A guy in Miami has told the story of how he ordered himself a nice new laptop, only to be sent an Xbox One prototype, two months before the console was even announced.
According to Business Insider (via GameSpot) 25-year-old Jia Li ordered himself a new laptop on the Microsoft Store way back in March 2013, only to receive a top secret prototype for the as-then unannounced Xbox One. When the package did eventually show up at his door, it had security tape all over it and contained the secretive box.
The Xbox One wasn’t officially unveiled until May 2013, and Li says the version he received had a zebra print pattern – apparently common practice in the console prototype business to make them harder to photograph. It’s also to stop them from being eaten by Lions in the wild.
Business Insider’s Ben Gilbert explains how the hell Li came to own one:
In an attempt to throw off Microsoft’s own employees, the beta versions of the Xbox One were stored in the open, in a less-than-secure part of a Microsoft shipping facility. And that’s how one accidentally got shipped to Mr. Li in place of the laptop he’d ordered, which would’ve shipped from the same facility.
Maybe the wrong shipping label got put on a box with an Xbox One prototype in it. Maybe it was a computer error that switched his laptop order for an Xbox One prototype. Maybe something else entirely! Either way, off one went.
Contracting a heavy bout of the “fuck-its”, he decided to fire the console up with the provided power cables, and see what he’d gotten his hands on. The startup screen apparently showed the word ‘Kryptos’ – one of the consoles development codenames – but Li couldn’t go any further as no controller was provided.
Realising he’d probably be in the shitter if Microsoft realised their error, Li told them to come get it. They happily obliged and gave him a brand new Xbox 360 alongside the misplaced laptop for his troubles.
Presumably, they also wiped his memory Men in Black style, and he’s only just remembered the events of that fateful day. Poor bloke could have made a small fortune!