Microsoft was originally planning on launching an Xbox-branded streaming stick that would function pretty much like Google’s Chromecast. However, it looks like the tech company has canceled the device’s development entirely.
Microsoft’s streaming stick was first leaked back in June just before the annual E3 conference. Instead of announcing the Xbox TV device, Microsoft announced the Xbox One S and next year’s Project Scorpio instead. It’s being speculated that the company decided to do this in response to the leak of Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro, according to Windows Central.
The Xbox streaming stick, called internally as Project Hobart, was supposedly ready to launch with Microsoft preparing to manufacture 300,000 units. The device would have been announced at the 2016 E3 conference and would have gone on sale a few weeks after the event. The Xbox TV streaming device is described as a dongle with low computational power, and it would have sold for $99.
Windows Central says that Hobart would have been able to run some Universal Windows Platform apps and games. The Xbox TV device is a lot more expensive than the Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV Stick and the low-end Roku because it was also capable of streaming Xbox games over WiFi — a feature that’s not available on competing devices.
It’s presumed that the device was able to do this through a Windows 10 Xbox app. That being said, the Hobart might have run an optimized version of Windows 10 as well.
Project Hobart joins the growing pile of devices shelved or canceled by Microsoft. Back in 2014, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella reportedly canceled the 7-inch Surface Mini and only unveiled the Surface Pro 3, according to The Verge.
The company was also rumored to launch an Amazon Echo competitor last month. The device would have been powered by Cortana, Microsoft’s own virtual assistant. However, that never materialized and the company only announced the Surface Studio and the Surface Book i7.