It took a clear and frank cancellation for the project to be formalized by Microsoft… Rumors were rife about the approach of a new machine at Microsoft: a very small Xbox that would have been entirely focused on streaming.
Obviously without a drive, this “Xbox Series XS” (a name we just invented, the machine was known until then under the code name Keystone Project) also couldn’t receive games in their digital version, and could only work in conjunction with a Game Pass subscription and games playable from the Cloud. An idea that was in line with the “Xbox Everywhere” strategy, after the partnership with Samsung and its Game Pass app also dedicated to cloud gaming directly integrated into the latest smart TV models.
We had even been able to see the little box on the shelf of Phil Spencerin a seemingly innocuous tweet that was (probably) intended to tease the machine.
Alas, this will probably be the only time we will see the machine, since the project has been shelved. Microsoft has indeed failed to hold the box in the price range that seemed reasonable to it.
“A few of us took the machine home, and it worked really, really well! But when you create new products, it is always a question of whether the design is the right one? If the user interface is the right one? And if the commercial proposal is relevant? And the commercial proposal includes among other things the price, and I think we all knew that we were a little beyond the desired price” – Phil Spencerin an interview with The Verge
Spencer wanted to be able to sell this little console for between $100 and $129. Knowing that he wanted the package to include a controller shows the challenge the teams had in front of them (a wireless Xbox Series controller retails for around $60). And indeed, with an Xbox Series S sold for €279, we imagine that beyond these $129, it would have been difficult for the machine to find its audience…
However, Microsoft is not completely abandoning the idea of a 100% streaming console, and continues to work on it, but we should not expect an upcoming release…