News Article

Rejected Names for Microsoft's First Console Revealed

Posted by Anthony Bacchus

Take your pick

The name 'Xbox' — when you really think about it — is a pretty strange name for a video game console. When Microsoft first revealed the name for its first gaming machine, many people despised it. Surely, the creatives at Microsoft could have come up with something a little better.

In a recent Edge interview, before settling on 'Xbox,' Microsoft was toying around with a slew of wacky names, infatuated with using acronyms.

Steve Blackley was part of the team that designed and named what would eventually become the Xbox, but they had to siphon through a bunch of suggested names he calls were "crap". It's hard to disagree with the guy when seeing names like LEX (Live Entertainment Experience), VIP (Virtual Interactive Player), and MAX (Microsoft Action Experience) on the list, among other gems.

“First, there were our code names, which were WEP – ‘Windows Entertainment Project’ – designed to make Microsoft executives comfortable, Midway – ‘Midway between a PC and a console or ‘Battle of Midway’ – you decide – and DirectX Box, which was shortened to xbox in email very early on.”

Blackley goes on to say that the final naming stage was a battle when they simply wanted to call it 'Xbox.'

"That’s what everyone called it anyway – and they wanted, for some unknowable reason, to call it ‘11-X’ or ‘Eleven-X’. Finally, we told them no, but still had to decide: X-Box, xBox, XboX, Xbox, X-box…”

You can see the entire list below:

  • MAX (Microsoft Action Experience)
  • AIO (All In One)
  • MIND (Microsoft Interactive Network Device)
  • FACE (Full Action Center)
  • MITH (Microsoft Interactive Theatre)
  • XON (Experience Optimised Network)
  • MVPC (Microsoft Virtual Play Center)
  • TAC (Total Action Center – discs/games could be called TACs)
  • MARC (Microsoft Action Reality Center)
  • LEX (Live Entertainment Experience)
  • M-PAC (Microsoft Play and Action Center)
  • RPM (Real Performance Machine)
  • MOX (Microsoft Optimal Experience)
  • E2 (Extreme Experience)
  • MTG (Microsoft Total Gaming)
  • VIP (Virtual Interactive Player)
  • PTP or P2P (Powered To Play)
  • VIC (Virtual Interactive Center – disks/games could be called VICs)
  • MARZ (Microsoft Active Reality Zone)
  • TSO (Three, Six, Zero)
  • EHQ (Entertainment Headquarters)
  • O2 (Optimal Ozone or Optical Odyssey)
  • MIC (Microsoft Interactive Center)
  • R&R (Reality and Revolution)
  • MEA (Microsoft Entertainment Activator)
  • AMP (Active Microsoft Player)
  • VPS (Virtual Play System)
  • MAP (Microsoft Action Play)
  • MEGA (Microsoft Entertainment & Gaming Attendant or Microsoft Entertainment & Gaming Assembly)
  • CPG (CyberPlayGround)
  • VERV (Virtual Entertainment & Reality Venture)
  • OM (Odyssey of the Mind)
  • P2 (PowerPlay)
  • IS1 (Interactive System In One)
  • MET (Microsoft Entertainment Technology or Microsoft Entertainment Theatre)


User Comments (4)



Tasuki said:

Interesting article. I find it funny that two of the mans the All in One and the Three, six, zero have gone on to be the names of the two successor systems.



hYdeks said:

Ohh, not one of those sounds good lol They kinda all sound like abbreviated CPU terms, not really anything that screams "I'm a gaming console". Happy they went with Direct-X Box, and than shortened down to X-Box, way better name.



Captain_Toad said:

None. of. them. are. any. good. Though it is interesting to have a bunch of names on it.

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