Xbox Series X "smoke" videos go viral - but the effect can be created with a vape

Load of hot air. 

Once again, the internet is full of conspiracy theories and rumours about the Xbox Series X overheating - but now that consumers have their hands on the console, this time we're getting some dubious video footage claiming the new Xbox is (quite literally) smoking hot. At least two videos appear to show "smoke" rising from the top of the Xbox Series X, and are now being widely shared around the internet.

Although the videos remain unverified, the footage alone was enough to alarm people, with many on Reddit and Twitter sharing the videos with messages of concern. But others pointed out the smoke looked similar to the vapour produced by a vape or e-cigarette, and someone has now taken the theory a step further with a demonstration.

Xbox news account Xbox Studio decided to test the vaping theory themselves, and managed to achieve a similar effect by blowing vapour into the bottom of the Xbox Series X, for it to then be sucked up out the top of the console. Those who created the original videos claimed their footage was real as their Xbox had "shut itself off": but the video from Xbox Studio shows that air is still cycled through after the power light has gone out. Long enough to create a fake smoking Xbox video, at least.

Microsoft is very much aware of the smoke videos, with Xbox Poland having replied to one of the accounts. I asked Xbox for comment on the footage, and received the following statement from a Microsoft representative:

"We take all product safety reports seriously and our products meet or exceed industry standards. We are in the process of investigating further."

Xbox Series X: Thermal + Power Consumption Analysis - How Efficient Is Next-Gen?

The first round of Xbox overheating rumours began when some early reviewers claimed the console was a little "toasty" - and it seems the new smoke videos are an extension of this idea. Digital Foundry's Richard Leadbetter carried out thermal tests on the Xbox Series X, and found that while it was hotter than consoles he'd previously tested (peaking at maximum 62C at the top), this could be explained by the sheer power of the new Xbox - and noted the power consumption (210 watts) was far lower than something you'd expect from a high-end PC.

"In common with any console really, you do need to ensure that hot air can escape, so keeping Series X in an enclosed space is not a good idea," Leadbetter said of the heat escape.

Well, from all this I guess we know you can technically vape or smoke through an Xbox Series X, although I would not recommend it for the sake of your console's health. Now that really would be a hotbox.

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About the author

Emma Kent

Emma Kent

Reporter  |  GoneEFK

Emma was Eurogamer's summer intern in 2018 and we liked her so much we decided to keep her. Now a fully-fledged reporter, she loves asking difficult questions, smashing people at DDR and arguing about, well, everything.

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