The naming convention for the new Xbox is insane

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sombre

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Hey duders,

So, like many of you, I'm pretty switched on to the gaming world. I pretty much have my finger on the pulse.

But flamin' heck, how confusing is the new Xbox naming convention? Who thought this was a good idea? I went on Ebay to see how much the new consoles were, and I genuinely had a few minutes of "Well...which is the new one"

Doesn't the 4k version of the LAST console generation have the name as the new one of THIS generation?

Christ on the cross this is confusing

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bigsocrates

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#2  Edited By bigsocrates

The Xbox One X is the high def last one and the Xbox Series X is the name of the new higher end one.

Xbox One S is the lower end one and Xbox Series S is the new lower end one.

Yes it's very confusing and stupid, I understand maintaining the X vs S concepts but you could easily have used something less generic than Series.

They painted themselves into a corner with Xbox One because where do you go from there? But they could have called these the Xbox 2020 or Xbox Omega S and X or whatever and it would have been much clearer.

I also don't know where you go from "series." And if you want to stay with Series then do you call the next Xbox the Xbox Series 2X and Xbox Series 2S?

It's all terrible.

Of course this really started with the Xbox 360, which was only named that because they didn't want the Xbox 2 to go up against the PlayStation 3 because 3 is bigger than 2, and they have just been floundering on naming since then.

They need to just do the Nintendo thing and name their consoles with something other than a number. But also something less generic than "series."

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navster15

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They’re selling out of consoles and they’re business is doing fine. The naming is not ideal but it’s already too late to change it. Whenever people bring this up, I have to wonder what the point of the discussion even is aside from fanboy console war nonsense.

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Onemanarmyy

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It's awkward right now because you have the series X alongside the Xbox One X (which was already a recently new console in the grand scheme of things).

But from here on out, if they stick to the series naming it will be fairly simple. You buy the new X or you buy the new S from here on out. There's no strange 'One X' brand to add to the confusion in 2025.

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sombre

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They’re selling out of consoles and they’re business is doing fine. The naming is not ideal but it’s already too late to change it. Whenever people bring this up, I have to wonder what the point of the discussion even is aside from fanboy console war nonsense.

Who on earth is a "fanboy" in 2021 apart from children

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bigsocrates

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@onemanarmyy: They already are not making any more Xbox One X consoles so that issue is only for people who don’t know what they have or if they should upgrade, though fortunately the radically different form factor makes it more clear.

The problem, as always, is what’s next? When they do the mid cycle refresh is it the Xbox Series X+? Etc...

This isn’t causing them major business issues but it’s not great for the brand and it does confuse marginal consumers.

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Gundato

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I dunno. I think it definitely makes referring to this generation a cluster. But every time this comes up I have to wonder if people are at all aware of GPUs or even phones. nVidia and intel have mostly been consistent the past decade but it is still always a bit of a headache to explain to someone "is a 2080 better than a 3060? What about a 2090 and a 3070?" and in the phone space "so do I want a pixel 3 or a 3a? And what does that mean compared to an apple 4s?"

Having multiple models is ALWAYS confusing. But the good news is that it is something that you can find ninety million guides for online and only need to understand for the ten minutes it takes to figure out what you are going to spend hundreds of dollars on.

@sombre: Someone who takes pride in not installing a downloader?

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Onemanarmyy

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#8  Edited By Onemanarmyy
@bigsocrates said:

@onemanarmyy:

The problem, as always, is what’s next? When they do the mid cycle refresh is it the Xbox Series X+? Etc...

I'd go for Series X-2 for the next box i imagine. The Xbox audience doesn't need to be told what a 'mid-cycle refresh' is. The new box has new hardware and plays your games just a bit nicer and has some new bells & whistles. just like Android 8 might not be a huge leap from Android 7, it still gets it's own number. Intel's tick-tock strategy doesn't prevent them using a whole new number to indicate that the new processor is the next big thing. It's up to the buyers to decide if the improvement of the new box is worthwhile.

The distinction of what a 'complete cycle' looks like for Xbox is pretty much gone now that games are no longer locked to one device. If an amazing CPU or GPU upgrade happens to be launched a year after a Series X product, there's nothing stopping Microsoft to include this big gain in their next console, even if it's technically only supposed to be a half-step from the previous thing.

They will just have to message that Series X-5 game on Series X-3 hardware or older are unsupported, and provide a specsheet for their products. That's all you really need as a consumer to make an informed decision. It doesn't really matter whether the X-3 or the X-4 was the midcycle refresh.

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bigsocrates

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@onemanarmyy: this mostly works except now you’re running the Xbox Series X-2 against the PS6 or the PS5 Pro.

So the whole reason for this naming misadventure (not wanting to run the Xbox 2 against the PS3) has come full circle.

Congratulations Xbox. You played yourself.

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Matt_Parker

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@bigsocrates: Do these companies think people are so stupid that they'll just go for the one with the bigger number? Is that what you're saying?

I mean, the 360 did sell really quite and it's the only Microsoft console I've ever owned, so maybe they're onto something - or maybe I'm just dumb...

