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XBox Series X Is Microsoft’s Next Console

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It’s hard to believe the next generation is hitting as soon as a year from now, but tonight The Game Awards gave us a wake-up call with truly next-gen trailers of games due out for the Playstation 5 and Project Scarlett. Only we don’t have to call it Project Scarlett anymore, because Microsoft revealed its actual name.

And. Uh.

I continue to be impressed with Microsoft’s ability to pick bad names for its consoles, and they may have topped themselves with XBox Series X. At least the last few bad names had some kind of logic to them, in a puffed-up corporate hubris way…

XBox 360: “It’s an all-encompassing machine that does EVERYTHING!”
XBox One: “It’s the ONE console you’ll EVER need! Get it?”

We really don’t understand what they’re trying to say this time. “Series X”? What does that even mean? It’s the kind of name a robot algorithm would pick. ….Perhaps that’s actually the backstory here.

Worse yet, this name presents the same problem that “Wii U” did: it’s too easy to mistake as the name of an upgrade for an existing console, not a new console altogether. That kind of consumer confusion didn’t work out too well for Nintendo. Microsoft seems eager to repeat it.

Immediately following the reveal of XBox Series X (or XBox SeX as people are going to be calling it), the first-ever trailer for one of its games was shown: Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. Looks okay.

Later on, MS released a press statement for the new console that defines its features in better detail, with listed specs powerful enough to achieve 120 frames a second and 8K resolution (not at the same time). The most attractive aspect is its massive backwards compatibility, with support for thousands of existing games stretching back to the original XBox. They should have led with that instead of the name.

XBox Series X: It’s not XBox One X, or XBox One S, but it’s destined to be stocked next to them and drive gift-buyers crazy with confusion next holiday season. Just tell your parents to look for the “black mini-tower thing.” It arrives in late 2020.

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