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Here's why the internet is in an uproar over Xbox

The console war of 2020 is officially heating up. Just last week, pre-orders for the PlayStation 5 sold out within a matter of minutes. Yesterday, pre-orders went live for the Xbox Series X and Series S. Unfortunately, there have been signs that indicate that the pre-order process for Microsoft's new consoles didn't go as smoothly as the company may have hoped.

It appears as though pre-orders for the Xbox Series X have also sold out completely. This isn't too surprising. Not only is the Series X a highly anticipated console release, but it should be noted that Microsoft gave fans plenty of heads up regarding when the consoles would become available for pre-order. It seems as though Microsoft took more than a few cues from how stressful the PS5 pre-order situation became for gamers. Instead of springing pre-orders on frenzied fans, Microsoft announced the date that pre-orders would go live nearly a week in advance.

Unfortunately, there is another thing that Microsoft probably should have learned from PlayStation: how to name its new consoles.

Deal aggregator and Amazon Affiliate Andrew Alerts recently tweeted that sales for the Xbox One X had gone up 747% on the same day that pre-orders for the Xbox Series X went live. While this seems like a heck of a win for Microsoft, there may be an embarrassing reason behind this sudden sales spike. Andrew Alerts theorized that a ton of customers may have accidentally purchased the Xbox One X when they in fact intended to buy an Xbox Series X.

How could this have happened? Well, to put it plainly, Xbox might have backed itself into a corner with its supremely confusing naming conventions. As Andrew Alerts pointed out, the mistaken Xbox One X purchases may not have even been made by hardcore fans. A lot of these consoles could've been purchased by "non-gamer parents" who are getting the console as a gift for their children. The names of the consoles are similar enough that some surprised children could receive a previous-generation Xbox console this holiday season. Well-meaning moms and dads might be buying the wrong Xbox in droves.

Andrew Alerts also pointed out that a similar issue occurred when the Wii U arrived on the market. Consumers weren't entirely sure if the Wii U was a new console or simply an upgraded version of the Wii. However, in that situation, the sales of the Wii U actually suffered, and the Wii U's rollout is generally regarded as one of Nintendo's biggest mistakes

These new sales numbers prove that the Xbox Series X (and now the One X) are in no danger of being forgotten. However, it wouldn't be too much of surprise to see a massive number of Xbox One X consoles being refunded later this year. As Andrew Alerts concluded, this could have been easily avoided with a slightly larger deviation in the console names, rather than reusing the same letter for the new system.

In response, one of Andrew Alerts' followers shared a meme that highlighted how absurd the titles of the Xbox consoles had become.

The confusion regarding the console's name appears to be well-established at this point. The Verge's Tom Warren even recently shared a screenshot from an Xbox press release in which it appeared as though Microsoft bungled the name of its own new console.

On the other hand, there is another theory out there concerning the rise in Xbox One X sales. Some fans think that these sales could be attributed to bots. Many resellers use bots to purchase items like pre-order tickets. This has already happened with the sold out PS5 pre-orders, so it wouldn't be too much of a surprise to learn that a similar thing was attempted with the Series X. However, a few Twitter users have pointed out how this scenario could go terribly wrong for the resellers using bots, particularly if the bots in question aren't coded very specifically.

Adam Burt of Etch Play seems to think that the slight delay in Amazon's listing for the Series X going live may have been what spelled doom for many bot users. As Burt put it, "If your bot searches for "Xbox Series X" and clicks the first result, at the specified release time... Yeah, your bot is gonna buy a One X."

It's definitely an interesting theory. However, Burt also pointed out that human error probably played a big part in this ongoing pre-order fiasco. Whatever the case, it's definitely looking like some mistakes were made along the way. It remains to be seen how many customers will end up being disappointed this holiday season, or if Microsoft will have to apologize for its pre-orders like Sony did.