The Xbox One X is a terrible name and they learned nothing from the Wii U


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[From our community blogs. All opinions expressed may not reflect Destructoid, but as an aside it makes our damn site nav bar confusing. Great job Microsoft!]

Let’s rip on Microsoft’s shitty naming convention for a moment. It’s gonna be great.

The Xbox One X, or as the presenter rightfully called it, the Xbone X. It sounds almost like a type of pill you’d take for erectile dysfunction. It’s the type of name a 10-year-old with no concept of good branding would come up with. It’s like Microsoft pissed into their own ears and when someone told them it was a bad name they just couldn’t hear them.

But let’s break down why the Xbox One X is a terrible name by looking at its predecessor: the Wii U.

The Wii U was a fantastic failure. It led Nintendo to abandoning a console mid-way through its life-cycle and replacing it with a console that had a much more distinctive name. The Wii U, if Nintendo had stuck with it for another four years, may have bankrupted the company.

I’m not saying the name is the sole reason why the Wii U failed. There are many contributing factors, including (but not limited to) an unwieldy controller, a lack of strong third-party support and frustrations with Nintendo’s dated online user experience. So the name isn’t the only thing that went wrong.

But gosh darn it, it played a huge role. Honestly if someone told me there was a successor to the Wii called the Wii U, I’d think it was an upgrade to the Wii and probably not an essential buy.

The thing is with the Xbone X, it is a hardware upgrade and not an essential buy. Most consumers who don’t have 4K TVs are not going to buy into an expensive hardware upgrade, same with the PS4 Pro.

Also, the Wii U ruined it for the Xbone X. Now when consumers go to buy consoles for their kids, there’s going to be double the amount of confusion, because Timmy asked for a Wii U for Christmas last year, but you got him a Wii and he got really mad because he already had one. Now he wants an Xbox One, but what is this X at the end? Does that make a difference?

Plus there’s also the Xbox One S, which is completely different, and likely to spark more brand confusion. Say what you want about the Xbox 360 but it had it’s naming convention right.

Xbox 360 Slim = an Xbox 360 in a smaller form.

Xbox 360 Elite = a hardware upgrade for the Xbox 360

Microsoft is taking their naming convention from Nintendo and that’s not a good thing. Sticking random letters at the end of your console names just confuses people who aren’t fully immersed in game’s media and know the differences. Nintendo learned this lesson hardcore after the New 3DS and Wii U, which is why the Switch is a short, punchy name.

Or even look at the PS4 Pro. It says everything it needs to, it’s an extension of the PS4. It’s a professional version for people who want to eek out more from their PS4 for their expensive television. The name itself embodies the idea that most consumers don’t need it. It’s for professional PS4 players… which sounds really dumb, and it is, but at the very least it feels better than the XbonxXx.

I look forward to the next Xbox, the New Xbox. Xbox Origins. Or just Xbox.

Hell, if you want to confuse people anymore, fuck it, just call it the Playstation.