A lot of things about the console that would become the Xbox 360 were not clear before it was released.
Would it be backwards compatible-- yes or no? The answer ended up being... sort of.
Would it have a hard drive, yes or no? Again, sort of... not by default, but available as an "option" on what has become the de facto "standard" configuration, at least in the US and Europe, as most buyers ignored the cheaper, HD-less "core" SKU. So now consumers ended up paying more for an option that used to be standard, while developers hardly use the feature since they were told they couldn't depend on it. Brilliant.
Here are articles about the 360 before the console was released.