Phil Spencer, executive vice-president of Gaming at Microsoft, spoke in an interview on the Xbox End of the Year podcast and further explained the name of the console and their passion for backwards compatibility.
The next gen console will simply be called Xbox, while Series X is just the first announced model in the next gen lineup. Microsoft wants to simplify the name and connect it to past consoles.
“Could we make games run better that had been built for one spec of console on a new spec. Console games are written to a very specific console
So this was hey, we’re going to try to make these games run better. We’re gonna try to make the 360 games run better, the original Xbox one games run better. We knew we wouldn’t get all of them, but I loved the fact that was part of the journey. Could we make games run better that were written for a different version of this console, and that continues today. One of the things that we look at with Xbox Series X is that we want this to be the best place to play. And the reason we call it Xbox is because it’s going to be the best place to play your Xbox games. Your going to have amazing series games that take the full power of series X, but your also gonna have some games that were written generations before, and we want those to run incredibly well.
And that journey was a difficult one, that we said internally we were gonna do this. PC had done this for a long time, but for consoles this is new. We’re all part of this journey we are on to the point of where we are today where we can launch a console that we think will absolutely be the best Xbox that anybody has ever seen.”
The explanation for the name is understandable, but it’s still making it a bit difficult to talk about and do marketing for.
The backwards compatibility also sounds amazing, but that is not a substitute for amazing first-party exclusives. Xbox, realistically, lost this gen and a strong push will be required for the console’s release in 2020.