Every major video game and consumer technology website is blowing up over the news of an allegedly leaked presentation from Microsoft that reveals everything we ever wanted to know about the Xbox 720—but are the documents real or an elaborate hoax?
After popping up at document-sharing website Scribd, the presentation has since been pulled down from the site at the request of Covington & Burling, a corporate law firm that advised Microsoft during a patent agreement battle with Facebook that occurred just this past April. That alone seems to give the document some validity in the public eye, but discerning critics aren’t so sure.
Real or not, here is what the document claims about the Xbox 720:
- It’s six times more powerful than the Xbox 360
- It will be set at a $299 launch price
- “Kinect V2” will use stereo sensors, including two cameras
- Xbox 720 games will look 4x to 6x better than current-gen titles
- “Kinect glasses” codenamed “Fortaleza” are in development
- Fortaleza will launch in 2014
- The Xbox 720 will feature an “always on” mode
- Visual improvements include “true” 1080p and full 3D support
- A 10-year life cycle is expected for the Xbox 720
Does all that sound to good to believe? Many forum posters on NeoGAF believe the document to be a fake, as does Eurogamer’s technical analysis group, Digital Foundry. As pointed out on their Twitter feed, Digital Foundry states that there’s no way Microsoft could power a next-generation console with the specifications highlighted in the “leaked” presentation:
If doc is genuine, you’d wonder where MS could find a truly next-gen CPU/GPU SoC that only needs 50W too.
Both groups also pointed out that video game blog Nukezilla reported on the leaked information well over a whole month ago, in several detailed articles that appear to come from the same source. However, Nukezilla never revealed the entire presentation in its original format, choosing to summarize the findings mostly via text.
Even with the advance information, Nukezilla’s main writer, Oklahoma State University graduate Hans Wuerflein asserted that the information came “from a trusted source,” but he could not be “absolutely certain” that the documents were real. In recent Twitter posts, Wuerflien pointedly said that he simply decided against posting the full presentation on the Internet.