During yesterday’s Slopecast with DJ Slope, our first topic of discussion on the podcast was Microsoft’s announcement that project Keystone has been scrapped but will live on in a new way. This info came from an article on The Verge.
Keystone was a dongle, much like Google’s Stadia, where any device with an HDMI port and internet connection could stream games from Microsoft’s XBOX Cloud Gaming service. Right now, smartphones and laptops can access XBOX’s library of games via an official app or a browser, with lag and resolution differing wildly depending on multiple factors.
MS’s statement made it seem like the Keystone dongle will morph into something else:
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.
So, the dongle idea may be dead, but not what the device was hoping to achieve: XBOX Cloud Gaming access anywhere. Could Stadia’s floundering have dissuaded Microsoft from joining the market? Possibly. Or maybe a dongle isn’t powerful enough to deliver the same gaming experience console owners already have.
I’ve tried the company’s cloud-based service on the official app on my PC and via a browser on a smartphone. The service has certainly improved over several months, but it’s hard to beat having a localized version of the game, especially if latency needs to be near non-existent.
As I mentioned during the Slopecast, Microsoft may partner with TV and monitor manufacturers to have hardware built-in specifically for the XBOX Cloud Gaming service. Smart TVs have evolved quite a lot since the early days. Getting a 4K television with XBOX gaming built right in thanks to a dedicated ethernet port could finally solidify video game streaming as a viable solution for the average consumer.
The problem I foresee is the chip shortage, which will last at least the next two years. Whether it’s a high-powered console, PC, or just a regular flatscreen TV, the lack of semiconductors is grinding a lot of the technology sector to a near standstill. Sony has already come out as expecting the supply of PS5s to be low even into 2023. Distributors I work with have told me that wait times for cameras, and even the most basic boards span 6-9 months.
What do you think of having XBOX’s game services integrated directly into TVs or other consumer products? Let us know below.
[Source: The Verge]
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