If that doesn't turn out to be the headline I most enjoyed writing this year, we'll be doing very well indeed. CVG sources have shed a little bit of light on how Microsoft disseminates information about unannounced console projects, drawing parallels with the work of a certain Chuck Palahniuk.
"When Microsoft wants to run a secret project, they divide it into tents, which are cross-discipline teams," the insider revealed, as part of a crystal-ball feature on next generation console announcements. "The first you know of this is you're asked for a one-to-one webcam chat, where it's explained to you that it's pretty much Fight Club, and that you're not allowed to tell anyone that you've been talked to about 'joining the tent'."
That's "pretty much Fight Club" as in "you do not talk about Fight Club", presumably, rather than a suggestion that all Microsoft's R&D chitchats take place in dimly-lit basements, where ugly, bloodthirsty Average Joes stave in each other's vital organs.
"You sign a load of paperwork, and then afterwards they give you some indication of what the hell you'll be working on," the insider continued. "The bit I find crazy is that you have to find time to work on the tent project yourself; your line manager isn't allowed to know what you're working on.
"Microsoft sends out a list of stock answers that you're allowed to give if your manager asks you where all your time is going, and a phone number to call if they don't believe you. If they call that, they'll get confirmation you're working on a project, but absolutely nothing more."
I am Jack's thoughtfully caressed chin. According to the most recent batch of rumours, the next gen Xbox will launch in November and cost $350-400 in the US.