Xbox One vs. Wii U: A Battle Of Two Awful Console Names
Posted on Saturday, June 1 @ 10:50:30 PST by Jonathan_Leack
Comparing the best in the gaming industry is a lot of fun, but sometimes it’s comparing the worst that can be the most entertaining. So I lead you in with today’s golden question: Which is worse—Xbox One or Wii U? I’m not talking about which is more gimmicky, more expensive than it should be, or even which has fewer exclusives. I’m speaking specifically about the nomenclature.
We’ve had awesome console names over the years. Before Sega’s Rome-like implosion it had a console arsenal that would intimidate the entire army of Greek mythology: Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, Sega Dreamcast. Did you know it had a console called the SG-1000? That’s the sort of name reserved only for self-aware robots. The hairs on my neck rise just thinking about it. Can you imagine what sort of console names Sega would use today? It certainly wouldn't consider Dreamcast One or Genesis U, that's for sure. Its standards are too high.
Sony adheres to a strict formula that might come across as boring but at the very least is simple and consistent. Each new generation all it has to do is open Photoshop and increase the number on its logo by 1. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Even when faced with the Japanese unlucky number of four, it dared to use the PlayStation 4 name. So much for the hybrid vibrator/console called Orbis.
When the Wii U was announced, I couldn't help but think to myself how much it sounded like an add-on expansion for the Wii. Truthfully, I had to check twice to make sure that it was a completely new console; I wasn’t the only one. Nintendo has been battling to market the Wii U due to a large portion of its last-gen fan-base who still thinks it's an overpriced add-on. If you ever need proof, head to your local retailer and ask a sales associate how the Wii U has been received. You’ll hear about how dozens of parents have walked in thinking it was an expansion for their Wii.
You can’t really blame us—the console is marketed as a controller. That monolith-looking tablet is put at the forefront of every piece of marketing. Even the Wii U box makes the console hardware barely visible. Would it have been that hard to name it the Wii 2 or Super Nintendo Wii?
As confusing and dumb as the Wii U name is, it somehow has found competition. Microsoft has decided to name it next-gen console the Xbox One. The company has described it as a powerful name that embodies its ability to be an all-in-one device. That’s cool, but did you realize that anyone who wants to Google for Xbox One content has to battle with 12 years of the original Xbox being referred to as the Xbox 1?
Rumors pointed toward the console being named Xbox Infinity. That certainly would have worked better. The Xbox One is actually the third console in the Xbox family, making the name a whole bunch of unnecessary nonsense. Many believed Microsoft would have to one-up its Xbox 360 name with an even larger number, leaving only 999 googleplex of possibilities.
Additionally, it needed to find a number not associated with spinning; the "why do they call it the 360" meme ran its course for way too long and was a major reason for the console finishing the generation in last place (sarcasm). Instead, it receded to the number one. If it were just called the Xbox Three, that wouldn’t be much of a problem. Sure, it would be one behind the PS4 on a graph battle, but being able to boot the console by saying “Xbox on” would more than make up for the difference.
This probably comes across as nitpicking, but console names really do matter. These are the names we’re going to be saying the next several years. [Or forever! ~Ed. Nick] Would you rather ask your friend to come over to play Xbox One or Xbox Badass? Yeah, that’s what I thought.
So, I leave to you the responsibility of determining which is worse: Xbox One or Wii U. Let us know in the comments below.
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