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Xbox Scarlett is already losing an important battle against PS5

Published Dec 5th, 2019 10:36AM EST
PS5 vs. Xbox 2
Image: Microsoft

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Both Microsoft and Sony are working on their next-gen consoles, including Project Scarlett and PS5, which will launch in late 2020. They will deliver the same high-end performance that will enable significantly improved gaming experiences, and they’ll probably be sold at similar prices. But they’ll each have unique features as well that will help differentiate each console from its rival. Microsoft is in a position to offer cross-platform gaming support for its first-party titles — that means gamers will be able to seamlessly switch between PC and the new Xbox without losing progress or saves. Sony, meanwhile, is rumored to be working on its own voice-based assistant that will provide real-time help to gamers. In other words, both the new Xbox and PlayStation consoles will be worthy additions to your home entertainment setups, and it might come down to platform preference when choosing one or the other next November. But, with all that in mind, Microsoft is already losing a significant battle against the PS5, one that might cost down the road.

Project Scarlett, Xbox Scarlett, Xbox Two, Xbox 2, Xbox 2020. You’re probably getting the point I’m trying to make. Microsoft hasn’t disclosed what it’ll call the next Xbox console. Either that or Microsoft still hasn’t figured out what to call it. And who could blame them considering that Xbox and Xbox 360 were followed by Xbox One, which was then split into Xbox One S and Xbox One X?

Over on Sony’s side of the fence, things are much easier. PlayStation 5 is already the official name of the new console, not that we ever had any doubts about what Sony will call it. And the PS5 is already getting the brand recognition it deserves. Sony registered trademarks for PS6 through PS10 as well, so things will remain real simple down the road.

The most recent Xbox Scarlett rumor said that Microsoft is working on two versions that will be released in the coming years. We’re looking at a cheaper model, the successor of the disk-less Xbox One S, and a more expensive one that will be the natural successor to the Xbox One X that will compete against the PS5.

The rumor brought us two more codenames to worry about, including Lockhart, which is the cheaper Scarlett, and Anaconda, which is going to be the more expensive one. This new predicament makes it even harder for gamers to keep track of Xbox Scarlett news. The Google Trends graph below shows the PS5’s huge advantage over Xbox when it comes to online searches.

Image source: Google Trends

It’s so easy to follow, and find, PS5 news. All you have to do is search for “PlayStation 5” or “PS5” and you’ll get the most recent developments. But it’s a lot more challenging to do the same thing for the next Xbox because Microsoft isn’t ready to give us the real name of the console. And given the constant barrage of PS5 news and rumors, it might be easy for someone to get the impression that the PS5 is the only upcoming console worth getting excited about.

Don’t get me wrong, gamers who are dedicated fans of the Xbox will always know what sources to follow for the latest Project Scarlett news, and they’ll stay on top of the latest rumors. But less experienced buyers like casual gamers, or parents who are getting gaming products for their kids, might find themselves in a position where PS5 means more to them than the next Xbox.

Sony already said that it plans a massive transition from PS4 to PS5, and the only way to do that is to start marketing the product as early as possible, even before it’s ready to hit stores. Revealing the actual name of the device certainly helps with all that. Not to mention that third-party retailers, including major ones like Best Buy, already let you register for PS5 preorder information. Over on the Project Scarlett side? Crickets.

The simplest and best thing Microsoft could do to compete with the PS5 is to finally tell us what the Project-Scarlett-god-how-I-hate-this-name will be called.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.