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bigsocrates

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@matt_parker: At the time I think the concern was that Grandma Mildred goes into the store to buy a new console for Little Timmy and she sees the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 2 and not knowing anything she thinks the PS3 is more advanced. There's also maybe a subconscious effect of 3 being a bigger number. It's pretty well accepted that the Xbox 360 was named the way it was in order to avoid that issue.

Then the Xbox One tried to avoid the issue by being your "one" entertainment system that combined everything together with their idiotic TV integration idea (everyone remembers the Kinect debacle but nobody remembers how focused that thing was on TV...just as streaming was taking off and TV was dying. Ironically the Xbox One is a great streaming box) and then they had nowhere to go so they ended up at Series.

Were these concerns legitimate? I don't know. Is the Series X-2 going to suffer compared to the PS6 or PS5 Pro? Probably not. At this point Xbox is a well established brand and those numbers are so different nobody is going to think that there's any comparison.

But I find it funny that they keep painting themselves into corners with no plan for consistent or clear naming.

It's not that I think this is having a huge impact on their business, it's just that they have never come up with a plan. Meanwhile PlayStation just uses numbers and Nintendo (with the exception of the terribly named Wii U) has descriptions and it works out fine for them.

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peffy

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On a recent podcast, I think Vinny said "PS5 and Xbox One". I didn't even notice his mistake until he corrected himself a few seconds later.

I get that they have the One, versions S and X
and they have the Series, versions S and X
But calling it "the Series" just sounds weird. Like it's an incomplete phrase.
Also, the letters S and X are just bad choices. They're too similar. ESS vs EKSS. And the name of the console already has 2 X's, why add a 3rd one? Because "lol XXX like porn"? Not to mention the people that insist on calling it Xbox SEX. It reminds me of Tesla's cars, with their cringey use of Model S/3/X/Y.

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TheRealTurk

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I'm waiting for the UK-made version of the console. I hear it's going to be called the Xbox Essex.

I'll show myself out.

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Quantris

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I can't wait for them to add numbers and then for the two series to start diverging in which number is the "current" one. And/or for them to introduce a third letter series (in which case they better not call it Series XS)

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brian_

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#15  Edited By brian_

When my mom asked me about what the deal with the new consoles was, I had to spend 15 minutes just explaining the name of the new Xbox, the old Xbox, why the third Xbox was called the Xbox One, both variants of the X and S, why the name "Series" came after they already had a "One" and then took the number off. She thought it was all very stupid.

Yes. This isn't going to hurt their sales at all. It's still a bad name. It makes conversation harder then it needs to be. Even people deeply ingrained in gaming manage to call it the wrong thing from time to time.

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ll_Exile_ll

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#16  Edited By ll_Exile_ll

@sombre said:
@navster15 said:

They’re selling out of consoles and they’re business is doing fine. The naming is not ideal but it’s already too late to change it. Whenever people bring this up, I have to wonder what the point of the discussion even is aside from fanboy console war nonsense.

Who on earth is a "fanboy" in 2021 apart from children

Sadly, those pathetic idiots still exist in abundance. Go look at the comment sections for Digital Foundry videos or any gamespot or IGN article. There are still tons of people that wage this pointless war with extreme enthusiasm and hostility.

I certainly understand the sentiment that it's all in the past, I definitely don't personally interact with anyone that cares about meaningless garbage such as a console war. Unfortunately, it's all still going on if you look for it.

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NexivSelecaf

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Thankfully I still somewhat care about console releases so I'm aware of which Xbox can play Need for Speed: Most Wanted (2005).

For those who haven't been following, godspeed.

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ShaggE

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I knew their naming conventions were a lost cause when they refused to call MS Points "Xbux" like nature intended.

Either way, I look forward to the first revision, the Xbox Series X 2.11/3.2>998 Dream Drop Distance Unleashed Unchained ReMarsTered Xtreme (not to be confused with the Xbox Series S 7.32=8675309 Platinum Console of the Year Edition HD ReMIXXX Presented By Travis Scott)

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Humanity

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It's definitely not as elegant as say a Playstation 5 but the most cursory Google search will clear things up and then you either know for good or you just don't care enough to remember. Now as far as the Menu and View buttons go on the Xbox controller, try as I might I cannot memorize which side has the hamburger and which side has the windows.. Valhalla has almost drilled it into me and just off the top of my head I think that the three lines hamburger menu icon is on the.. right?

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bigsocrates

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@humanity: On the one hand, yes it's not very hard to figure it out if you are reasonably smart and put in a little time.

On the other hand the Internet has been captivated by the saga of a woman who used Gorilla Glue spray on her hair (she likely intended to use Gorilla Snot), so that is the level a lot of people are operating at and companies need to meet them at their level.

It's not that it's a huge deal it's that it's unnecessary market confusion.

Xbox was a good name.

Xbox 360 also worked.

Since then they've been flailing wildly.

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Humanity

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@bigsocrates: No arguments there. Xbox was a hell of a name for a console and that original, delightfully weird X animation ripping through the fabric of space and time was great! Xbox 360 was a little dumb.. but you got used to it and it became second nature after a while. Where can you go after 360 though?

