There’s something magical about leakers — they’re the fortune tellers of the tech industry.
Shrouded in mystery, leakers somehow acquire top-secret intel from the most tight-lipped megacorps of the world. They wave their hands over crystal balls and feed us juicy information about forthcoming, highly anticipated devices and events.
- PS5 price, release date and more possibly revealed by leaker
- PS5 reveal event reportedly set for June 4
- Elden Ring leak reveals tons of gameplay features
Whether you like them or not, leakers add a thrilling layer of suspense to the tech world as we impatiently wait to see if the prognosticators were right.
As a Laptop Mag staff writer, I often find myself writing about respected leakers such as WalkingCat, Jon Prosser and other bean spillers — and I can’t help but wonder about the accuracy of their forecasts. That being said, I’ve fact-checked verifiable leaks that have electrified the Internet this year. Focusing on laptops, tablets and gaming, I’ve analyzed tipsters’ top three most prominent leaks. Stay tuned to find out which 2020 leakers are the most reliable sources of information.
With the forthcoming Xbox Series X and PS5 firing up the masses, gamers are thirsty for Microsoft and Sony news, next-gen specs and highly anticipated AAA games.
Self-proclaimed insiders such as Jason Schreier, Jeff Grubb and Twitter user IronManPs5 gained popularity by quenching information-thirsty gamers with leaks. Two are relatively reliable, but the remaining one is — well — nothing more than an infamous guesser.
Jason Schreier, a former Kokatu editor, is a Bloomberg News journalist known for having loose-lipped insider sources willing to reveal details about upcoming games and events.
Leak #1. Far Cry 6 and a new Assassin’s Creed game is happening
At the beginning of February, Ubisoft revealed that it had five triple-A games in the works, including Watch Dogs: Legions, Gods and Monsters and Rainbow Six Quarantine.
Anyone holding out hope for Splinter Cell is, once again, going to be disappointed. Sorry! (It’s AC and Far Cry.) https://t.co/7hKDV3y5QSFebruary 6, 2020
Ubisoft stopped short of revealing the other two games — the video-game publisher likely wanted to evoke a suspenseful atmosphere among impatient fans. But Schreier humorously decided to rain on Ubisoft’s parade and said, “It’s Far Cry 6 and Assassin’s Creed.”
Leak #2. There’s an upcoming odd Star Wars game in the works
In late February, Schreier revealed that EA Motive was working on a “smaller, more unusual [Star Wars] project” in Montreal.
Outcome: Schreier was right. In mid-June, EA announced Star Wars: Squadrons — a strange dogfighting, space-combat game.
Leak #3. A PS5 event is poised to take place in early-to-mid June
On May 7, Schreier was a guest on the Press Start podcast. When asked about whether Sony was planning a PlayStation event soon, Schreier said, “Sony is on track to do at least one thing by early June or mid-June.”
Outcome: Schreier’s prediction was accurate. Sony held its Future of Gaming event on June 11.
Reliability: That’s three for three. Schreier is a trustworthy source for gaming industry news.
Jeff Grubb is a VentureBeat reporter who frequents Twitter and the ResetEra gaming forum to disseminate industry secrets to gamers hungry for information.
Leak #1. Nintendo Direct set for March 26
On March 10, Grubb wrote a VentureBeat article claiming that a Nintendo Direct online presentation was in the works for March 26.
Outcome: Grubb was spot on. Nintendo quietly unveiled a Nintendo Direct Mini virtual event on March 26.
Leak #2. The PS5 reveal event is on June 4
On the ResetEra gaming forum, Grubb announced on April 28 that Sony was planning to reveal the highly anticipated PS5 console on June 4.
Outcome: Grubb was right — at first. Sony did plan on launching their Future of Gaming event on June 4, but as the world mobilized protests over yet another high-profile police brutality tragedy, the gaming giant pushed back the reveal event to June 11.
Leak #3. The Xbox Games Showcase will be in July; there won’t be an Elden Ring reveal
On the last day of June, Grubb predicted that the Xbox Games Showcase was slated for the week of July 20.
Two weeks later, Xbox boss Phil Spencer inadvertently gave Elden Ring fans a gleam of hope after he announced that the Xbox Games Showcase would feature games from Japanese studios. FromSoftware, the studio behind Elden Ring, is based out of Japan, which gave fans hope for an update from the beloved IP. But on July 21, Grubb broke their hearts by tweeting, “There's a better chance of Bakugan than Elden Ring on Thursday.”
Outcome: Ding Ding! Grubb was correct again. The Xbox Games Showcase, launched on July 23, did not feature an Elden Ring reveal.
Reliability: That’s three for three. Grubb is a reliable video-game leaker with a great track record so far.
