Before they prepare for the launch of the Xbox One later this year, Microsoft is apparently feeling a little nostalgic for its first console launch. So much so, that they are giving gamers a peak behind the curtain at some of the names that were tossed around for the original Xbox.
While, as most know, the final name was settled on as an abbreviation of ‘DirectX Box,’ there were a few additional names considered that were much harder to explain. Some, in fact, are even downright confusing.
As Seamus Blackley reveals in an interview with EDGE, the inception of the Xbox name started with internal codenames. Much like the Xbox One was codenamed Durango, the original Xbox went by several monikers including WEP (Windows Entertainment Project), Midway (for midway between a console and a PC), and DirectX Box, which the Microsoft team soon shortened to Xbox.
After internal codenames, Blackley reveals that the console went into the “car name” phase, where, as you might expect, every name sounded like some prototype car. In fact, the Original Xbox “car names” were so strange that Blackley can’t even remember any of the suggestions. Needless to say, he welcomed the acronym phase.
During this phase, potential names included Microsoft AIO (All in One), MAX (Microsoft Action Experience), E2 (Extreme Experience), FACE (Full Action Center), VPS (Virtual Play System), and IS1 (Interactive System in One). There was list full of strange acronyms, which you can check out on EDGE.
But, inevitably, Microsoft went back to where it all began: DirectX Box, or Xbox for short — a name that’s as ubiquitous with gaming as PlayStation or Nintendo. Say what you will about the choice of Xbox One for Microsoft’s next-gen console, but can you imagine if it was called the FACE One, or the E2 One?
However, even the choice of Xbox had its own inherent challenges, as Microsoft had to decide how best to represent the name (X-Box, xBox, XboX?). As well, the development team had to contend with the naming team, who pushed hard for the name “11-X.” The development team won out in the end, though, and they settled Xbox.
Obviously a lot goes into the naming of a console. So much so that we oftentimes hear dozens of names tossed around, each with their own back-story. Even the Xbox One reportedly bounced between “Xbox Next” and “The Xbox.”
What do you think of the potential original Xbox names? Is there any name you wish Microsoft had chosen?