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.