I understand the predicament. Xbox 360 was supposed to be a 360 degree all encompassing console for that time. Xbox One was supposed to be your one stop destination for all media. Xbox One X made little sense but.. X is kind of techy so sure it worked. So I understand why the new consoles are Series X and Series S.. because it's no longer the "One" branding but at least people equate the "X" with "power" so there you go.

It's a bad naming convention that makes little sense to outsiders, but just like putting gorilla glue on your hair is pretty much on you for not checking the bottle, so is buying a $500 piece of hardware without at least typing in "whats the newest xbox" into Google before hitting checkout. At some point human beings do need to take some miniscule level of responsibility for their actions here.

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bigsocrates

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@humanity: X for Xbox One X was not chosen because it sounds techy. It was chosen because of the acronym.

X Box One X. XBOX. It's kind of clever (except the B isn't normally capitalized so it doesn't fully work.)

Then they were stuck with the S/X branding, which again shows how shortsighted they are with their naming.

I'm not saying that people are not to blame for their buying decisions. I do have sympathy for old people who have a tough time with the Internet and such already and don't understand this stuff, but it's not Microsoft's job to base their whole branding around such edge cases. I just think it's bad branding in general and it causes unnecessary confusion even among people who do know better. And Xbox Series X is just a boring name.

This situation will resolve naturally because Microsoft no longer makes the Xbox One X (normally I'd be annoyed but with full backwards compatibility it's an unnecessary device) and retail channels should have sold through theirs. It's only really scammers trying to take advantage of this now. So it's not that I think there will be real brand confusion that will harm consumers so much as I think independently that A) it's bad branding and B) yeah, some people made that mistake and that sucks for them even if they were responsible.

Just like I feel bad for the Gorilla Glue hair lady even if, yeah, it's totally her own fault.

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Humanity

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@bigsocrates: I have zero sympathy for the gorilla glue lady.

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bigsocrates

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@humanity: She did something stupid, yeah, but the punishment does not fit the crime. She was careless and got Gorilla Glue instead of Gorilla Snot, but she's going to lose all her hair, which she clearly cares a lot about, and he's had horrible headaches and other side effects from it.

We've all made dumb careless mistakes so I sympathize with her even while acknowledging that there's nobody else to blame. She's suffering more than she deserves to from a dumb but simple mistake.

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j_unit2008

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From the outside looking in it feels like Microsoft is somehow torn between the naming conventions of Nintendo, Sony, and Apple at the same time. My hope is that this is a new jumping off point and things make more sense from here on out.

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Gundato

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#26  Edited By Gundato

@brian_ said:

When my mom asked me about what the deal with the new consoles was, I had to spend 15 minutes just explaining the name of the new Xbox, the old Xbox, why the third Xbox was called the Xbox One, both variants of the X and S, why the name "Series" came after they already had a "One" and then took the number off. She thought it was all very stupid.

Yes. This isn't going to hurt their sales at all. It's still a bad name. It makes conversation harder then it needs to be. Even people deeply ingrained in gaming manage to call it the wrong thing from time to time.

I guess my thought would be: Why?

If someone says "I want to play Mario" I am not going to go and explain the entire history of the NES, how Rob the Robot gave them a backdoor in after toy stores had pulled out of all consoles, why the SNES was so popular, why the N64 maybe should have been the death of Nintendo, etc. I would say "Buy a Switch or a Raspberry Pi".

Same here. When my cousin asks me what the deal is with xbox I don't need to explain the entire history from Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Billy G being on stage all the way up to the present day. I say "If you want to save money, get an Xbox Series S. If you want the latest and greatest, get an Xbox Series X. Good luck buying either and make sure it says 'Series' and not 'One' because the 'One' is last generation" and there is no confusion because it is the same as saying "Get a Pixel 5 or 5a. not a 4 or 4a" or whatever google are up to.

Which I think is where a lot of the problems come from. If you are speaking in the capacity of the history of gaming or games journalism then... yeah, it is fucking obnoxious. But the vast majority of us have no reason to have that conversation. My sister's husband basically plays madden, hockey, and call of duty. I THINK he has a PS4 Pro but I have never been certain because all he says is "I have a Playstation".

Because all those poor consumers and old grannies who will get confused... that is all they will ever care about. Maybe that can be an issue if you get a shitty retail store trying to trick people into buying older units but... yeah.

---

I dunno, it feels like a lot of people want to make this stuff more complicated than it needs to be because they are thinking in terms of hypotheticals rather than actual reality. A good example would be if you take a look at the Digital Foundry video on Nioh 1 and 2 for PS5. At a glance, that is incredibly confusing because it is PS4, PS4 Pro, PS5 Quality, PS5 4k, and PS5 120 Hz.

Then you think in terms of what that means to an individual. PS5 is basically universally better than PS4 Pro (and costs money for Nioh 1) so that is mostly a reference point and I can ignore the PS4( Pro). I have an older TV so I just use "Quality". If I had a 4k/120Hz tv then I am comparing three different modes. Otherwise only two.