Tech Sites Fall for Fake Xbox 720 “Leak”

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Published by 9 years ago , last updated 3 years ago

Posted on January 23, 2013, Matt Low Tech Sites Fall for Fake Xbox 720 “Leak”

Hey, did you guys hear about those next-generation Xbox details that were leaked today? It’s rumored to come with a gaming tablet. It may have 8 cores along the CPU. Lastly, it’ll supposedly be called just the “Xbox.”

If you’ve seen this story running around the internet earlier today, it isn’t true. Sites like Gizmodo, CNET, and Yahoo! along with others ran with the story. The stories were eventually pulled or redacted, since the “leak” was in fact false.

It was completely made up by a guy whose disgruntled about the state of gaming journalism today. The unknown tipster claimed to be an employee of Microsoft, and sent out emails with plausible sounding specifications of the system along with some expected features. The specs were certainly believable (and possible). Within a couple of hours, it had already been picked up by a number of sites.

So, why did this happen?

In our current industry, being first often outweighs being right or wrong. If a publication hears a rumor, and they’re reasonably certain that it’s true, they’ll run with it. Even if a site doesn’t get the facts completely straight, they’ll still benefit from the resulting page views (and ad impressions), before following up after with a simple “Oops! We goofed!”

I have to admit, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next generation Xbox came with a tablet controller, the way the Wii-U did. It wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility, despite the Kinect support that’s been heavily touted.

Still, remember that any information you read about projects or games that are unannounced should have a healthy dose of skepticism attached. Don’t always believe everything you read!

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