When a 56-page document that appears to be Microsoft’s plans for its next-generation Xbox console was leaked online last week, many gamers immediately called it a fake. Titled “IEB (Interactive Entertainment Business) Roadmap,” the document also described an updated Kinect and the Kinect Glasses – an augmented-reality headset for the Xbox.
Some readers questioned the formatting of the document, while others questioned the make-up of the supposed console. Though a substantial upgrade from the Xbox 360, with 4 GB of RAM and a 1 GHz video card the described Xbox 720 would only be considered a mid-range gaming PC. Of course, the document is already two years old, meaning, if real, Microsoft might have upgraded some of the parts in the intervening time.
Now, Microsoft is legitimizing the leaked document by sending out takedown requests to those who have published the document. It is also being reported that Dropbox is removing the document from shared folders on its service. The takedown notice sent to the Czech tech news website IHNED.cz indicates that the document is, in fact, a copyrighted work of Microsoft. This confirms that, as of two years ago, this was Microsoft’s plan for its Xbox brand.
So, now the world knows about the Kinect Glasses and that Microsoft, at least two years ago, considered calling its next console the “Xbox 720.” There are not enough lawyers in the world to plunge the information into the memory hole now, and Microsoft would do well to read up on the Streisand effect. It’s a shame that the company has decided to attempt to suppress what was some very exciting news for gamers. More moves of this sort might even cancel out the positive media attention Microsoft is getting from the announcement of its Surface tablets, despite its debut crash.