It's no secret that Microsoft's plans for a streaming-only Xbox have been put on ice. Now we know why: the company couldn't get the price under $129 (around £100 / AU$190).
Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer told The Verge’s Decoder podcast: "It was more expensive than we wanted it to be when we actually built it out with the hardware that we had inside".
The console giant had hoped to sell an Xbox streaming console bundled with a wireless controller for between $129 and $99. But after adding in the cost of the chips, the price tag ballooned to closer to that of the $299 / £249 / AU$499 Xbox Series S. Two Xbox products effectively competing with each other? Hardly ideal.
After making some tough decisions, the team behind project 'Keystone' (the codename for the streaming-only Xbox) was swiftly refocused on delivering the Xbox TV app, which launched earlier this year in partnership with Samsung and allows users to stream games on a smart TV without a console.
Rumours of a console-free streaming Xbox – originally said to look like an Amazon Fire TV Stick – began circulating in May. At the time, we told you how the device was tipped to offer "access to movie and TV services in addition to a library of games through Xbox Game Pass Ultimate."
Since then, Spencer has tweeted, then deleted, an image of a prototype gathering dust on a shelf (pictured above) and revealed that, although the streaming-only Xbox "worked really, really well", it could be "years away" from launch.
In the meantime, those who want to cloud stream Xbox games can do so via the Xbox TV app, available through selected Samsung smart TVs.
More online Xbox plans: Xbox Game Pass Family Plan to launch this year
Not taking it lying down: Sony beefs up PlayStation Plus to take on Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Series X restock news: where to buy an Xbox Series X console in 2022