New Durango Info Leaked? Not So Fast

By Chris Poirier | Posted January 23, 2013 14 comments

XLogo

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.

 

Posted January 23rd, 2013 at 12:41 pm
Category: News
Tags: Durango, Hoax, X-Surface, Xbox
  • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff Kibuule

    The Manti Te’o story should be proof that this isn’t a flaw in just gaming journalism, but ALL journalism and there seems to be no reward in not doing due diligence except writes and staff knowing they don’t post falsehoods (which doesn’t pay the bills).

  • http://www.jeffkibuule.com Jeff Kibuule

    The Manti Te’o story should be proof that this isn’t a flaw in just gaming journalism, but ALL journalism and there seems to be no reward in not doing due diligence except writes and staff knowing they don’t post falsehoods (which doesn’t pay the bills).

  • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

    You mean the gaming journalism system that I’ve been calling a joke forever? It’s why I get banned at various tech sites.

    I shame them for their laziness and they get pissed off at me and get rid of me.

    • http://twitter.com/BetaChris Chris Poirier

      It’s not necessarily just laziness (although, granted a little research goes a long way) in this situation, though. I mean, information that essentially corroborates rumors that have been circulating for months, as an anonymous tip? Sounds too good to be true, and sure enough, it was.

      As Project Cafe was back in early 2011, Durango is one of this year’s big topics – and with any semblance of “official” announcement anywhere from 2 to 5 months away, everyone and their dog is looking for an exclusive. It’s fun to speculate as to when the new hardware will be released, but as the X-Surface tipster made blatantly obvious, the only definitive information will come directly from Microsoft, at their leisure.

      • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

        Indeed. That was my point. :)

        I was saying that a little research and a little caution go a long way in the biz. Jumping on what you think is a story and running it without any real checking is always a bad idea.

        I’d rather be the second site to have the story and have my facts all lined up than be the first and get some things wrong. Better to be 5 minutes later and right than 5 minutes earlier and wrong. ;)

  • Shane Nokes

    You mean the gaming journalism system that I’ve been calling a joke forever? It’s why I get banned at various tech sites.

    I shame them for their laziness and they get pissed off at me and get rid of me.

    • http://twitter.com/BetaChris Chris Poirier

      It’s not necessarily just laziness (although, granted a little research goes a long way) in this situation, though. I mean, information that essentially corroborates rumors that have been circulating for months, as an anonymous tip? Sounds too good to be true, and sure enough, it was.

      As Project Cafe was back in early 2011, Durango is one of this year’s big topics – and with any semblance of “official” announcement anywhere from 2 to 5 months away, everyone and their dog is looking for an exclusive. It’s fun to speculate as to when the new hardware will be released, but as the X-Surface tipster made blatantly obvious, the only definitive information will come directly from Microsoft, at their leisure.

      • Shane Nokes

        Indeed. That was my point. :)

        I was saying that a little research and a little caution go a long way in the biz. Jumping on what you think is a story and running it without any real checking is always a bad idea.

        I’d rather be the second site to have the story and have my facts all lined up than be the first and get some things wrong. Better to be 5 minutes later and right than 5 minutes earlier and wrong. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

    Here’s what I wrote 3 years ago.
    http://www.rtoadm.com/2010/04/10/thoughts-on-lazy-tech-journalism/

    Note I’m not looking for hits. I probably get like 2 or 3 a day and don’t keep up on the page except when I have something very specific to say.

  • Shane Nokes

    Here’s what I wrote 3 years ago.
    http://www.rtoadm.com/2010/04/10/thoughts-on-lazy-tech-journalism/

    Note I’m not looking for hits. I probably get like 2 or 3 a day and don’t keep up on the page except when I have something very specific to say.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jer-Ming-Chen/833833653 Jer Ming Chen

    Sadly it is all about who puts out the info first, or at least cover the story to keep viewer inside. And it is a very reasonable reality. Of course, they would just say it is rumor, supposed leak, or whatever to indicate the story can be false. It is seriously not as bad as those political comedy shows. They present the facts, except the tone turns it upside down. A good decision is turned 180 degree just because the decision is made by a party they don’t like. That’s way worse than few harmless gaming news.

  • JJ

    Sadly it is all about who puts out the info first, or at least cover the story to keep viewer inside. And it is a very reasonable reality. Of course, they would just say it is rumor, supposed leak, or whatever to indicate the story can be false. It is seriously not as bad as those political comedy shows. They present the facts, except the tone turns it upside down. A good decision is turned 180 degree just because the decision is made by a party they don’t like. That’s way worse than few harmless gaming news.

  • http://twitter.com/AndyD33 Andy D

    Yep, Jeff.
    I wonder if any of them thought about contacting Te’o before posting it to see if he thought it was real?

  • Andy D

    Yep, Jeff.
    I wonder if any of them thought about contacting Te’o before posting it to see if he thought it was real?