Update 2 on Feb. 24 at 8:16pm Est: Jeremiah Germany has commented on the story by e-mail. Jeremiah wrote, “Yes, I still do own the domain. I switched to namecheap after the godaddy SOPA fiasco, which came with free Whois Privacy. Yesterday I was testing the redirect with namecheap. Apparently more than my friends saw the joke; it doesn’t get a lot of hits. I believe you asked me earlier, No, Microsoft hasn’t approached me.”
Update 1 on Feb. 23 at 2:52pm Est: Xbox720.com has stopped forwarding to the US Playstation 3 site. The web address now sends visitors to a different site operated by Jeremiah Germany (the apparent owner of Xbox720.com), in an obvious ploy to get attention for his site. Jeremiah has not responded to a request for comment. I e-mailed Jeremiah earlier today when this story was first posted.
Original story on Feb. 23 at 3:27am Est: It appears the owner of the domain Xbox720.com is none too happy with Microsoft or simply playing an online joke.
As of today, type the web address into your browser and you’ll be redirected to the US PlayStation 3 site (us.playstation.com/ps3).
It’s unknown what prompted the change. Previously, the domain was monetized using the Google Adsense for Domains program, which Google announced only yesterday would be shut down by mid-April.
Last year we saw a similar case of a web address being redirected to a rival’s site with ModernWarfare3.com, when the disgruntled owner of the domain name sent visitors to the official website of Electronic Arts’ Battlefield 3, Activision’s competitor. The redirect of ModernWarfare3.com was short-lived as Activision moved swiftly to get the domain name by filing a complaint with the National Arbitration Forum.
As I wrote about in November, neither Sony, Nintendo, nor Microsoft own the domains for their next consoles.
Xbox720.com was registered to a Jeremiah Germany of New York as late as November 2011, but the contact information became protected after going into Whois Privacy in December.
Since first being registered, Xbox720.com has been host to a number of different sites ranging from a Les Paul guitars site in 2006 to a Google Custom Search page in 2008. In 2009 the site began earning money using Google Adsense for Domains.
I’ve reached out to the most recent owner on record for more information, and will update this story if I hear back.
I’d imagine the redirect will not last long.
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(Image of Xbox 720 concept by ~djeric on deviantART)