Windows Central reports that the project, which is codenamed Keystone, will be a small device that can connect to any monitor or TV and use Game Pass’s cloud streaming functionality without the need for a console.
The device’s streaming-only functionality will mean it doesn’t need the powerful components present in the Xbox Series X, Series S or gaming PCs, so it’s likely to be a significantly cheaper way to access Game Pass.
However, Keystone still appears to be a way off, with a Microsoft spokesperson confirming that while it exists, the development team isn’t happy with it and has been rethinking its approach.
“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,” they told Windows Central.
“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.”
GamesBeat claimed earlier this month that within the next year Microsoft plans to release an Xbox streaming device similar to an Amazon Fire Stick or a Roku-like puck.
In addition, Microsoft is planning a Samsung TV App which will allow users to stream cloud games direct to their televisions without any additional device, it’s claimed.
The launches are said to be part of the new “Xbox Everywhere” initiative, which earlier this month saw Fortnite become the first free-to-play title available on Xbox Cloud Gaming.
Microsoft first confirmed plans to bring Xbox cloud gaming to internet-connected TVs last summer. Speaking in June 2021, the company said it was working with global TV manufacturers to embed the Xbox experience directly into internet-connected TVs, and building its own streaming devices.