Xbox One X, Because Microsoft Loves the Letter X

So Microsoft finally unveiled their next iteration of the Xbox One, the Xbox One X (not to be confused with their previous next iteration of the Xbox One, the Xbox One S). And my first question is, why the 1X? Maybe their previous reference name for it, Project Scorpio, sounded too awesome? Maybe the X stands for XTREME? Maybe the Microsoft VP of Naming Things can’t get enough of the letter X? Anyway, we’re stuck with the XboneX, aka, a gamertag a 12-year-old probably already uses.

It’s clear that the XBX is positioned as a rival to Sony’s Playstation 4 Pro, and a way for MS to claim the title of most powerful game console for the moment. Also, 4K output, because 4K is the latest Big Thing for display quality, and the XBX will theoretically be the One True 4K Gaming System when it hits the market in November.

Spec-wise, it’s 40% more powerful than the Xbox One S (XboneS?), while retaining the size and form factor of the XBS. It also uses liquid cooling for its custom processors, which seems ripe for all sorts of exciting new ways for the console to brick itself.

Ultimately, though, it’s nice that Microsoft is pushing the technology forward, and it’s nice that it’s keeping the price point below $500 (the XboneX will release in November at an MSRP of $499), but power alone does not a console make. Microsoft is still playing catchup with Sony this generation, and much of that lies in its lack of meaningful exclusives and its early missteps overemphasizing the Kinect and its “do-everything media center” marketing as opposed to focusing on the games.

We’ll see this holiday season if the sheer power of the Xbox One X will be enough to regain some videogame momentum for the green brand. In the meantime, I’ll be speculating on the name for the next iteration of Microsoft’s console. Xbox Two X? Xbox One Y? Xbox XX? Project Aquarius?

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