unreleased Xbox Cloud Console ‘Keystone’

Microsoft is known for laying out its Xbox console blueprint several years ahead. Some eye-opening details of these plans have been unveiled, thanks to a slide deck that got leaked last year from the FTC v. Microsoft case. The leak detailed Microsoft’s plans for a souped-up Xbox Series S, a renovated Series X and even a new-look controller. Among these, an intriguing project was the ‘Keystone’; a streaming-only Xbox designed exclusively for Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming.

The Vision of Cloud Gaming

In cloud gaming, a server handles all the processing and leaves the user’s device merely to visualize the action. A report a couple of years ago had Microsoft’s gaming vision as a streaming-only console, named ‘Keystone’. The idea was to connect it directly to Microsoft’s Xbox Cloud Gaming servers without rendering games locally.

This revelation now sheds light on an entirely different dimension of the gaming landscape that Microsoft was considering. It’s like having an entire Xbox system in your pocket, available for play anytime by merely streaming the game of your choice.

The Overhauled Xbox and a Smart Controller

The leaked information also pointed out how Microsoft wanted to revamp its Xbox Series X console. It didn’t reveal many specifics, but did suggest substantial modifications. Along with it, Microsoft had also contemplated on a redesigned controller. Given the reputation of the Xbox Series X, any tinkering with its design or functionality is sure to arouse intrigue among gamers.

A Sly Hint from Microsoft’s Top Brass

In an interesting revelation, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer acknowledged the existence of the Cloud Gaming console. In an interview with The Verge, he confirmed that Keystone was fully functional. Yet, it had to be shelved due to budget concerns.

The price was the primary hurdle. Microsoft couldn’t get it down enough to make it an attractive proposition alongside the $299 Series S console, which is often available at discounted prices ranging from $200 to $250.

Spencer’s revelation contradicts general expectations. However, it gives fans something to look forward to in the upcoming console cycles.

What’s on the Horizon?

As exciting as the Keystone concept sounds, Microsoft has shifted its focus on enhancing its Xbox hardware. The company is actively working on a revamped Series S console and a renovated Series X to keep personas engaged.

The company’s approach puts the users’ needs at the center. A diversified Xbox portfolio ensures there’s something for everyone. Whether you like cloud gaming, prefer traditional play, or require superior performance to ace highly immersive games, the present and the future of Xbox cover you.

Does it mean that Keystone is dead and gone? No confirmation on this yet!

Wrapping Up

Microsoft’s pre-emptive strategy for Xbox, brought to light through the leaked slide deck, unveils a mix of exciting details. While the Keystone may not be on the cards at the moment, Microsoft’s commitment towards ensuring an engaging gaming experience for Xbox users is stronger than ever.

The journey ahead for Microsoft gaming seems to be challenging yet exciting. It’s all about balancing the interests of the existing gaming community while introducing new elements to keep up with the industry’s evolving dynamics.


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