Microsoft is kicking off its next generation of console gaming with a more dedicated response when compared to the original launch of the Xbox One. Whereas that console was saddled with the unflattering nickname of the Xbone due to then Microsoft big cheese flaunting the entertainment aspects of the device and its mandatory Kinext feature that nobody actually wanted, the Xbox Series X is so far a dedicated slice of gaming hardware that looks set to rock the markets when it arrives.
It’ll probably still flop in Japan though. Try as they might, Microsoft has failed time after time to make the Xbox brand a viable contender to Sony and Nintendo on their home ground, with sales being absolutely dismal. As of February this year, sales for the console averaged out to less than 50 a week, with even older hardware such as Nintendo’s 3DS consoles regularly trouncing its American competition.
Is there any hope for the Xbox Series X, in giving Sony and Nintendo a run for their money? Only if they switch gears and brands, to revive one of the most beloved names in the land of the rising sun. According to the wildest of rumours, Microsoft looks set to break into Japan by giving their next console a brand spankin’ new name: The SEGA Series X.
SEGA may have been out of the console game since the underrated Dreamcast console belly-flopped hard in the early 2000s, but Microsoft is banking on the sheer power of the brand itself to help drive sales. With the 60th anniversary of the company kicking off on June 3 and a major announcement being teased, that would also make for some solid timing on their part.
This doesn’t sound like a merger of two of the most powerful gaming brands on the planet, but rather a case of the two working together. SEGA’s upcoming slate of games would still launch across multiple platforms, although it wouldn’t be surprising to see Microsoft strike a deal to populate Xbox Game Pass with a few more SEGA games to help sell that ecosystem within Japan. Reports of the SEGA Series X coming pre-loaded with comments about how this brand merger sounds tricky, is a given.
I’d take this with a massive pinch of salt, although I’m genuinely dying to see this rumour turn out to be true. SEGA was at the top of their game in the 1990s, coming hot off the success of the Master System and MegaDrive consoles. They had the world at their fingertips, they’d established a new status quo and they looked set to enter the new millennium with some terrific hardware on the horizon.
A series of blunders eventually loosened their grip on the market, with the Dreamcast being the final nail in their coffin and bankruptcy came knocking on their door. If it wasn’t for a single act of kindness, SEGA would be a dead brand instead of the thriving software business that it is today. Even if it’s coming back as part of a licensed deal, there’s a nostalgic part of me that would happily throw down some cash to own a SEGA console once again.
Last Updated: June 1, 2020