Remember when we first heard the official name of the Xbox successor? The “Xbox 360″ was not the 360th model, it was a marketing ploy to have a higher number in the title than the “PlayStation 3.” Xbox 2 just sounds so old and inferior in comparison, right?
With the next-gen Xbox – currently codenamed Durango – likely being unveiled next year, what name will Microsoft go with? Will it go with a subtitle or continue the trend in numbered systems and use something like the “Xbox 720“? How about something simpler like the “Xbox 8″? The latter of which Microsoft now owns a few domains for.
According to Fusible, Microsoft recently won a dispute against someone holding a variety of Xbox-related domains which included XboxPhone.com, XboxTablet.com, XboxLiveTV.com, XboxCompanion.com, Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org.
With the Microsoft Surface featuring integration with Xbox and Windows 8, not to mention the recently announced SmartGlass technology allowing for companions apps for all things Xbox, these domains all have understandable purposes. That is, assuming “Xbox 8″ has a deeper meaning.
What it likely refers to is Windows 8. We know Windows 8 includes Xbox Live (and hence, it’s an integral part of the upcoming Windows 8 powered Microsoft Surface tablet) and reports over the last year point towards the next-gen Xbox running Windows 8.
Using the smaller, sleeker and more sensible name “Xbox 8″ would be a smart move by Microsoft. We’re already seeing signs of Windows 8 integration with Xbox, with the larger focus on expanding media entertainment on the Xbox 360, from a growth in TV content to the addition of Internet Explorer. If Windows 8 PCs fully run Xbox Live and if the Xbox 720 (Xbox 8?) runs Windows 8, could it be the first fully cross-platform console? Could PC gamers and Xbox 8 gamers play the same games via digital content? Why not?
The name Xbox 8 – even though such a console would only be of the 3rd generation – works if the console runs on Windows 8. Do you dig that name?
Our own Brian Sipple jokingly mentioned that if you turn the 8 sideways, it represents infinity and that would allow for some neat marketing gimmicks and logos. Side-note: The flagship of Halo 4 is called the UNSC Infinity. Just saying.
If Microsoft wants that name, they’ll have to go after the Xbox8.com domain, which is owned by someone in China. For more on Microsoft’s next-gen document, check out the details from the official leaked Xbox 720 document.
Follow Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.