In early June, an Xbox representative confirmed the existence of the Keystone project. So behind this code name, which is little known to the general public at the moment, there are new developments aimed at cloud gaming. Because for Xbox, the Keystone project is quite simply a console dedicated to game streaming that connects directly to your TV. A brand new machine that will only offer games via the cloud.
Since, Windows headquarters worked to centralize all possible information about this project. So journalist Jez Corden can give us a closer look at this famous Keystone project.
Xbox Keystone Features
This new home console, which would complete the Xbox series range, is therefore likely to be the most compact Xbox ever. Without the technologies housed in the Xbox Series X|S, This future machine would necessarily be smaller and lighter than its predecessors.
However, Microsoft has not yet validated the design of its product. According to Windows Central, several iterations are in the works and the final version could see a lot of development by then. Nevertheless, the manufacturer would like to renew the square shape of its Series X, but with a significantly lower overall height: Only 2 to 3 cm.
Of course, Project Keystone has ambitions to run Xbox Cloud Gaming flawlessly. In other words, however, cloud gaming would be at the heart of the system Microsoft wants to add more functionalities. Currently, applications of the likes of Netflix or Disney+ are mentioned to improve the user experience.
As for the onboard equipment, some equipment is expected if the technical details are not known. It’s easy to imagine USB ports will be available, if only for connecting headphones and controllers, while Wi-Fi and Ethernet port should allow for easy connection.
Now, with Xbox Cloud Gaming offering a 1080p, 60fps experience on PC, Microsoft might be tempted to take it to the next level. While 4K is now firmly established in living rooms, the manufacturer could try to achieve this resolution via Keystone. Especially since its “competitors” have already achieved these feats, such as Google Stadia.
Which games for the Keystone project?
Unsurprisingly, Xbox Game Pass will be at the heart of the concept. Access to cloud gaming will likely require an Ultimate subscription, which gives access to the entire current catalogue.
Big budget games like gears 5 or the next starfield etc Forza Motorsport should be just as much a part of the offer as independent games or those from EA Play. In short, we’ll find all Xbox and Bethesda games, plus Activision Blizzard once the acquisition takes effect, plus a few hundred third-party titles.
However, that may not be all. Microsoft has been under investigation for a few months and would also like to offer the purchase of games directly from the store. In this configuration, the purchased license is yours while the game is running on remote servers. No installation, everything works with the cloud.
In this way, Xbox would allow access to a cloud gaming and on-demand gaming service through its Game Pass while leaving the ability to access its proprietary catalog and thus make new purchases in the future. . We reiterate, Game Pass is at the heart of an ecosystem, and so that logic would apply perfectly here.
What price for this new machine?
No official information is shared by Microsoft at this time. However, according to multiple Jez Corden sources, Microsoft could match Stadia’s pricing. In other words, offering the Xbox Keystone and a controller for the price of $99.
As Windows Central points out, the Xbox Keystone will initially only be available in territories served by Xbox Cloud Gaming. France is one of them, as is a large part of Europe, the USA, Japan and Australia. Other countries regularly host Xbox Cloud Gaming and would therefore be included in the de facto list.
Towards a 2023 release?
Last element shared by the American journalist: the release schedule. According to Jez Corden, Keystone’s developments are almost complete. The product is operational today and was originally scheduled for release in 2022.
However, Microsoft is working on a new iteration of its solution. This can mean that new functionalities have to be developed or that the manufacturer is still working on improving their product. Whether it’s game sales or 4K display, Microsoft still needs time to deliver Keystone in its final form.
A few more months of work, which should take us until 2023. If the company wasn’t clear on that particular point, it’s certainly that speech that got the writing of Windows Central. Enough to iterate and most importantly also give some big games time to be ready. And of course to think that starfield could be a great ambassador for this new home console designed for cloud gaming.