Twitter leaker @IronManPS5
IronManPS5 is an anonymous Twitter leaker. Publications like BGR and The Mirror claim they are a reliable tipster, but I’m not convinced. Last year, IronManPS5 accurately tweeted The Last of Us 2’s original release date before it got delayed, but as they say, a broken clock is right twice a day.
Leak #1. Some PS4 games will have free PS5 upgrades
In early May, IronManPS5 proclaimed that some PS4 titles will have free PS5 upgrades.
You will be able to upgrade to the PlayStation 5 version of certain PlayStation 4 games releasing later this year for free. This will allow you to purchase the game once and play it on both platforms. The following games will take advantage of this feature pic.twitter.com/930qDCkmBkMay 9, 2020
Outcome: True. According to PushSquare, PS4 games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Cyberpunk 2077, Dirt 5 and Watch Dogs: Legion will feature free upgrades to PS5.
Leak #2. On July 7, Sony will reveal the PS5 console on the PlayStation Blog
On June 10, IronManPS5 claimed that Sony was poised to reveal the PS5 design in early July via the gaming giant’s blog.
The final design for PlayStation 5 will be officially unveiled by Sony Interactive Entertainment on the PlayStation Blog on July 7, 2020 pic.twitter.com/MZkeJotBhQJune 10, 2020
Outcome: False. Funnily enough, a day after IronManPS5’s tweet, Sony revealed the PS5 console during a virtual event.
Leak #3. PS5 pre-orders will launch in July
Also on June 10, IronManPS5 tweeted that PS5 pre-orders will be available in July.
Outcome: False. July has come and gone, and we haven’t heard any news about PS5 pre-orders.
Reliability score: Two out of three forecasts were false. I wouldn't peg IronManPS5 as a reliable leaker.
Want to become a prominent, well-respected leaker? Collect intel on one of the most tight-lipped, guarded tech giants in the world: Apple. Tech enthusiasts such as Jon Prosser and CoinX have made a name for themselves as reliable leakers due to their secret connections with Apple insiders.
Jon Prosser is the humorous YouTube personality behind Front Page Tech, but he’s also an impressive tech leaker with access to valuable Apple tipsters.
Leak #1. WWDC 2020 will be an online-only event
Outcome: True. In early May, Apple announced that WWDC 2020 will be a digital event. However, Prosser also leaked in mid-March that the “tentative” WWDC date among Apple internal employees was June 1, but we now know that WWDC 2020 was held on June 22. With “tentative” being the operative word here, we’ll give Prosser a pass. The tech YouTuber redeemed himself by tweeting that Apple will not announce any new hardware at WWDC, which was a true statement.
Leak #2. Apple is releasing new products on the 3rd week of March
On March 15, Prosser tweeted that Apple planned on releasing new products later that week.
Outcome: True. On March 18, Apple unveiled new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.
Leak #3. The 13-inch MacBook Pro is coming in May
On April 4, Prosser tweeted, “If everything goes well, new 13-inch MacBook Pro (codename J223) coming next month.”
Outcome: True. In early May, Apple did, indeed, launch the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a 10th Gen CPU and an improved keyboard.
Reliability: That’s three for three. I’d trust Jon Prosser with my soul.
L0vetoDream is a mysterious, anonymous Twitter leaker who sometimes tweets in Japanese. In the same way one would say, “I spy with my little eye,” L0vetoDream often uses the phrase “In my dream” to indicate to followers that they are about to drop a leak.
LEak #1. Apple will drop new products in the 3rd week of March
In Japanese, L0vetoDream tweeted “New products will be released in the third week of March.”
Outcome: True. On March 18, Apple revealed new iPad Pro models.
Leak #2. AirPods and MacBook Pros are on the way
In mid-April, L0vetoDream announced that a new model of Apple’s popular wireless earbuds is fast approaching, as well as a new MacBook Pro model.
Outcome: This is a half-truth. L0vetoDream was right about the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which was unveiled in May, but the AirPods never came into fruition.
Leak #3. There will be no hardware releases at WWDC, but there will be discussions about macOS Big Sur and Safari updates
Reliability: L0vetoDream received a 2.5 out of 3. They are reliable-ish.
CoinX, like L0vetoDream, is a mysterious, anonymous Twitter tipster who is known for having an accurate track record.
Leak #1. Apple is releasing a Mac mini and iMac soon
On March 4, CoinX tweeted, “iMac/Mac mini soon.”
Outcome: This is a half-truth. There was a minor Mac mini update in mid-March, but the iMac never came to pass.
Leak #2. There will be a new camera on a forthcoming iPad model
Also on March 4, CoinX said, “New camera on iPad” paired with the 100 emoji.
Outcome: This is true. The new iPad Pro is equipped with a LiDAR sensor, plus two 10-and-12 megapixel cameras.
