While mock-ups of forthcoming consoles litter the Web like copies of the Xbox version of Star Wars: The Clone Wars on eBay, every once in a while a design turns out to be the real deal. That was the case with the PSP prototype offered last month, which was eventually traced to a presentation made by Sony executives.
This week another polished piece of concept surfaced, this time for the PlayStation 3. The mock-up caused quite a stir in game forums and even appeared on several sites as legit. When presented with the concept art, American Sony reps unsurprisingly declined comment, thus leaving the design officially unconfirmed. The fact that it looks nothing like the already-unveiled PSX adds ammo to the naysayers' arguments, but its sleek appearance does echo the polished metal casing of the PSP.
So is the mock-up authentic? Unfortunately, the answer is most definitely "no." The avid next-console-watchers at PS3 Insider tracked down the source of the now-infamous image to a 23-year old designer named Julien Vanhoenacker. Vanhoenacker, who also goes by the handle Kanex, is completely unaffiliated with Sony. Apparently, he created the image in June as part of the portfolio for his Lille, France-based studio. However, it wasn't until this past week that the image started getting serious attention. No word as of yet on whether the image has landed Vanhoenacker any work.