Microsoft is downplaying the "old prototype."
The internet loves looking far too closely at images to try and pull information out of potentially hidden corners. But in the case of Xbox boss Phil Spencer, this is something that warrants investigation.
In a post to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Fallout series, which is now an Xbox franchise following Microsofts acquisition of Bethesda, fans were quick to point out a small, Xbox-branded box on the top of Spencers shelf.
This small device is the Xbox game streaming device that the company originally announced last year and is still working on bringing to market, according to reports from The Verge. Operating under the codename Keystone, it will be entirely dedicated to giving players access to various games via the Xbox Cloud Gaming service.
Spencer has played this game before, with the most notable example being hiding an Xbox Series S on his shelf ahead of its November 2020 launch, which launched the Phil Spencer shelf conspiracy theories into becoming a frequent topic of discussion.
Its probably a mistake on my part, Spencer said to Kinda Funny in July 2021. This [shelf] back here is really just a collection of things from people I know in the industry and friends and that’s about it like I’m not trying to signal anything.”
In response, Microsoft is downplaying, with the official Xbox account responding to Spencers tweet and calling the topic of discussion an old prototype. This has been reiterated to multiple publications, including Kotaku, as the company points out it pivoted away from whatever the previous iteration of the Keystone project wassomething that it announced back in May.
But despite this downplay, seeing this prototype alongside the new Logitech G Cloud handheld that focuses on streaming games from cloud services like Microsofts seems like it is hinting at something.
Overall, this streaming device, if it releases, will give Microsoft another product on the market that can get an audience into its ecosystem for a reduced price since it will be cheaper to manufacture due to its small size and limited internals. It will hit a niche market who are either capable of streaming games reliably, are interested in giving it a try, or find other uses for it as a potential video streaming device for services like Netflix and Hulu in the likelihood that they will be available.