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Microsoft pushes back on reports of Xbox “bricking” punishment


Moderator, News & Information, BSOD Kernel Dump Analyst, Contributor
Apr 2, 2012
Many gamers, us included, were surprised earlier today when reports started showing up alleging that Microsoft was making some Xbox One units "entirely unusable" as punishment for testers breaking a non-disclosure agreement. Microsoft has since pushed back on those reports, seemingly denying that such a punishment is within its power.

The story starts last month, when rumors of a remastered Gears of War collection for the Xbox One started leaking out as the game was apparently sent to beta testers. Earlier this week, off-screen video footage of that test started appearing on YouTube, sourced from some of those same testers.

These leaks drew a stern rebuke from VMC Consulting, a third-party testing service that helps coordinate these kinds of tests for Microsoft through its Global Beta Test Network. In a letter to testers obtained by Polygon and Kotaku, VMC warned of serious consequences for breaking a non-disclosure agreement associated with the test, including punishment from Microsoft that could render an Xbox One useless.