Well, the general consensus is that Microsoft’s naming scheme for its new next-gen consoles is rather confusing for consumers, and that lots of children will inevitably be disappointed this Christmas when they find they have the wrong console sitting under the tree. Bah humbug.
The parents, who are also the victims here, will undoubtedly be angry at Microsoft for having such complex and misleading product names (though personally I don’t see the issue here). The end result is that Timmy’s new Xbox only has six teraflops of computational power instead of 12. Poor Timmy.
So is Microsoft to blame? Well, perhaps partially. Those who live outside the gaming bubble could be stumped by the names of Microsoft’s next-gen consoles. But on the other hand, no one should be throwing $499 at something they know nothing about without doing any research, right?
Especially when not that much research is required. The Xbox One X and Xbox Series X have different names, different price tags, different retail boxes, and are entirely different in shape and size. One isn’t out until November 10, 2020, either, and the other was discontinued a few months ago.
With so many red flags, then, it’s clear that the fault doesn’t lie with Microsoft alone. In fact, you couldn’t blame poor Timmy for feeling like he’s been short-changed by his own parents lack of common sense.
I’ll concede, though – it’s unlikely that someone would buy a PS4 instead of a PS5. Sony’s matter-of-fact, numbered system is clear and obvious to absolutely anyone, and you’d be hard-pressed to mistake the gargantuan, two-toned PS5 with its predecessor.
However, questionable naming schemes aren’t exactly new in the tech world. It’s not as though thousands blindly bought an iPhone XS instead of the iPhone XR, or millions of grandmas bought a Nintendo 3DS instead of the New Nintendo 3DS. Mistakes do happen, of course, but crucially, they’re avoidable with a bit of prior preparation.
The point is, whether you’re browsing through listings on eBay or spending your money on literally anything in life, it’s paramount that you do your homework. Companies aren’t there to hold your hand at the till, and when you’re shopping online, there won’t be any retail advisers to point you in the right direction.
Take some responsibility and heed caution during every transaction. Double check the product name, get in touch with more knowledgeable friends and family members, and make sure you’re fully up to speed before pre-order day rolls around. TechRadar’s helpful Xbox Series X pre-order guide can give you a hand, too.
All of which is to say: practicing a buyer’s beware mentality will ultimately serve you well in the future… particularly if you have dietary restrictions, believe me.
To all the unfortunate souls who accidentally bought an Xbox One X, it’s not all bad news. Due to Microsoft’s efforts to ensure Xbox One players aren’t left behind, all the games coming to Xbox Series X will be playable on the older hardware for a number of years. Your existing Xbox accessories will work, too, as will Microsoft’s new Xbox Wireless Controller.
That means Timmy can still play Halo Infinite when it eventually releases, although he might have to settle for a lower resolution and a lower frame rate. Sorry, Timmy.