Xbox 360 falls into wrong hands

The son of a Microsoft employee gets first public crack at company's next-gen console and posts pictures on the Web.

more screens (3)
more screens (3)

With the advent of the Internet, gone are the days of teenagers sneaking through their parents' sock drawers for stimuli. Nowadays, being the coolest kid on the block (or the Web) takes a lot more than some smut.

Imagine this scenario: A young gamer's stepfather gets a job at Microsoft testing top secret hardware. Said stepfather returns home with an Xbox 360. Now the kid is eyeing the box like fat campers do a pack of Twinkies. Of course it's not too hard to picture what happened next. However, it's even easier to picture with photographic evidence.

The youngster, who says he is 16 years old, had a friend snap some pictures of him playing with the 360 (apparently with his father's permission, according to the post) and then posted the photos (see inset) on GameSpot's forums, which have since been deleted. The poster says his father is in charge of making sure the power supply doesn't "explode."

The first picture shows the culprit in a suspiciously barren apartment with the 360 standing inverted next to him on the floor (the wires sticking out of the console are apparently used for hardware testing). The second picture depicts the same scene from a different angle, this one showing the Halo 2 title screen on a small monitor. The final screen shows the Xbox 360 launch screen on the monitor.

He goes on in his posts to tout the hardware and preinstalled programs, including the 360's dashboard and other features of the console. He also describes the unit's multimedia functions, including streaming music to a PC.

Reportedly, the hardware is or is near complete. The post also described the external power supply as being "not compact."

Assuming the pictures and reports are authentic, it sheds some light on some previously gray areas. If, in fact, the unit was playable, the Xbox 360 is indeed on its way to its holiday release date. Backward compatibility also appears to be coming along nicely with Halo 2 (unless there is an original Xbox hidden under the pillow, which is the lone piece of furniture in the room).

While some may grumble that this is actually a viral marketing ploy by Microsoft to show that the 360 is indeed on the way, it's more likely a great example of how to get your stepfather fired.

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