Check out what Microsoft's Keystone streaming device might have been

Remember Keystone?

Microsoft (modified)

Microsoft leadership has been putting a lot of weight on Game Pass, and several of its business decisions of late appear to center on getting more people into that subscription service. One of those projects was called Keystone, a dedicated streaming device that would let Game Pass customers play Xbox titles without an Xbox console. After first announcing the concept in 2021, the project was eventually deemed too expensive. That team instead shifted focus to a smart TV streaming app, leaving Keystone to disappear into the void. Today, Windows Central uncovered a patent that showed what the Keystone might have looked like.

This patent filing has more detail than we ever got from the Xbox leadership about the project. The only glimpse we'd seen before now was in a teaser image Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer shared back in 2022. But we can now see that the squat, square device would have had a circle pattern on the top and circular plate on the bottom. It also had the expected cable ports and what looks like a controller pairing button.

Microsoft has made a lot of pitches for new hardware recently, but few of them seem to be sticking the landing. Even the company's announcement of Xbox hardware refreshes at the latest Summer Games Fest fell short of expectations after a leak had hinted at much bigger plans. Hopefully Xbox can get a big win on the hardware side soon. For now, getting a glimpse of what might have been is neat backstory to have about the company and its development process.