Know how everyone was making jokes about what the next Xbox would be called, and it turned out to be the Xbox Series X? There's just one problem - it's not called that, with Microsoft clarifying in a new interview that all future iterations of their console will simply be called "Xbox".
In an interview with Business Insider, a Microsoft representative clarified that "the name we're carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox".
"And at The Game Awards you saw that name come to life through the Xbox Series X," they added. To help that make a little more sense, have a look at the size of the fonts when Phil Spencer announced the console's name and look:
See how the Xbox is the largest font there? It's not just because that's the brand name - it's also meant to designate that all consoles are "Xbox" going forward. That's kind of what Microsoft has always done (Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One) ... so it's kind of hard to understanding the thinking.
And you've got to wonder how regular consumers are going to parse this. You'd have thought that Microsoft would have learned lessons from Nintendo, whose customers thought the Wii U was an add-on instead of a new console.
Just imagine a parent walking into JB or EB Games. "I already own an Xbox? Oh, all games are gonna still run on that Xbox? That's fine then."
To rub a bit of salt into the wound, see this follow-up quote from the same Microsoft representative:
“Similar to what fans have seen with previous generations, the name ‘Xbox Series X’ allows room for additional consoles in the future,” the Microsoft rep told us.
The name? The model name? Or the console's name?
I can understand the logic behind wanting to move away from numbers. It's inevitable that some families and people outside of the gaming sphere would have assumed the PS5 was more powerful just because the number was bigger. I reckon Xbox 2020 would have worked just fine in that regard, and it communicates pretty clearly that it's the latest console.
All of this will only get worse when the cheaper next-gen Xbox, the one without a disc drive, launches. Will the Xbox Series S sit alongside the Xbox Series X? What about the next generation? Do they dump the "Series" naming convention? Do we just go to Xbox X2?
PlayStation must be having a blast watching all this unfold. They still need a proper answer to the value Xbox Game Pass provides, but there's nothing like getting an advantage by doing absolutely nothing.