Has Microsoft been hinting at some recently leaked Xbox One rumors all along, or is it a big hoax?

Late Wednesday, an anonymous NeoGAF user unloaded a trove of alleged Xbox One information, including unannounced games, new versions of the recently released console and more. It’s all extremely enticing information, but could it all be accurate?

Shortly after the rumors gained traction on Neowin and elsewhere, The Verge’s Tom Warren published a report corroborating some of the claims. Warren wrote that his “sources familiar with the plans” confirmed a white Xbox One would be released sometime this year and that Microsoft is testing a version of the console without a Blu-ray drive. Additionally, Warren reported that the NeoGAF user’s claim of a system update in March is accurate.

The corroboration gives some credence to the report’s other claims, but hints dropped by Microsoft may also help substantiate the claims.

One of the biggest rumors dropped by the forum post included the allegation that Microsoft is again contracting Saber Interactive and Certain Affinity, developers of “Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary,” to develop “Halo 2 Anniversary.” If accurate, the game would be released near the 10th anniversary of “Halo 2,” which launched in 2004 (the original game’s remake also launched 10 years after “Halo: Combat Evolved”). Obviously none of this confirms the game, but perhaps Microsoft’s been hinting at it all along.

Three weeks ago, Larry Hryb, Xbox Live’s director of programming, tweeted the following message proclaiming his love for bees:

Graeme Boyd, an Xbox social marketing manager, dropped a similar hint, with Hryb then implying a Twitter user’s guess of a new viral marketing campaign for a Halo game was accurate.

As fans of the Halo franchise know, “I Love Bees” was a popular alternate reality marketing campaign for “Halo 2.”

Other claims made by the NeoGAF user included “Halo 5” (which may not be the game’s final name) being released next year, which would seemingly contradict a recent claim made by a franchise spokesman, Rob Semsey, that “Halo on Xbox One” was not listed among 2014 games “due to official name of the next title not announced yet.” Upon closer inspection of a later statement, however, the spokesman only said “your next Halo journey” would take place in 2014, not necessarily referring to an original entry in the franchise. Still, it seems more likely that his previous statement was referring to the next original entry in the franchise.

Combined with the corroboration by Warren about the white Xbox One and digital-only console, the anonymous NeoGAF user’s claims have some believability to them. They should still obviously be met with significant skepticism, especially with his more recent claim that both “Halo 3” and “Halo 4” would also be ported to Xbox One as part of a bigger “Halo 2 Anniversary” bundle.

Microsoft porting both games simply to be part of a bundle for the second entry in the franchise seems extremely unlikely, when they could be big money-makers on their own. Additionally, releasing a new version of “Halo 4” just two years after its release seems like an odd schedule. Unless the games were straight ports with no graphical enhancements, it would likely require more than just Saber Interactive and Certain Affinity to get them ready in such a short time. His list also suspiciously leaves out “Halo: Reach,” which would be a more likely port candidate as an older game.

Semsey doesn’t seem phased by the rumors, possibly calling into question their validity.

Other distinct possibilities are that the alleged leaker’s claims could simply be well-educated guesses based on Microsoft’s hints above or that his later claims are for trolling NeoGAF readers (which he seems to imply by saying he’s now just “having fun”), but perhaps Microsoft has actually been laying the crumbs all along.

Image via Microsoft

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If they do re-release Halo 2 I hope they release it for the 360 as well. I'd get that version over the Xbox One version if only to have every Halo game ever made on one system.

Dan Maher aka MrPointyHead was a former Xbox Live editor and was one half the Inside Xbox UK team. He may have been around for the first marketing effort of Halo 2, so may know more about the bees link in Major Nelson's tweet.

I kinda figured Halo 5 wouldn't be coming so soon... But then what's with Master Chief wearing that hood + cape, that doesn't seem to be like anything from Halo 2, and if they are doing an Anniversary I style remake, then it would be 1:1 and wouldn't include anything new like that.

Would be something else like Halo: Esculation or something. Back in one of the E3 or might have been conferences. Microsoft said they will announce Halo 5,6 and 7 in the future.

Neither do I. It's also funny that the title was that "plans had leaked", when in fact it was just somebody on GAF making posts with fairly obvious and some even logical rumors without any official documentation backing it up.
It's fun that someone can just grab mass attention like that and get away with it with such ease.

Anyway it's great to see H2A coming along I guess. Anybody could see that coming after the well received CEA and the engine already having been made for it. But releasing it only on the Xbox One seems like another strange idea as HD "remakes" don't really sell systems. I hope they have another version for the Xbox 360 as well (with cross platform multiplayer one would hope, which probably won't happen).

Edited by Thief000, Jan 30 2014, 9:55am :

NeoGAF is full of crap. idiots just saying crap to gain attention. lol Every rumors I herd ended up from NeoGAF. What else could it be? I'm just sayin'
I think Halo Xbox One is for Xbox One. HA2 could come to multi platform, since Microsoft were asked about games coming to PC and they hinted that future Halo games could be on many different platforms.

if "remakes" don't sell systems, why they not just make for current general instead.

Yep, it's beyond pathetic how many give credibility to those fools, but at least this made the day: http://m.neogaf.com/showpost.php?p=98888519

yuo pely best fiddl. toot toot


Hope they finally caught him/them for his BS. The hypocrisy and double standards upheld by GAF surrounding CBOAT can finally stop.

Edited by Thief000, Jan 30 2014, 1:32pm :

There's something odd about the Neogaf rumour , in the list of countries that will get Xbox On this year, Netherlands , Belgium and Switzerland are not in either tier one or two of the list. Its hard to imagine Microsoft ignore these countries.

It's not unusual at all.. The Netherlands won't get the Xbox One (and PS4) until February I believe.. I don't know why but even smartphones arrive here months and months after they have debuted in Germany and the UK (the Lumia 925 didn't ship here until October last year) although it could still be ordered and shipped from Germany. Weird but true.

Most of the people I know from the Netherlands with one, imported from Germany or France. There are also quite a few game stores from countries not on the list that simply import as there is practically nothing limiting its use in a not listed country.