ZDNet has done some sleuthery and discovered what could be the most epic leak of one designer’s (potentially shortened) career. [NAME REDACTED ON 5/19/11] posted a tiny glimpse of some black hardware on his design portfolio site that indicates he has been brought on to work with Microsoft in designing the next Xbox. He notes the information as “confidential,” oddly enough, and then indicates that the next Xbox hardware is aimed for a 2015 release date.

The image you see to the right is a screenshot of what currently resides on his portfolio. Click it, enlarge it, remember it. Odds are, [NAME REDACTED ON 5/19/11] will pull the content before too long if he hopes to retain his work.

The text with the shot reads like so:


Confidential / Collaboration with Microsoft’s IEB design group investigating future user experiences and hardware for 2015. *Work samples only permissible in person.* (March 2011)

What, exactly, is pictured is obviously entirely up for conjecture. We could be looking at a fraction of a prototype or just some black plastic Peterson had laying around his office.

What we do know, however, is that Microsoft recently listed job positions for their next hardware iteration. We also know that the projected life cycle for this generation of consoles (Wii possibly not included) is around 10 years. If this project is set to launch in 2015, that places the next Xbox hardware 10 years after the 360‘s release.

Moreover, the 2015 launch date that’s rumored in this portfolio leak lines up perfectly with my own prediction for the next entry from Microsoft. I worked up a feature a few weeks back that predicted, with brief reasoning, the launch windows for each console from the major manufacturers. I’m sticking to my guns, and I’ll gladly take this leak and add it to the catalogue of entirely rumor-based evidence.

Does 2015 sound reasonable to you?

[via ZDNet]

UPDATE 5/19/11: At the request of the original artist, we have removed his name and the images.