In March 2013, two whole months before the Xbox One was even announced, Microsoft accidentally sent one out to a random customer.
A top secret prototype of their next generation console. Sent out. Randomly. By mistake. By post.
Here it is:
It was received by an understandably confused Jia Li, who was expecting the package to be the laptop he had ordered from Microsoft in the weeks prior to the Zebra striped (!?) console (codenamed, at the time, “Durango”) arriving on his doorstep.
Li contacted Ben Gilbert, a writer over at Engadget at the time, and informed him of the bizarre item he now held in his possession.
“In March 2013, a Microsoft representative arrived at Mr. Li’s house and retrieved the prototype Xbox One,” Gilbert writes in his Business Insider article which documents the situation in more detail.
“Mr. Li was given a new Xbox 360 and Kinect for his trouble. He also finally got the laptop he ordered.”
In exchange for not telling the world of the consoles existence, Engadget were given exclusive access to Microsoft’s hardware development team for a feature around the time of the Xbox One’s announcement.
How do you even send a prototype out to a random customer? How does that even happen?
Amazing. Truly, wonderfully, amazing.