Gaming

Shady Xbox Series X videos show console bursting into 'smoke'

Beware of dubious videos suggesting the Xbox Series X is a fire hazard.

The next-generation Xbox consoles have arrived, and with them a wave of videos. You've got unboxing videos, reviews, deep dives on the controller, and... a couple of pretty shady videos suggesting the most powerful model, the Series X, can be made to billow smoke.

In case you missed it, a video from one Twitter user shows an Xbox Series X spewing what appears to be an alarming amount of white smoke from the top-mounted exhaust fan.

Another video shows something similar, though to be honest, this one makes the Series X look more like a humidifier than a safety hazard.

For those old enough to remember foibles with early generations of Xbox, including the original iteration and the Xbox 360, images of smoky consoles might conjure up some bad memories.

In 2005, an Xbox power cord was determined to be the cause of a fire that necessitated the rescue of a father and his daughter. Xbox 360's also became notorious for overheating problems soon after their release, leading to reports like this one in which a house was nearly burned down.

Before we call the fire department, however, it's worth noting that the videos, while fun to watch, are not exactly concrete evidence. First of all, there are just two videos, so if it were a hardware issue we would expect to see more. Secondly, the videos are pretty sparse. They show "smoke" but no subsequent fire or further insights into what happened later.

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Smoke and mirrors

While it's not totally clear what's happening in these videos, a separate account on Twitter is suggesting that the consoles have actually been flooded with vape mist. The demonstration looks pretty credible.

In the video, a person floods the Series X with vape mist from underneath, causing it to rise through the top of the console through its vent. Other impromptu tests also show vape mist can be blown directly into the top of the console.

We can't really recommend replicating those tests for yourself, however, since it's highly likely the inside of your Xbox doesn't take too kindly to vape juice milling about its innards.

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As with most things on social media, it looks like these videos should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism, even if Xbox does have a troubled history with spontaneous combustion.

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Other issues, such as whirring and malfunctioning disc drives inside the Series X may be the real fire that Microsoft needs to put out.

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