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Xbox ‘Keystone’ streaming device delayed indefinitely and may never arrive

The online-only Xbox streaming device has been shelved by Microsoft, with the company saying it opted to release an Xbox app for Samsung TVs instead.

In a wide-ranging chat at the WSJ Tech Conference, Xbox boss Phil Spencer says Microsoft will probably launch a standalone device at some point, but it’s currently “years away”.

Spencer said the console is still under development at Microsoft, and would enable gamers to play the available games within the Xbox Cloud Gaming library. However, it’s been put on the back burner for now.

“Keystone is something that we were incubating internally,” he told the audience in California. “It’s a streaming console. There’s no local play low cost, plug it into a television and you’ll be able to stream the Xbox games that are available,” he said. “We instead pivoted in late spring to working with Samsung. We put an app on Samsung TVs so that you can play Xbox games.”

Spencer said Microsoft is all about giving gamers the choice about where they play, but said there are already plenty of options. The streaming device does already exist, as it was pictured in Spencer’s office a few weeks back. Spencer acknowledged that was the case and says it was just a prototype.

He added: “Giving people choice – whether they want to play on their tablet, on their smart TV, on Xbox, a PC – we think that’s really critical to where we’re going. Will we do a streaming device at some point? I suspect we will, but it’s years away. I still have the prototype – it sits on the shelf behind my computer.”

Spencer also admitted that Microsoft may be forced to raise the prices of its console and services after the holidays, which is sure to cause a backlash among gamers if it comes to fruition.

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