Fans think Xbox Boss just revealed a Game Pass streaming device

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A promotional image shows Master Chief and a bunch of Game Pass games.

Screenshot: Microsoft

Xbox fans have been waiting for a preview of a new standalone game Game pass streaming device called “Keystone” since it was first teased at E3 2021. Now Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer may have just given it to them in his last shelf. It looks like a micro Xbox Series S.

Microsoft slowly brought Xbox Game Pass to more and more devices through cloud streaming. First it was the telephones. More recently, it was some Smart TV brands like Samsung. Earlier this year, the company confirmed that it was working on a smaller add-on that people could buy to stream games to any screen. It’s called Keystone, and so far Microsoft hasn’t shown what it looks like, perhaps until today.

“Vault Boy left the shelter and stopped by my office to celebrate #Fallout25’s birthday,” Spencer tweeted with a photo of a pile of Xbox loot on a shelf. “Congratulations @Fallout @Bethesda teams on this major milestone for an iconic franchise.” However, the Microsoft executive made a habit of teasing upcoming reveals in the background of his photos, and it didn’t take long for fans to spot a strange white device near the top:

It looks exactly like an Xbox Series S, but much smaller. A mark on the left could be an Xbox symbol while one on the right looks like a USB port. It looks similar in proportion to a Google Chromecast or Valve’s now-defunct Steam link, though it’s hard to tell based on the photo alone. It certainly looks a bit smaller than the Xbox controller just to its left. Notably, the S series was first revealed on Spencer’s Shelf as well. A response to Spencer’s tweet by official Xbox account seems to imply that it may be an older prototype.

While previous speculation was that Xbox’s Game Pass streaming device would be a smaller, stick-sized dongle, the company told Windows Central in May that he had pivoted to a new “approach” for Keystone. “We have made the decision to move away from the current iteration of the Keystone device,” a company spokesperson said at the time. “We will build on our learnings and refocus our efforts on a new approach that will allow us to bring Xbox Cloud Gaming to more gamers around the world in the future.”

It’s still unclear exactly what the company meant by that, and it’s still possible that Spencer’s photo today was either 1.) not meant to tease anything or 2.) was teasing something. completely different from Keystone. Microsoft is also reportedly working on a standalone optical drive attachment for the all-digital versions of its Xbox Series X/S. Both seem unlikely.

“It’s probably a mistake on my part,” Spencer said in an appearance at Kinda Funny Games in July when describing the Easter eggs fans are looking for on her shelf. He claimed that there was no thought behind what appeared there during his video calls and other photos, and that it was simply a collection of freebies and signifiers from the music industry. game. The hosts were far from convinced.

Updated: 10/10/22 2:58 PM ET: A Microsoft spokesperson reiterated that the device on Spencer’s shelf is an older prototype and the company’s first statement that it had moved away from the current iteration.

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