After E3's "all rumors are true" leak-fest, it's hard not to jump on the bandwagon and get all crazy every time something about anything gets said anywhere. In this specific case, the something was "new Xbox 360 hardware next year" and the anywhere was The Executive's Club of Chicago, which is one of those weird organizations that make me think of the beginning of Trading Places whenever they're mentioned.
This, of course, all dovetailed quite nicely into the previous rumor reporting that Project Natal being would be more of a full-on new console instead of just some kind of add-on for the existing unit. So everyone jumped on board the train and we went WOO WOO for a few hours, while Microsoft started issuing denials and such.
To further that along, IGN managed to get a quote out of Steve Ballmer himself, where he straight up apologizes:
"I confused the issue with my poorly chosen words. There is no news in my comments. Things are as reported after E3. Sorry."
To some, this will close the case of the mysterious new Xbox. To others, it'll be merely another denial. Because they obviously wouldn't confirm such a thing right now... they've got a whole holiday season ahead of them, where they most certainly want to sell their existing consoles. OK, now I'm starting to get all conspiracy theory about this stuff. I don't think it's nearly that compilcated.
Why? Because a whole new piece of console hardware probably doesn't make much sense for 2010. Taking Microsoft's fancy new camera device and packing it in with the Xbox 360 and pushing it as some kind of fun-for-the-whole family Wii-like thing, however, sounds about right.