Microsoft launched the Xbox One X yesterday, and thousands upon thousands of people have surely unboxed their new consoles by now. A subset of those boxes contained a special version of the hardware for early pre-order customers, the Project Scorpio Edition. With the gray stipple pattern on the unit’s shell and the “Project Scorpio” codename in green emblazoned on the left side of its front face, the console evokes the design language and heritage of the Xbox platform.
There’s a much more subtle nod to Xbox history on the box itself — that is, the packaging for the console — but you might not have caught it.
If you look at the right side of the top of the Project Scorpio Edition box, you’ll see a green horizontal line at the very edge with a white Xbox logo to its left. Continuing the shape of the line on the other side of the logo is a sequence of 10 seemingly random numbers, also in green: 0105101317.
But the numbers aren’t random at all. Try breaking down the sequence into two-digit groups, and see if that sheds some light on the mystery.
OK, here’s the deal: The five pairs represent five landmark years in Xbox history.
- 01: Microsoft launched the original Xbox on Nov. 15, 2001.
- 05: The Xbox’s successor, the Xbox 360, debuted on Nov. 22, 2005.
- 10: Microsoft introduced the Kinect sensor, a peripheral for the Xbox 360 that featured motion-sensing cameras and voice recognition, on Nov. 4, 2010.
- 13: The latest Xbox, the Xbox One, launched on Nov. 22, 2013 — exactly eight years after its predecessor.
- 17: Four years later, on Nov. 7, 2017, Microsoft released its first mid-cycle upgrade, the Xbox One X.
Microsoft has now been in the gaming business for 16 years. The Xbox platform has come a long way — and with last month’s arrival of backward compatibility for original Xbox games, the company isn’t leaving any of its history behind. For more on the Xbox One X, read our full pre-review.