The rumors floating around about a castrated version of the Xbox One – and supposedly corroborated by multiple sources at Microsoft from Kotaku, CNET and VG 24/7 – are apparently false... according to chief of staff for devices and studios at Microsoft, Aaron Greenberg.
The question was posed by a user on Twitter and was directed to the fearsome four: Albert Penello (A.K.A., Sgt. Damage Control), Phil Spencer (A.K.A., The Man With The Mouthpiece), Aaron Greenberg (A.K.A., Old Faithful) and Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb (A.K.A., The Flip Switcher).
Only Greenberg mustered up the courage to respond to the query and lay to rest any qualms created from the flurry of news generated around a massive leak regarding the Xbox One's technical, software and hardware roadmap for 2014 and 2015.
It should come as no surprise that there has been a lot of hoopla over a series of internal leaks from the Redmond offices regarding Xbox One content. That highly anticipated OS patch has been rumored to launch in March. Halo 5 is supposedly delayed to fall of 2015 with Halo 2 Anniversary Edition stepping in to cover the spot for a big holiday exclusive. And most importantly, a disc-less Xbox One at $399 was supposed to be inbound later this year to directly compete in price-point with the PS4. Old faithful denies the rumors.
When asked on Twitter about the $399 Xbox One, here's what Greenberg had to say...
If you recall, in early 2013 Microsoft vehemently denied any DRM for the Xbox One until after they announced the console and were peppered with questions by gaming media. So, does "not believing everything on the internet" also apply to what Microsoft says, too?
Also, I thought Microsoft didn't comment on rumors and speculation?
Anyway, the reality is that many big name tech sites have allegedly confirmed with multiple, senior sources at Microsoft that the rumors are true. That's not to mention that the leaked photo of the Titanfall console does seem to help add some weight to the situation. In addition to this, the fact that Microsoft is seeking legal action against the NeoGaf leaker adds tons of veracity to the leaks as well.
The thing is, we won't know for sure until March. If the Xbox One's OS update does drop in March and we do get that sexy Titanfall livery for the console, it would basically verify that all the leaks are true. Then again, this is all up in the air. What if Microsoft decides to scrap the Titanfall livery to spare themselves any additional production costs? What if they delay the OS update (and they absolutely better not delay it) just to throw people off?
Microsoft is now in a tough spot because Xbox One: Eunuch Edition completely cuts off anyone looking to get in on the new-gen Xbox action but is hindered by data caps and greedy-arse ISPs putting bandwidth barriers in the way. There's also still the $500 hurdle, where a lot of gamers are questioning why they would pay so much and get less than the PS4, as far as hardware and performance goes. There's also the issue that if they bite the bullet and remove Kinect, they just shot $1 billion down the drain given that people buying a Kinect-less Xbox One proves it's a wasted venture. They're basically between a Kinect and a hard place.
Now as far as this rumor goes... a lot of the top-notch leaks from NeoGaf have mostly come true, from the claims about Microsoft's GPU being underpowered and them having to compensate by issuing a small performance boost by upping the clock rate, to the whole scandal about the ESRAM posing problems for development studios and causing resolution discrepancies that turned into Resolution-gate, NeoGaf has been on a roll as far as leaks go. However, majority of those leaks came from trusted Gaffers like Thuway and FamousMortimer, real names Ashan Rasheed and Peter Dodd. This new fellow has no track record as far as rumors go.
However, the fact that Microsoft is pursuing this guy pretty hard for legal action seems like he hit a nerve that could have disrupted Microsoft's big E3 and holiday plans for 2014. As of course, we won't know until we know, and we'll know for sure once March rolls around.