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More News Regarding the Xbox Series X

  • Apparently, that’s not the name.
  • Backwards compatibility a definite.
  • Microsoft really likes to keep the name game hustle going, huh?

It’s been just under a week since Microsoft made the surprise reveal of the next generation of the Xbox in the form of the Xbox Series X. Looking more like a computer tower and less like a console, the debut caught many people off guard and while much of the presentation was just a fluff piece among an award ceremony to get the design and some corporate niceties out before the audience on site and abroad across the world watching the stream, it’s fair to say that the Xbox Series X definitely made a statement.

There was no major disasters like the claims of needing to always be online, or being unable to trade in your games or let friends borrow discs. It was just a smooth console reveal, even if the details were lacking. But this week, some more information has come out and while one is a somewhat confusing turn of events, the other is sure to be a treat for any fan of Microsoft’s line of consoles no matter which generation they favor the most.

First and foremost, let’s talk about the name, Xbox Series X. Not the best name ever, I certainly think it’s an improvement over Xbox One but Microsoft has fallen short on the name game again. In an interview with Business Insider, an unnamed Microsoft representative attempted to clear the air by informing the publication that that’s not the name at all; the name is Xbox:

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.

This means two things, at least from where I can see them. First, Microsoft knew their console names were trailing behind in terms of marketability. Afterall, we went from the Xbox, to the Xbox 360, to the Xbox One, and now back to Xbox. Perhaps in the long run it’ll be a better move to simplify the name in such a way, and address new models by series names. This is a great way to lead into my next point, the reveal of Xbox in the form of Series X implies we are going to see another split level console generation with varied price points and abilities based on what the customer may want or can afford. In a similar way to how Microsoft presented us this generation with three models to pick from by the end, the Xbox One S, Xbox One X, and Xbox One S All Digital this seems like a likely route for them to take.

 

The other new information, and the more important piece, comes from Microsoft’s Phil Spencer and Jason Ronald in a recent interview with GameSpot where it was confirmed that at launch the Xbox will be backwards compatible with all Xbox One games on launch day with the intention of expanding that library to encompass Xbox 360 games and games from the original Xbox. This work began well in advance of launch rather than something that was made to come later, and is part of the reason why backwards compatibility efforts have slowed down on the Xbox One over the last year or so:

We want those games to be able to come forward with you but we also want your services to come with you. We want your gaming legacy to come with you, whether that’s your Gamerscore, whether that’s your friends list, all your Achievements, your game saves, all of that should come forward so there are no barriers for you as you think about moving forward.

The efforts to expand and optimize backwards compatibility are credited to new chip designs and the development team working hard on an endeavor that spans three console generations. I hear some of you asking, “But Johnathan, why is backwards compatibility important?” Well mileage will vary from person to person, this is true. But for many, backward compatibility is a huge selling point because as the years go on access to older generations of hardware is going to become less reliable. 

Used and refurbished consoles aren’t always going to be a guaranteed thing, eventually, that well will dry up. It may not be any time in the foreseeable future, but it is an inevitability. Personally, if the new Xbox and the PlayStation 5 can both offer an experience that provides users the ability to retire their old consoles officially that’d be a huge selling point in addition to the years of new content heading towards both. What do you guys think? How about that ‘new’ name? How do you feel about the larger focus on backwards compatibility for the coming generation? Let us know down below.