This past week a 100-question FAQ on the Xbox One, purportedly official communications guidance from Microsoft, landed on Pastebin. It's not the usual laundry list of wishful thinking you get in most video game fakes. That said, there's no way to know if this is true or total B.S.
Oh, we've asked Microsoft. Their representatives, asked if the Pastebin doc was authentic, declined to comment. But if it's true, the Q&A does contain some good news. Advertisements would no longer be a part of your home screen on Xbox One. An entire family with multiple Xbox Live Gold accounts could all log in on the same machine at once. And I'm delighted to hear anything tell me that no-good S.O.B. capacitive eject button — the thing that drove me crazy on the Xbox 360 Slim — is not a feature of the new console.
But can we trust this document? We have no idea where this thing came from, whether it was an email, an internal company blog, or hand-typed off of a brochure. Absent any handwriting to analyse, all we have to go on is the language. I mean, consider this simple question and answer.
Q: How much will standard retail games for Xbox One cost? A: Microsoft Studios games on Xbox One will be $US59.99 (MSRP).
OK, that seems clear enough. Now, how about this?
Q: How much will standard retail games for Xbox One cost? A: We are excited to share more over the coming months, but we don’t have anything further to share at this time.
Now, do those sound like answers (to the same question, mind you) that the external communications bureaucracy of a multi-billion-dollar corporation would approve as an official statement?
OK, what about these questions and answers?
Q: The last time you launched a console you were plagued with hardware problems such as the red ring. What assurances should consumers have that you have fixed your manufacturing problems? A: There's no doubt we had some challenges at the launch of Xbox 360. We couldn't be more proud of the consoles we've been building for years. Our track record is proof of the culmination of years of continuous innovation in design, testing and learning. We are confident we are building a high quality product.
Q: Why is Xbox One so expensive? A: We feel Xbox One is competitively priced to support our full line-up of blockbuster games that we showcased here at E3, as well as the amazing, new possibilities the Xbox One platform opens up in the living room.
Q: How can you fix your reputation if you're flagged with a negative reputation? A: The easiest way to avoid a negative reputation score is be a positive and healthy member of Xbox Live. Xbox Live members will receive infraction warnings if their reputation is flagged as unsportsmanlike or derogatory. These members may be able to reverse their negative reputation by following the Xbox Live guidelines.
Q: What is the expected battery life of my controller? A: We are still hard at work product testing and will have more to share at a later time.
If you want to read the whole thing, it's over here, but I warn you, there are at least two dozen instances in which someone is excited to share more, or is looking forward to being excited to share more with you at a later date.
Still, if you think this is legit, does it — no Xbox Live ads on the home screen, unlimited Xbox Live Gold logins — make a difference in how you view the Xbox One?