Microsoft planning ESPN-branded Xbox 360? Update: Nope!

Well, well, what's this? We were just sent this obvious mockup of an ESPN Xbox 360, which our tipster found just hanging out on a Microsoft PR server. Now, this could just be a branding exercise or the remnants of a failed idea, but now that ESPN 3 is live on the Xbox 360 Fall 2010 Dashboard Update, it makes sense for the two companies to explore a branded console -- we know a lot of college students (and Engadget editors) who'd love to ditch their cable and still get ESPN through their 360s. We'll see what comes to pass -- and if Microsoft wisens up and tones down that red.

Update: Microsoft's PR team just pinged to say that this was indeed just a promotional mockup. Sad faces all around, sports fans. Here's the statement:

The custom ESPN console was an asset designed to celebrate the launch of ESPN on Xbox LIVE. There are no plans to manufacture an ESPN-branded console for sale at retail.