A man based in the US city of Miami did not know that he would get more than he bargained for when he ordered a laptop from the Microsoft Store back in 2013. Because when the package was delivered to Jia Li, he quickly realized the item within was not the laptop he had ordered, but a completely different beast altogether…
The machine was partly painted in zebra stripes, and Li noticed that it had a video output port that allowed it to be connected to a television. And when Li connected the mysterious machine to his TV, he was greeted with the word “Kryptos”. So what was going on? Had Li been sent some kind of secret military computer instead of the laptop he ordered? Or was it some kind of alien device from Area 51?
None of the above actually, as Jia Li had been sent an Xbox One console, which Microsoft was referring to at the time with the codenames “Kryptos” and “Durango”, according to Business Insider. What had happened was that the Xbox One prototypes were stored in a Microsoft shipping warehouse next to other items (such as laptops) which Microsoft was selling on the Microsoft Store, hence the mix up.
The reason why Microsoft kept Xbox One prototypes in such a location was so that the console would not draw undue attention as it was a secret at the time. As for the “zebra stripes” tape on the machine, it is a common thing to cover prototypes in this manner as it makes them harder to photograph.
But what is clear is that Miami man Li was the first person on Earth to get his hands on an Xbox One, as Microsoft did not announce the console to the world until May 2013, while Li got his package in March the same year.
Of course, having gotten his hands on a top secret Xbox One prototype, it wasn’t long before Li was contacted by a Microsoft representative looking to get the machine back. But at least the man was compensated for his troubles though, as Li not only got the laptop he ordered but also an Xbox 360 console and a Kinect.
So all’s well that ends well then, but what’s clear is that Jia Li’s experience as truly a unique one, and also one of the most shocking video game stories of the year no doubt…