Microsoft will rip the covers off its latest viral marketing campaign for Xbox 360, known as Origen, later on today as bored housewives continue to argue about what it's likely to reveal.
For those who haven't been following it, Origen's a website featuring a tree with some apples and green rabbits on it. Up to now Microsoft's kept quiet about it, but yesterday it claimed ownership with a burst of email bumf that might've better suited the Mystic Meg fanbase. (Incidentally, is it just us or does Mystic Meg talk a bit like G-Man? Conspiracy!)
"Origen. Xbox promises a gamers paradise. What is paradise for gamers? We think we know. What do you think?" (We think we finally know where all the money went, kids!)
"The internet is already buzzing with rumours. Is Origen the announcement of Halo 3? Is it an Xbox 360 shop on Times Square, is it the announcement on an Unreal Engine 3-powered Fable sequel.......?" Well, Jeux-France has a pic of an Xbox World cover with "Halo 3" written all over it, but that could be bollocks.
(Well, we know the image of the cover is real, but it's difficult to say if the story is without looking inside the mag. Even the publisher, Future, sounds kind of confused. "On sale September 29th, issue 31 of Xbox World 360 takes a look into the future of Halo," its press release says in slightly non-committal fashion.)
"Origen is? The debut of next generation gaming. A real place dedicated to gaming pleasures. A place to play Xbox 360 before anyone else. A place to play all the Xbox 360 launch titles. A place to take on other gamers." Is it X05 then? Or a special shop? Is this entire email just nonsense aimed at provoking this kind of discussion? Additional punchy rhetorical question? (Tsk. They've got us doing it now.)
"How do you get to Origen? Over 600,000 gamers have already tried to find out. They find a page at www.origenxbox360.com, but paradise is not there yet. The gates of Origen open soon. The European race for entry into Origen starts on 27 September 2005."
Yeah... We'll let you know.