Leak #3. Wait before purchasing an iPad
On March 17, CoinX saved a Twitter follower from buyer’s remorse. The follower asked the leaker whether purchasing an iPad was a good idea — they didn’t want to purchase the current-gen model if there was an imminent update. CoinX exclaimed “Wait!”, hinting that a new iPad was on the way.
Outcome: True. A day after CoinX’s tweet, Apple released the new iPad Pro.
Reliability: CoinX received a score of 2.5 out of 3. CoinX is reliable-ish.
Non-Apple tech leakers
Not every tipster is an Apple fanatic. Some forecasters have their eyes on other tech giants.
WalkingCat is one of my favorite leakers to date. The anonymous Twitter leaker shuts up every “pics or it didn’t happen” troll by providing concrete evidence of forthcoming tech happenings with videos and pictures.
Leak #1. Microsoft will be rolling out Outlook Spaces
In mid-February, WalkingCat leaked information about Microsoft’s plans to roll out Outlook Spaces, which allows team members to work collaboratively on a digital canvas.
Spaces helps you organize your emails, meetings, and docs into easy-to-follow project spaces. Forget worrying about dropping the ball; Spaces helps you stay effortlessly on top of what matters. https://t.co/eyru4apQEK pic.twitter.com/MZad1loRuzFebruary 16, 2020
Outcome: True statement. Microsoft began rolling out a beta version of Outlook Spaces, codenamed Project Moca, in late May. You can access Outlook Spaces here.
Leak #2. Microsoft doesn’t implement Thunderbolt 3 ports on Surface devices due to security issues
On April 24, WalkingCat leaked a non-public, Surface engineering webinar. In the video, a Microsoft employee explained that their line of Surface devices are not equipped with Thunderbolt 3 ports due to security concerns.
Surfaces don't have Thunderbolt because its insecure 🙃 pic.twitter.com/lb7YYOOQ4YApril 25, 2020
Outcome: True. The Verge did a little digging and discovered that the video was authentic. The Microsoft employee explained that Thunderbolt 3 ports have direct access to a PC’s memory, so hackers could easily swipe RAM data from unsuspecting victims.
Leak #3. The Samsung Galaxy Buds Live looks like a pair of beans
On July 17, WalkingCat leaked a high-res trailer (as well as some photos) of the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live.
Outcome: The trailer appears to be authentic, showing off bean-like earbuds in three colors: white, black and rose gold. On top of that, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Live companion app was spotted in the Google Play store. In the app, there are pictures of the bean-like earbuds that are identical to the devices seen in WalkingCat’s leaked video. We’ll update this article if there are no bean-shaped buds at Samsung’s Unboxed event, but that seems unlikely at this point.
Reliability: That’s three for three. Despite WalkingCat’s smug, sneaky-looking avatar, I’d trust them with my life.
Twitter leaker @_rogame
Some may argue that @_rogame on Twitter is more of a hardware detective than a leaker, but this anonymous Twitter leaker is well respected for their ability to dig through the far corners of the Internet for premature unveilings of forthcoming laptops’ specs.
Leak #1. The Microsoft Surface Go 2 will have two configurations
On March 20, @_rogame revealed that the Surface Go 2 will have two configurations: one will have an Intel Pentium 4425Y CPU while the other will sport a Core m3-8100Y CPU.
Outcome: The Twitter leaker was spot on. See our review of the Microsoft Surface Go 2.
Leak #2. No, the upcoming Microsoft Surface Book 3 will NOT sport Comet Lake-U CPUs
There was a rumor going around that the Surface Book 3 would be equipped with Comet Lake U-series processors, and _rogame refuted those claims on April 15, insisting that the Surface Book 3 will have Ice Lake U-series chips as they announced in January.
Outcome: The Twitter tipster was correct. The Surface Book 3 has Ice Lake U-series chips.
Leak #3. A Dell XPS 17 with a high-end 10th Gen H-series CPU is coming
On March 17, @_rogame spotted a Dell XPS 17 with an Intel Core i7-10750H CPU, 16GB of RAM and a 3840 x 2400-pixel display.
Outcome. Accurate. You can now purchase this configuration for a whopping $2,449.
Reliability: That’s three out of three. Twitter user @_rogame is a trustworthy tipster for hardware leaks.
Truth be told, 2020 is the worst year to be a leaker. Fraught with pandemic-related delays, there’s a possibility that leakers could have received correct information from their sources, but due to the volatile nature of the coronavirus-stricken tech industry, things may have changed last minute.
This is why I’m lenient when Prosser claimed that WWDC 2020 had a “tentative” launch date of June 1. However, when IronManPS5 tweets a far-flung date for the PS5 console reveal, but the actual date was the following day, it’s hard to believe that they have insider sources at Apple.
Excluding IronManPS5, this year’s popular leakers are pretty reliable, but there are some who are better than others. Schreier and Grubb are best for gaming news, Prosser is most reliable for Apple and WalkingCat is the perfect go-to for Microsoft info.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!