With around a month to go until Microsoft announces the new Xbox, rumors are swirling about its name. The latest appears to be the Xbox Infinity. Why not Xbox 3? Well, this goes back a bit.
If my history is correct, the original Xbox launched to compete against the PS2. Enter the next – and current – generation consoles. Sony had its name – the PS3 was an obvious name. But, there was a popular belief then that Microsoft didn’t want to follow with Xbox 2. This is because of Xbox 2 sounding as if it were behind a generation to the PS3. Sounds reasonable enough. So, Microsoft instead went with Xbox 360. Now they have the task of always coming up with a new, and almost always too lengthy, Xbox name rather than just a chronological number behind it.
Microsoft could have been crafty during the Xbox 360’s lifecycle. Maybe the company should have made a different model for the Xbox 360 with a new name. What I mean is Microsoft could have considered something like an Xbox 360 slim version. It could have had similar primary technical specifications as the Xbox 360. However, the smaller version would have allowed a name change. They could have then named it the Xbox 3. They could have even marketed it as being the same as Xbox 360 but leaving out the “60” because it’s smaller. Clever, ey. 😉 Instead of calling it the 360 slim version (like Sony did for its smaller version of the PS3 – PS3 Slim), the Xbox 3 could have been born. This would’ve then setup the naming of their next console – to be announced this month – to be Xbox 4. And, they would now be on par with the PS4 in terms of chronology. If they then announce a slim of the Xbox 4, they could call it Xbox 4 slim and not Xbox 5. There’s no need to explain all these names to the media as obvious is obvious. While it’s too late for the Xbox 360, perhaps a slim version of the so-called Xbox Infinity will be named the Xbox 4. This way when yet another console is due out it can be the Xbox 5 to compete alongside the PS5.
It’s most likely most people won’t call the console Xbox Infinity – too much of a mouthful. It’ll be shortened to just Xbox. So, somehow laying the foundation to change to a single number would be good overall.
Lady Gaga Can’t Save You
Microsoft better hope the Xbox Infinity isn’t a dud. And, Sony better hope the PS4 isn’t a dud either. If so, it seems neither company will be able to call on Lady Gaga to endorse a bail out. Apparently, Troy Carter – who is Lady Gaga’s manager – recently shared his view that celebrity endorsements can’t save a poor product. This is obvious – no PR or marketing can save a poor product. Innovation is the driving force to success for a product. If it’s poor, go back and innovate it. Then PR and marketing can really make it shine.
Lots of companies also try and advertise a product to success and this is also almost always a mistake. The formula for just about any tech company (and most other industries) is innovation, followed by PR. Then marketing and advertising enter to sustain innovation and PR successes. Getting Lady Gaga to sing a song about your bad product isn’t going to make it good. Neither is PR, an ad, or any other marketing effort. Start with a good product. Support its market presence with good PR that is followed by marketing and advertising to reinforce it all.