Over the weekend, a fresh leak piqued the interest of those eager to learn more about Sony’s PlayStation 5. The footage, shot on a phone, appeared to show the PlayStation 5 boot-up sequence in all its glory alongside what was ostensibly the console itself.
A power-on bleep uncannily similar to the PlayStation 4 initiates an intro sound of swelling synths and wispy chimes. PS5 and Sony logos flood the screen in quick succession before a photosensitivity warning flashes up. A QR code follows.
First surfacing on Reddit, then spreading like wildfire to Twitter and beyond, before being linked back to an unlisted video on YouTube account Oby 1. The news also spread to the media and was widely reported.
As with all PlayStation 5 rumors to date, reactions varied. Some, convinced this was a genuine leak, brandished the video as a glimpse at what it will feel like to boot up a PS5 for the first time at the end of this year.
Others adopted a more skeptical approach, pointing at a number of discrepancies with the footage. Chief among these was the presence of GooglePlay and App Store icons, the unimaginative design of the PS5 hardware, and Sony’s uncharacteristic use of a QR code.
Fast forward to late yesterday, and a new video dubbed ‘How to win the interwebs. – make a PS5 video’ surfaced on the same YouTube channel. The video confirms the leak was indeed a fake. A clever ruse orchestrated by a resourceful prankster to test just how far a spurious rumor would go.
The video walks us through the creation of the footage from designing and inserting a fake PlayStation 5 console to drafting in a sound designer and programmer to create a convincing boot-up sequence. What’s clear is that a substantial amount of work and effort went into creating the fake.
While the video showcases the DIY skills of this disingenuous YouTuber, it is also a cautionary tale. Hype and anticipation can make fools of any of use. Take every PlayStation 5 rumor and leak with a hefty serving of salt.