Phil Spencer's latest mysterious shelf Xbox was just an old prototype

Xbox Series S
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Update, October 11: Microsoft has confirmed that the mysterious hardware in Xbox boss Phil Spencer's latest shelfie was just an old streaming prototype.

"The device on Phil's shelf was an old prototype of Keystone," Microsoft said in a statement to Eurogamer. "Earlier this year, we announced that we made the decision to pivot away from the current iteration of Keystone and are taking our learnings to refocus our efforts on a new approach that will allow us to deliver Xbox Cloud Gaming to more players around the world in the future. We have nothing more to share today."

The 'Keystone' name appeared in datamines earlier this year, with Microsoft eventually confirming that this is the internal name of the dedicated Xbox game streaming device. Microsoft confirmed in May 2022 that it was going to "pivot away from the current iteration of the Keystone device" in order to focus on different ways of delivering could games.

It seems neither Spencer's love of posting shelf images has not abated, but even the official Xbox Twitter is poking fun at the habit.

Original story, October 10: Social media users think Xbox chief Phil Spencer might've just revealed a new piece of hardware.

Earlier today, Spencer put out the tweet just below via his personal Twitter account, celebrating the 25th anniversary of Bethesda's Fallout series. As some eagle-eyed users noted though, there's a rather curious box on the top shelf of Spencer's wall, just below his replica Witcher sword.

You need only check the responses to Spencer's tweet to see hordes of Twitter users pointing out the mysterious box with glee. Some are already convinced it's a brand new piece of hardware that the Xbox boss might've accidentally revealed, while others think the Xbox head is having a bit of fun.

Over on ResetEra, however, one user is convinced it's the rumored external disc drive for the Xbox Series S. If you're overly familiar with Xbox products, you'll know the cheaper new-gen console doesn't actually have a disc drive (unlike the more powerful Xbox Series X), but a previous patent filed by Microsoft pointed towards an external disc drive for the Series S.

For what it's worth, the box in Spencer's tweet certainly appears to be smaller than that of a typical Xbox Series S. It actually looks roughly the same size as the Xbox Elite controller it's sat next to on the shelf, but it's tough to make out whether it is actually a disc drive, since you can't see the bottom half of the item.

Perhaps we'll have to wait and keep an eye on Spencer's Twitter profile to see what comes of all this speculation.

Check out our upcoming Xbox Series X games guide for a full look at all the exclusives coming to the new-gen console at some point in the near future. 

Hirun Cryer

Hirun Cryer is a freelance reporter and writer with Gamesradar+ based out of U.K. After earning a degree in American History specializing in journalism, cinema, literature, and history, he stepped into the games writing world, with a focus on shooters, indie games, and RPGs, and has since been the recipient of the MCV 30 Under 30 award for 2021. In his spare time he freelances with other outlets around the industry, practices Japanese, and enjoys contemporary manga and anime.

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