Microsoft’s streaming-only Xbox console, codenamed Project Keystone, was put on hold because it was too expensive to produce.
Speaking to The Verge (and spotted by VGC), Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft couldn’t create a streaming-only console it could sell for a cheap enough price. Spencer hoped to sell Project Keystone for around $99 to $129, and even though Microsoft takes a hit on every console it sells, the streaming-only machine simply cost too much.
“The console we built that people have seen, Keystone, was more expensive than we wanted it to be when we actually built it out with the hardware that we had inside,” Spencer said. “We decided to focus that team’s efforts on delivering the smart TV streaming app.”
Especially as Xbox already offers a cheaper next generation console in the Series S, which retails for $299 compared to the Series X’s $499, Spencer said Microsoft would need to sell Project Keystone for significantly cheaper to make it a viable option for customers.
“I don’t want to announce pricing specifically, but I think you’ve got to be $129, $99, somewhere in there for that to make sense in my view,” he said.
Xbox has doubled down on its initiative to make gaming as available and accessible as possible, moving the option to play “on Xbox” beyond consoles by also including PC, mobile, the aforementioned smart TV app, and so on.
Ryan Dinsdale is an IGN freelancer. He’ll talk about The Witcher all day.