‘Keystone’: Xbox Cloud-Based Console Plans Revealed in Patent Filing

xbox cloud gaming

Once upon a time, Microsoft had plans to produce a streaming-based console that would have minimal hardware and rely entirely on a SOIP operating model to play games through Xbox Game Pass. It was later scrapped because of pricing issues – but it was rumoured that it ‘should have’ cost between $100 and $130, coming bundled with a controller.

In a recent discovery, a long-lost patent filing has been discovered bearing some ‘blueprint’ images of Project Keystone, which was the codename for the streaming-based Xbox console.

Small but Mighty

Windows Central has dug up some documentation that showcases Project Keystone, which would have been small enough to fit under any television set or tuck neatly behind a monitor, relying on nothing more than a controller and an internet connection to stream games.

In the images, we’re treated to a few angles of Keystone:

It’s nothing too stunning to look at, but it does line up quite nicely with the current generation of Xbox consoles. It has the blocky aesthetic of an Xbox Series X|S unit and boasts all the trappings of a low-energy, low-resource gaming device. To the rear of Keystone, there’s a power port, an HDMI port, and an ethernet port – simple. There’s a single USB port on the front of the console to accommodate an accessory or a charging cable for a controller, and that’s it.

Windows Central revealed that this patent was filed in 2022 – but it ultimately fell flat and fell into the abyss, destined to never see the light of day.

In last year’s massive FTC leaks, it was suggested that Keystone was still on the cards at Microsoft, sitting in a project list and being tagged as ‘Funded’. It’s not known what happened to that claim, but the consensus is that it was outdated information.

Do you think Project Keystone would have been a good idea, or would it have gone the way of Google Stadia and the Ouya?

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