Microsoft is considering developing a new Xbox console, but it’s not quite the successor to the Xbox Series X you might be thinking. Codenamed Keystone, this new console aims to bring cloud gaming to the masses so you can play the latest games for less.
Microsoft’s new Xbox console
As reported by Windows headquarters, the Keystone console doesn’t pack powerful hardware. Instead, it acts as a hub through which you can play games in the cloud through the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate plan.
Because the hardware is only designed for streaming rather than graphics rendering, the console’s cost is expected to be much lower than Microsoft’s flagship console, the Xbox Series X. Because of this, there seems to be no way to download games to it or to place a game disk in the Keystone console; It can only handle games played in the cloud where the graphics are rendered by the console.
In addition, the new console will likely be tiny:
The current iteration of Keystone is about an inch thick internally and has a square form factor resembling the top of a shaved Xbox Series X. However, the final version released to consumers might look quite different, but this is the kind of small size and sleek design that Microsoft is aiming for.
There is no release date yet, but hopefully more details will emerge soon.
A new life for Keystone
If the word “Keystone” sounds familiar, it’s probably because you’ve heard of its first iteration. We already covered its first form, as the Keystone originally appeared as a streaming dongle. However, it appears that Microsoft has since rolled back that plan.
Its second life as a streaming console is very interesting. The world is no stranger to such devices; For example, Google’s Stadia has a device through which games are streamed. But it is not always necessary; For example, you can actually play Stadia games on your Xbox.
Therefore, this new iteration of Keystone is nothing new in the technological world. It’s a new frontier in the console wars, however, as both Sony and Nintendo have yet to release a cheap version of their console that depends on the cloud. And with gamers embracing cloud gaming in a big way, Microsoft could open up a brand new market for cheap consoles that act as relays between the gamer and the cloud.
Is this console the key to cloud gaming?
While Keystone doesn’t seem to be breaking new ground, it’s definitely a leader in the console market. We’ll have to see how this new console evolves; if it ever comes to light.
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