Xbox One X: Microsoft officially discontinues the current-gen console, removing it from storefronts for Xbox Series X launch

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After removing the console from storefronts and their websites earlier today, Microsoft has officially announced it is discontinuing the Xbox One X console.

This move comes just months ahead of the Xbox Series X's launch, indicating Microsoft's intentions to distance itself from current-gen products in the future.

READ MORE:Xbox Games Showcase live stream: when is the next episode of Inside Xbox, will it have Xbox Series X news, and what is the Xbox 2020 video series?

The reshuffling of the Microsoft Store may also indicate that the company are planning to launch its pre-orders in the next few weeks.

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Has Microsoft discontinued the Xbox One X?

In a statement to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson confirmed that "As we ramp into the future with Xbox Series X, we're taking the natural step of stopping production on the Xbox One X and Xbox One S All-Digital Edition."

This comes after the Australian-based outlet Press Start noticed the console was no longer visible on the Microsoft Store.

The media outlet followed up with EB Games and JB Hi-Fi, two Australian retailers, who both confirmed they did not expect any more Xbox One X stock and had pulled the console from their online websites.

The Xbox One X is still visible on both the US and UK Microsoft Store's, although stock appears limited or non-existent.

READ MORE:Xbox Series X price vs PS5 price history: What can previous console wars tell us about how much Xbox Series X and PS5 will cost?

While you can view the Xbox One X and its bundles on the US storefront, they are all listed as 'Out of Stock'.

The UK version only lists two variants, the Cyberpunk 2077 Xbox One X and a Battlefield V Special Edition console. Only the Cyberpunk console is available for purchase which makes sense, given the game has not yet released.

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XBOX GONE X: Amazon's listing appears to confirm the console has been discontinued by Microsoft.

Aside from the Microsoft Store, the Xbox One X's is now also listed as discontinued on the Amazon US site. The console is available on Amazon UK from third-party sellers and from GAME, but this is likely to be leftover stock that will not be replaced in the future.

Why would Microsoft discontinue the Xbox One X?

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Microsoft's marketing strategy for the Xbox Series X has revolved around its backwards compatibility. Not only is the Series X compatible with thousands of previous Xbox games, but it promises to run these games even better than before.

With Smart Delivery, the Xbox Series X promises a seamless transition between gaming on the current-gen and next-gen consoles. With that in mind, why would Microsoft want to quickly move away from the Xbox One X?

The first reason revolves around the confusing names of the Xbox consoles.

The Xbox family consists of the Xbox One Xbox One X, Xbox One S, Xbox Series X and, allegedly, the Xbox Series S.

It could be that Microsoft is wary that consumers may be confused by all the different versions of their consoles and end up purchasing the wrong version or even decide to spend their money on the simpler PS4 or PS5.

READ MORE: Will there be a PS5 Pro or Xbox Series X Pro?

Removing the Xbox One X from their shelves may help limit the amount of confusion surrounding Xbox names.

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It's not all about the names, however. The Xbox One X is the branch between console generations and could be an attractive alternative to the Series X for Christmas shoppers intending on buying their loved one a games console.

If Microsoft does reveal the Xbox Series S, it is likely they will want to market this as the 'budget' console rather than the Xbox One variant. Taking the Xbox One X out of the equation may help boost the sales of their next-gen consoles which, in the long run, will be more profitable.

READ MORE: Will you need to buy PS4 and Xbox One games again on PS5 and Xbox Series X?