During E3 2013, a journalist was trying out a demo of Twisted Pixel’s LocoCycle on the show floor. The game crashed – but instead of seeing an Xbox One interface, the journalist saw an HP-branded Windows 7 desktop.
While the demo machine was being fixed, it was also revealed to be running Intel and Nvidia hardware – nothing like the hardware which will be found in the Xbox One, which is powered by an eight-core AMD Jaguar processor and a graphics core equivalent to a Radeon HD7770.
US Gamer writer Julian Rignall was the man at the control when all this happened, but he released no pictures of the crashed unit, adding on Twitter that he wanted to get a comment from the developer before writing a story about it.
Pictures taken later of a different machine that also crashed were uploaded onto the Hockey Forums board and showed a Windows 7 desktop. A second picture taken straight after shows a high-end desktop computer with an Intel-based X79 motherboard, a Corsair H-series all-in-one water cooling block and a Nvidia Geforce graphics card.
On closer inspection, the second picture revealed no AMD hardware at all. Zooming into the picture reveals that the graphics card uses the same cooler design as the GTX Titan, GTX690 and the recently released GTX780 and GTX770 stock graphics cards.
After the news broke out, The Witness developer Johnathan Blow tweeted that the PS4 demos were being run on actual development kits that used the same hardware that would be found in the launching console. Sucker Punch developer Jason Connell also said the same thing for their Infamous: Second Son demo, which was also running on a development kit.
The demo for Mark Cerny’s game, Knack, also crashed on the showroom floor but instead landed on the console’s UI, showing off some details about the usable storage space and the system software version.
However, it may be the case that LocoCycle itself was very early into the development phase and isn’t yet ported onto the development kits for optimisation. Developer Michael Wilford himself confirmed that it was their decision to run the game demo on non-standard hardware. Until more developers working on Xbox One titles verify they were running on dev kits, this leak may be an indication that not all the games shown at E3 were on the correct hardware.