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Microsoft issues warning after fake Xbox One 'hack' leaves gamers with broken consoles

Six step guide promises users they can unlock backwards compatibility but instead leaves consoles completely inoperable
  • @jjvincent

Microsoft has been forced to issue a warning to Xbox One owners after a fraudulent “hack” circulated online has reportedly tricked users into permanently disabling their new console.

An official-looking image with the title “Xbox 360 Backwards Compatibility Unlock” promises gamesr that they can play older games on their Xbox One if they follow a series of instructions. Unfortunately, the guide instead “bricks” the console, rendering it completely inoperable.

The prank is similar to a fake iOS 7 ad circulated online earlier this year that promised iPhone owners that their mobile would become waterproof after updating to the newly-released Apple software.

Both the Xbox One and iPhone hoaxes seem to have originated from the notorious online forum 4chan, which regularly takes advantage of the public’s technological naivety to pull off cruel pranks.

The hoax seems to have spread wide enough for Microsoft to take it seriously with Xbox Live’s director of programming Larry Hryb forced to take to Twitter to warn gamers.

"To be clear," tweeted Hryb, "there is no way to make your Xbox One backwards compatible & performing steps to attempt this could make your console inoperable.

unlock (1.jpg
The spoof ad.

It seems that gamers' eagerness to play on the new console is leading them into all sorts of trouble, with one Nottingham teenager left "fuming" after he paid £450 for the console on eBay only to be sent a picture instead of the Xbox One itself.

Fortunately for 19-year-old Peter Clatworthy, local retailer Cex took pity and offered the unfortunate father of one a free console.

“This shows there are some nice, kind people out there and it’s really overwhelming. I can’t thank them enough," Clatworthy told the Nottingham Post.

“I’ve had other people contact me to say they have been stung too but not reported it. I don’t think I’ll be shopping online anymore.”

Video: Xbox One vs. PS4 - The statistics