Xbox Cloud Gaming console finally revealed – a glimpse at what could have been

This is what Xbox Keystone would have looked like had it not been shelved

Red Xbox controller
(Image credit: Matthew Horwood / Getty Images)
Quick Summary

A patent has emerged that shows the Xbox Project Keystone streaming box.

Original planned to be a set-to-box for Xbox Cloud Gaming, it was sadly shelved just over a year ago.

Xbox has been changing strategy of late, releasing former platform exclusive games on rival consoles, and looking into other areas of expansion – such as gaming handhelds.

However, while this all seems like a sudden shift for Microsoft and its games division, it's actually something that's been bubbling up for a while. Back in October 2022, it was revealed that the company was planning to not only offer Xbox Cloud Gaming on third-party devices, such as Samsung Smart TVs, but through its own streaming device – negating the need for an Xbox console entirely.

Project Keystone was leaked after an unannounced device was spotted on the shelf behind Xbox boss Phil Spencer in an X (Twitter as was) post about the 25th anniversary of Fallout.

Looking like a miniature version of the Xbox Series S, but from afar, it was to be a hub for Microsoft's cloud gaming platform alone, as Spencer admitted. However, the concept was (ironically) eventually shelved, with the company switching focus to further third-party streaming deals instead.

Still, we can ponder on what might have been – not least because a patent for Keystone has now popped up online (via Eurogamer).

Xbox Project Keystone

(Image credit: Xbox)

Featuring a series of diagrams for the now ditched product, it shows a device that's very similar to the prototype shown on Spencer's shelf.

It has an Xbox logo on the front, much like the Xbox Series X and S, although that might have just been a lit decal as there also seems to be a separate power button on the side. There is also what looks to be a rectangular hole for a USB port, perhaps.

Additional drawings, which includes one of the rear, reveal a wired Ethernet connection, HDMI output and a power input. That's about it.

Xbox Project Keystone

(Image credit: Xbox)

In many ways, it's a shame it never happened, although there are plenty of excellent streaming devices and set-top-boxes on the market that could easily run an Xbox Cloud Gaming app.

Its available through Samsung Smart TVs now, but it'll surely come to the likes of Fire TV and Apple TV eventually. Maybe when an assumed exclusivity deal with Samsung expires, perhaps?

Then the service could really spread its wings.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.