Report: Microsoft Struggles to Regain Control After Leak Shock

PR plans in tatters. Redmond block just needs a head.

Posted by Staff
As you will be aware, the weekend saw images of the finalised Xbox 360 hardware leaked to the world, with today seeing almost every entertainment website carrying the two infamous shots.

SPOnG was amongst the first out of the blocks. The un-watermarked versions you see across the web likely stem from this very site. We knew the images were hot property when we received them and, along with every other site, knew full well that someone, somewhere, had seriously dropped the ball.

We have been hearing reports that Microsoft?s headquarters in Redmond, Washington went into overdrive as the leaks began, with the hunt for the source made a top priority. From what we can gather, the finger of suspicion initially pointed towards Europe and the various assets received by the press here under embargo. Before the leaks happened, SPOnG had been given access to a 'front-on' image but had been unable to bag an asset for publication.

However, as the weekend rolled on, sources close to Microsoft began hinting that MTV employees might well be responsible for the second image, which is a photograph of the actual hardware detailing the removable 40GB hard drive. This is simply because all press has to date only received images of the console?s frontal view.

Frustratingly for SPOnG, we had been expecting to run images of the new Xbox 360 console as something of a scoop, with sources on the continent poised to release assets as soon as it was safe to do so. The main reason we wanted to do this was simple: the leak was always going to happen ? the assets had gone out to too many people at too many publications.

And the Xbox 360 leaks are far from over. Later this week, SPOnG will be showcasing exclusive excerpts from Microsoft?s E3 video presentation, giving a glimpse of the Xbox Live element of the pre-Expo conference. And of course, many more hardware leaks are expected, with the rear of the console and the controller now the main prizes.

Of course, the leaking of the finalised hardware is far from the first example of just how difficult it is to keep a major launch under wraps outside of Japan. SPOnG was the first site to confirm the Xbox 360 name, with an NDA-less focus group also seeing the Xbox Live tagline Xbox Live: Menage a Billions being touted, as well as Xbox 360: Amplify Yourself!; Xbox 360: You're Next!; and Xbox 360: Shine! SPOnG believes that one of these lines will be used as the final hook for the console.

Speaking to Microsoft this morning saw the faceless glib response always trotted out by its PR team in times of catastrophic blunder: ?Statement below as requested. Microsoft does not comment on rumour and speculation.?

Which hardly addresses the point at hand. Eager for an actual response related to the issue at hand, we persevered. ?Thanks for that. We weren?t really asking for comment on any rumour or speculation however. We were looking for a response to a leak of embargoed art assets by the press. Given that this has happened, can we have a response relating to this please??

At time of going to press, nothing had been received.

Of course, we?ll keep you updated all things Xbox 360 and check back later this week for the transcript of the E3 Xbox Live presentation.


Ben Furfie 25 Apr 2005 12:01
Been browsing britxbox again guys? ;)

Still, even though we got the exclusive through our source, your more than welcome...

Credit where its due guys :)

Anyway, what are my two cents on this?

Every day, i'm actually starting to think Microsoft hoped this would happen. I mean, when was the last time you even thought about the PS3/Revolution... I haven't since the images leaked.

Who else thinks that if Microsoft can keep this up, that they might just break the 'Ah, thats nice but I can wait for the next Playstation' attitude that contributed towards the DC downfall?

If they do it well enough, they might even steal the top spot, at least in Europe and the US away from Sony.
TigerUppercut 25 Apr 2005 12:25
Behave son.
The mods put up with your shameless plugging. Trying to undermine a piece with a plug combo will see you banned.
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config 25 Apr 2005 13:07
Tiger's right. You might get away with the odd plug, but relentless plugging is frowned upon. Stop it.

To answer your assertion that SPOnG stole the information from your precious website, can I respectfully suggest that our writers talk to the very people and organisations that you talk to? So quit your infantile whining on here and on other, games press-related forums. It's very unbecoming.
Ditto 25 Apr 2005 13:50
Let's face it, who are the end users more likely to trust? SPoNG or Brit Xbox?

config 25 Apr 2005 14:28
Adam M wrote:
Let's face it, who are the end users more likely to trust? SPoNG or Brit Xbox?

It all depends on who you listen to, and which forums you frequent :)

DaPistolPat 25 Apr 2005 14:33
ok enough about some whinning guy and about the story. If the image with lcd screen thats says 40gb on it is the finalised product then what is the very similar shaped image that released I believe that ourcolony's is the finalised and the other is simply and early shot.
LUPOS 25 Apr 2005 14:38
Pistol-Pat wrote:
If the image with lcd screen thats says 40gb on it

do we really think that is an lcd screen on it? why woudl it be a screen? woudl the capacity of the drive be continually changing? woudl you have reason to look at the top of the xbox alot to check such a statisitc? it loks to me like an emblem... just part of the actual system... nothing but plastic and coloring.
DaPistolPat 25 Apr 2005 14:47
actual there have been reports that the 360 will have different hard drive sizes depending on how much money you want to spend, and with supposed abillity to download a demo of a game and new levels, patches and such on M$ new service you will require different sizes depending on your pocket book.
LUPOS 25 Apr 2005 16:59
Pistol-Pat wrote:
actual there have been reports that the 360 will have different hard drive sizes depending on how much money you want to spend

this is true, but i certainyl dont think the ability to buy different sized drives exactly warrants an lcd screen... its still going to be the same number all the time and it is completly out of vew... if anythign at one point they probably planned to have the size of the drive written on it... but now thats most likely not even the case... judging by the images released from you can see that it is indeed, just a shiny piece of plastic (or metal who knows).

DaPistolPat 25 Apr 2005 21:14
LUPOS LUPOS LUPOS I was talking about the one that says 40GB on the side not the legit pic from ourcolony, I was simply comparing and talking about both pics and the possibility of it being an actual shot of the console or a nice rendering.
fluffstardx 25 Apr 2005 21:46
It's an etched image. Not a screen. Each one will be etched with the size on it. It's a common practice.

And what the hell is britxbox? Never even heard of it.
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