Sorting Fact from Fiction: Uncovering Bogus PlayStation Showcase Leak Lists and How to Identify Them

How to differentiate fake leaks from real ones is difficult, but today we show you some tricks to know how to do it.

Sorting Fact from Fiction: Uncovering Bogus PlayStation Showcase Leak Lists and How to Identify Them
Álvaro Arbonés

Álvaro Arbonés

E3 (or well, non-E3 rather) time is approaching and again we have to deal with a classic of this time: fake lists of leaks. This is a common occurrence. With the PlayStation Showcase already upon us, the Xbox Showcase coming soon and Geoff Keightley having announced that he has a two-hour show with three or four major announcements lined up, leaks lists have already started popping up all over the place.

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The problem is that this kind of lists are usually more false than a three-euro coin. That’s why, because you’ve probably come across some of these lists and maybe you’ve got your hopes up or wondered if they’re true, we’re going to explain why it’s very likely that these lists are fake and what tricks they use to try to look legitimate. With what intention? To generate clicks and influence. What if they don’t.

Here we see a list of titles, their studios and where they will be released. That there is a subtle watermark saying “confidential” and the background of Sony’s streamings might lead us to believe that this is a legitimate leak. Chances are it’s not. That there are only PlayStation 5 and PlayStation VR2 titles, forgetting PlayStation 4 when it is still actively receiving games is suspicious to say the least. The absence of less high-profile games, the virtual absence of third parties and that PlayStation VR2 games are not all bundled together, as Sony has always done, plus the elaborate formatting for something that should be an internal communication, makes this leak highly implausible.

The conference name centered at the top and the logos of all the games, with a wide variety of titles that aren’t just Microsoft exclusives and not just high profile titles might make one think that this is straight out of a screenshot of the show itself. Anyway, there are too many things that don’t fit. For one thing, the fake leakers love to take out-of-focus photos as if they were invited to the Iker Jimenez show to talk about alien abductions or their encounter with a ghost on the deep web. On the other hand, that’s the original logo for Jet Set Radio, the Dreamcast game released in 2000. Even if it was a remaster or remake, it doesn’t sound believable that they would use the same logo by copypasting 23 years later – we expect SEGA to coddle their franchises more than that.

Speaking of credible leaks, this one makes sense. It looks like a play-by-play and in fact, it makes sense as a play-by-play. It has exact durations, titles of each game and the kind of content it features. It has not only all kinds of games, but also non-game announcements. It’s credible. Except for the fragrant misspellings, like putting “Titel” instead of “Title”; that the photo is to a screen-one of the immortal classics of fake leaks, along with the photo being blurry; or that the leak, appearing on 4chan, doesn’t come from any known name. Does this make it fake? Not necessarily. It may be a legitimate bug by someone at Sony, and it may be an internal document. But unless the leaker has a track record that makes us trust what they say, if something looks fake, it’s best to always assume it’s fake.

To finish, here is a soup of everything we have discussed. Screenshot. Slightly out of focus. Confidential well printed large and all over. Streaming image in the background. Wish list with nothing but great titles, all of them exclusive. Completely unknown source. Clearly false, so absurd it’s impossible to believe, but that’s what these kinds of leaks live on: people’s illusion. On people wanting to believe it, because it sounds like everything they’ve ever dreamed of. But that’s what we’re here for. So that you now know how to identify when one of these leaks is likely to be true or not.


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Álvaro Arbonés

Álvaro Arbonés

Cultural journalist and writer with a special interest in audiovisuals and everything that can be played. I'm not here to talk about my books, but you can always ask me about them if you're curious.

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