Would You Buy The Xbox Streaming Stick? Here's What Most Gamers Said

Thanks to cloud gaming, you don't need to buy a massive gaming console or an expensive PC to enjoy some of the latest AAA titles. We've seen the tech in various forms over the years, from NVIDIA GeForce Now and PlayStation Now to the now-defunct Google Stadia. Microsoft naturally joined the party with its own solution, bringing cloud functionality for Xbox Game Pass subscribers at no additional cost.

With it, you can play dozens of Game Pass titles without needing to download anything other than a small app. The service is accessible from mobile devices and desktop web browsers directly on Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Series S consoles, and on select Samsung TVs and monitors. Fast-forward and at least for a while, Microsoft planned to release a dedicated streaming device to support the service, not unlike a Chromecast or an Amazon Fire TV Stick. The device's future is now in question, as it has been shelved for the time being and may, at best, be years away. The question remains, however, about whether anyone would buy the device if it were available. According to our latest poll, a vast majority of you would pass.

Underwhelming performance, overwhelming doubt

We asked 605 survey respondents in the United States whether they'd buy Microsoft's rumored streaming device, which is codenamed Keystone. A vast majority of you — 77.19%, to be exact — said you would not partake, as opposed to just 22.81% who will look to scoop one up when and if they're finally available. Not much is known about the product even months after the initial rumors circulated, and even now that Microsoft has confirmed a prototype did exist. 

The company was targeting 1080p and 60 frames per second for graphical fidelity, which made sense considering it has to mind widespread bandwidth limitations and keep network latency down. It's not too surprising that some of you are skeptical about this yet-to-surface product's worth, especially considering many already have devices that can take advantage of cloud gaming in their possession. And if you're around gamer circles long enough, you'll hear about all the pitfalls that keep people from thinking of the tech as little more than a novelty perk or a last-ditch alternative for killing time in a pinch.

You certainly won't hear any multiplayer gamers extolling cloud gaming's virtues considering how jerky performance can get, and even those enjoying single-player adventures have lamented its overall quality, which is often marred by frame skips and graphical artifacts. Still, it can be a nice alternative for households with casual gamers, or for parents with younger children who can't shell out the money for a powerful console and the TVs needed to bring out its full potential.