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Prankster dupes media with fake ‘Xbox’, gaming tablet news

- January 23rd, 2013

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A prankster claims to have pulled off a hoax against media in a Tumblr post.

Claiming to be a Microsoft employee working on the new Xbox, “Joe Anon” sent an e-mail out to several media agencies with details about it and a secretive gaming tablet, called the X-Surface.

In the e-mail, the prankster states the Xbox 360 successor would not, in fact, be called the Xbox 720, as previous rumours had indicated, but would just be called “Xbox.”

The e-mail goes on to say that the Xbox will be first home console launching in 2013 but would also serve as a central hub for upcoming X-branded devices, which included  7-inch portable gaming tablet called the X-Surface.

It also gives several specs and features for both the Xbox and X-Surface.

Pocket-Lint.com was the first to jump on the story. And other media agencies followed suit – many citing Pocket-Lint for breaking it.

Unfortunately, none of it is true. The prankster has admitted in the Tumblr post to not being a Microsoft employee at all, but just a gamer.

He said he sent the e-mail because he was displeased with gaming journalists, who often post misleading “rumours” about upcoming titles and technology:

“The games industry is the only one I can think of that will quite happily publish guesswork as news. So-called ‘analysts’ are no different – they make money by guessing. They’re about as much use as a ‘source’ as I am.”

So he became a source himself and is responsible for some false news of his own.

Of course, as I rewrote this from his blog post without fact-checking it myself, perhaps I have been duped as well. Perhaps all of the information in the e-mail is true and either he truly is a Microsoft employee or it didn’t come from him, he just managed to get screenshots of it and the sender’s outbox.

That would be a prank of meta proportions.

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