December 10th 2014
An online prank message could wreck the new XBox One gaming console, owners are being warned.
The prank message – originated on the 4Chan website and subsequently widely shared on many games forums and social networking sites – claims that Microsoft's newly-released console can be enabled to play games made for the XBox 360.. This is in fact completely untrue, and following the advice could make the £400+ device inoperable, known as 'bricking'.
In a Tweet yesterday, Microsoft warned gamers to ignore the message, whcih has been posted on noticeboard forum 4Chan. Microsoft's Director of Programming Larry Hryb wrote: "To be clear there is no way to make your Xbox One backwards compatible and performing steps to attempt this could make your console inoperable."
4Chan is a humour and discussion site known for playing tricks and pranks on unwitting victims. In September this year it carried a fake message appearing to come from Apple claiming that updating to iOS7 would render an iPhone waterproof. The latest spoof advises XBox One owners that they can carry out a sequence of button presses, menu choices and ID details to turn it into a device that can be used by developers who need to test games for the console. Anyone following this advice who is not an actual XBox game developer with a real ID would put their console into an endless start-up loop, which could not be reversed. The spoof message was designed to look as if it had come from Microsoft, making it more plausible.
The thread on 4Chan has subsequently been deleted.