Microsoft is making a huge change with its next-generation Xbox: It's rebranding the console as simply "Xbox," with specific models like Series X.
- The next-generation Xbox was officially unveiled last December at the 2019 Game Awards in Los Angeles.
- It was introduced as the "Xbox Series X," but the way that name was presented made it look like the console generation was actually just named "Xbox."
- That is the case, Microsoft confirmed to Business Insider. The next-generation Xbox consoles are named "Xbox," starting with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S on November 10.
- "The name we're carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox," a Microsoft representative said.
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The next-generation Xbox got another big reveal last week, with a first look at a new piece of hardware and a name: Xbox Series S.
The Xbox Series S — and its more powerful and more expensive counterpart, the Xbox Series X — is part of the fourth generation of Xbox consoles from Microsoft, following the original Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
It's quite a list of names, especially compared with the simplicity of Sony's PlayStation line, which starts with the PlayStation 1 in 1995 and runs through to the PlayStation 5, scheduled to be released in 2020.
And that's why Microsoft is streamlining the naming conventions: Going forward, it's just Xbox.
"The name we're carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox," a Microsoft representative told Business Insider earlier this year. More than just simplifying the name, it also allowed "room for additional consoles in the future."
With two new next-gen Xbox consoles on the horizon, the Series S and the Series X, that subtle naming change makes more sense than ever.
The strategy was first hinted at when the Xbox Series X was first shown in late 2019. There was something particular about the way that Microsoft revealed the name of the console:
Do you see it?
"The new" is tiny, followed by "XBOX" in huge letters, and then "Series X" in medium-sized letters below that.
Upon closer inspection, it appears that "Xbox" is the make and "Series X" is the model — as if the name going forward for Xbox consoles is simply "Xbox."
That was, in fact, the intent — however subtly it was conveyed.
"The name we're carrying forward to the next generation is simply Xbox," a Microsoft representative told Business Insider. "And at The Game Awards [in late 2019] you saw that name come to life through the Xbox Series X."
Like the first Xbox generation, the next one is simply named "Xbox."
It's a basic rebranding, but a meaningful one that could help to simplify the Xbox line for interested consumers. It also clarifies Microsoft's intention with its console line.
Like Apple's iPhone, there are options: The $300 Xbox Series S, or the $500 Xbox Series X. Both consoles play the same games, and are functionally similar, but the more expensive console can produce higher fidelity visuals.
In short: Microsoft is now offering "the Xbox," and you can decide which version of that console fits best into your life (and budget).
It's a bit of an expansion on Microsoft's current Xbox generation, where the company offers an Xbox One S and and Xbox One X with similar price-for-power tradeoffs.
But things weren't always so simple: For several years, Microsoft offered three different versions of the Xbox One, including the original version of the console (which looked different from both of the consoles seen above).
All three of these consoles are part of the "Xbox One" generation, from 2013 to present day. They all play the same Xbox One games, though the Xbox One X is technically far more powerful than the other two boxes.
That's exactly why Microsoft is simplifying its naming convention going forward: It's just "Xbox" from now on.
Check out the intro video for the Xbox Series S right here: