Earlier today, a self-proclaimed Microsoft employee alleged having access to detailed information about the upcoming new Xbox hardware. An email was sent out to major gaming outlets, which contained specs on both the new console, and a rumored companion tablet – all of which aligned closely to information from prior leaks. The former, according to this would-be tipster, will be referred to simply as Xbox, with the latter being referred to internally as the X-Surface. As Durango is still a closely guarded secret at Microsoft, any and all information – whether real or implied, continues to be highly sought after. Unfortunately for the many sites that received, and subsequently posted the supposed “leak”, it was an utter fabrication.
It’s a strange tale of deceit, the abuse of various tips emails, and a lesson as to why fact checking, even when dealing with an anonymous source, is paramount. At 1:41am GMT, this would-be tipster sent out the email in question; within 8 hours, the news had spread to dozens of websites, all claiming Durango may be called Xbox, and is part of a larger ecosystem. While it is no secret that Microsoft is working to expand the Xbox branding outside of a gaming console, the fact of the matter is, the tipster – a supposed Microsoft employee excited to share information about Durango – is in no position to leak anything. After the story and its subsequent rumors had begun to circulate, the author stepped forward, admitting the entire contents of the e-mail in question were little more than an elaborate hoax. As circumstance would have it, the individual does not work for Microsoft, and does not have first hand knowledge of the new hardware. The entire stunt, according to the once and former tipster, was a social experiment, intended to expose a fundamental flaw in gaming journalism. Ironically enough, much of what had been discussed in the message – including the naming convention, and the (previously confirmed) existence of a custom AMD SOC, may have some credence. This is no coincidence – as the author used existing information, even going as far as to “correct” what he alleged was false, in his claims.