It looks as though Xbox boss Phil Spencer has potentially leaked a long-rumoured new peripheral. In a new tweet celebrating the 25th anniversary of Fallout this month, the Xbox Head shared a congratulatory photo of his office shelves. Complete with a couple of Vault Boy statues from the legendary Bethesda series, Spencer’s tweet was clearly meant to focus on the Fallout franchise’s impressive 25-year run so far.
However, the eagle-eyed amongst us also happened to notice an interesting piece of Xbox hardware on Spencer’s top shelf. The piece of kit is most interesting as it doesn’t appear to look exactly like anything Xbox has released yet. This has caused many to speculate that it is in fact, a new piece of in-development or launch-ready Xbox hardware. It seems as though this could actually be the case, as in one of the replies to Spencer’s tweet, the official Xbox account has tried to do a bit of damage control, suggesting that their boss has a bad habit of showing off “old prototypes.” The plot thickens.
The small, white device looks similar to an Xbox Series S console, however, it’s a fair bit smaller, leading some to believe it’s a new bit of kit entirely. The potential new piece of hardware in question is most likely to be the heavily-rumoured Xbox cloud streaming peripheral device. Known as an item codenamed “keystone,” the new peripheral is said to allow users to stream Xbox games to their TV or other monitors without the need for an actual Xbox console or mobile device. It was believed that this device would be something akin to a dongle or a USB stick, but if this new image is to be taken at face value, it seems as though the Xbox cloud streaming gizmo is more of a standalone box.
It’s clear that Xbox cloud streaming is definitely a priority for Microsoft, as Xbox pushes forward with its plan to make gaming as accessible to everyone as possible. Having said that, news has been fairly quiet on the “keystone” front since we first learned of its existence back in May. The timing of Spencer’s tweet has some fans speculating that we could see a reveal of Xbox’s new cloud streaming device in time for Christmas this year. However, it’s probably more likely that Spencer took the photo intending to big up Bethesda and ended up tweeting out a teaser for the keystone device by accident. Either that or Spencer knows exactly what he’s doing and is an ultimate master at making a clever bit of marketing look completely unintentional. Who knows?
Either way, most corners of the internet are taking this image as confirmation that the technology definitely does exist and could be getting ready for a launch in the not-too-distant future. We’ll just have to wait and see how it pans out.