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Microsoft working on a low-cost streaming device to compete with Apple TV

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Microsoft is reportedly working on a new, inexpensive streaming stick that could not only allow people to stream games but also video content. While Apple already has the Apple TV, it’s previously been rumored to have designs on a new, cheaper version that would offer competition for the popular Amazon Fire TV Stick.

If the rumors are true, and quotes from Microsoft appear to suggest they are, the streaming device would likely focus on offering gamers the chance to stream games via Xbox Cloud Gaming. But it’s also likely that the same device would also allow content to stream from the likes of Netflix, Disney+, and potentially even Apple TV+. In that way, the device could find itself in direct competition with any streaming stick that Apple is also working on.

Along with access to triple-A console games, Microsoft’s device is likely to double as a set-top box on which users can access popular streaming services as well as the company’s own media apps like Microsoft Movies & TV.

A new competitor to Apple TV

Xbox Series S, which is Microsoft’s most affordable gaming console, costs $299 – although you can easily find it at lower prices. Thus, it’s easy to assume that the new Xbox streaming device will cost less than that. Assuming Microsoft’s “Keystone” will cost $199 or less, this will place the device as a direct competitor to Apple TV. And as I once wrote, Apple TV is not exactly in a good place. Apple’s set-top box is too expensive for a streaming device, but at the same time, it lacks console-level games to replace an Xbox or PlayStation.

Details about this device are currently unclear, but a Microsoft spokesperson revealed that the company’s gaming division is committed to making the Xbox experience even more accessible through a new “low-cost hardware.” According to the spokesperson, “Keystone” can be connected to any television or monitor, so users can play games over streaming without a console.

Microsoft spokesperson said;

“Our goal is to enable people to play the games they want, on the devices they want, anywhere they want. As announce last year, we’ve been working on a game-streaming device, codename Keystone, that can connect to any TV or monitor without the need for a console. 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.”

Aside from a dedicated streaming device, Microsoft is also planning to bring Xbox Game Pass streaming to more devices, spreading beyond phones, consoles, and PCs and into the realm of Smart TVs via a new app.

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