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Xbox Series X is the worst name for a console ever – Reader’s Feature

Was that really the best name they could come up with? (pic: Microsoft)
A reader approves of how the next gen Xbox console looks but is considerably less impressed by its potentially confusing name.
By now I’m sure everyone has seen Microsoft’s surprise reveal of the next gen Xbox , formally known (for no obvious reason) as Project Scarlett. It features an innovative design similar to a mini-PC tower but very modern looking and impressively different to the usual boring, cereal box-shaped consoles of previous generations.
The brief demo for Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 looked very good too, much better than the PlayStation 5 trailer for Godfall , with some amazing facial animation. There was just one little niggle. A small thing really, but quite important: it has the worst name ever.
Xbox Series X is such a monumentally terrible name for the new console I can still barely believe it’s real. Let’s just try and quickly runs through the main points though: it’s not memorable, it has no clever alternative meaning, it’s not descriptive of anything, it’s quite long, the acronym isn’t interesting or cool, and – most obviously of all – it’s almost identical to the name of the current generation Xbox One X.
I just don’t know how much worse Microsoft could’ve made it without accidentally making it spell out the word SUX or it translating as ‘Don’t buy me’ in some foreign language. It’s so absolutely and perfectly awfully it’s actually quite impressive. And all the more so because it’s just the latest in a long history of terrible console names.
The Xbox One was, famously, also awful. Completely meaningless (there already is an Xbox 1, why are you implying this is the first one?) and it immediately made naming the next one even more difficult. Apparently, the name was meant to suggest it was always used in the AV1 slot on your TV, which is such an obscure and pointless association it’s staggering that they must’ve paid some marketing company millions to come up with such nonsense.
The whole problem is that the Xbox is one generation behind the PlayStation, so they don’t want to have an Xbox 4 going up against a PlayStation 5. But why not just skip ahead and call this one the Xbox 5? They’ve already had two Xbox 1s and you could easily pretend the Xbox One X counts as the Xbox 4 if you want to pretend there’s any logic to any of this, which based on what they went for they clearly don’t anyway.
Or why not the obvious and just call it Xbox Infinite? Sounds cool, is very memorable, and links in with key game Halo Infinite. They could’ve even ended their other first party games with Infinite, like old N64 games, if they wanted to. Fable Infinite anyone? But no, now you’re going to have Halo Infinite released on both the Xbox One X and the Xbox Series X and it’s hilarious to think how much confusion that’s going to cause with non-gamers next Christmas.
It’ll get even better when, presumably, the lower spec version of the new console is rolled out as the Xbox Series S. Which sounds and looks even worse as a name and is also almost identical to Xbox One S. I mean, who is Microsoft employing to do the marketing on this? Sony?
What makes this even better is that it’s almost exactly the same mistake that Nintendo made, twice, so Microsoft already has a perfect example of why making the name of your new console too similar to the old one is a bad idea.
The Wii U had a lot of problems but one of the most easily preventable was that it had a stupid, meaningless name that was so close to the last one that many people had no idea it was a new console at all. That’s despite Nintendo making exactly the same mistake with the 3DS a year earlier, which many non-gaming customers assumed was just a minor upgrade of the DS in the manner of DS Lite and others.
Games companies have a long history of never learning from their own, or rivals’, mistakes but this is just perverse. Never mind that even if it didn’t sound exactly like the current gen console, it still sounds like an electric razor anyway – so it’s not even as if it’s a particularly good name to start with. (You’d also think they’d want to help people forget the Xbox One as quickly as possible, but that’s a whole other issue.)
So there you have it. The Xbox Series X is a terrible name for what looks like a great console. Which puts it good company with the Dreamcast, Wii, Turbografx, and Xbox One. Maybe Microsoft are just traditionalists and think a bad name is good luck?
By reader Tater

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.
You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email [email protected] and follow us on Twitter .
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