Original Xbox creator reveals rejected console names

Working titles for the original Xbox included FACE, MIND and MOX.

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A recently republished 2003 Edge interview with Seamus Blackley, one of the founding members of the Xbox team at Microsoft, has revealed some of the unsuccessful names for the company’s original console.

"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," he said.

Blackley describes fellow Xbox executive Kevin Brachus telling the then small team that 'xbox' was legally unsound, and needed to be changed. What followed was a list of "crap," car-inspired names so bad the team didn’t even record them for posterity, before moving on to acronym-based names.

"Phase four was a battle between us and the naming guys, when we decided we just wanted to risk it and go with Xbox--since 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…"

Some of the other rejected suggestions for the device included the 'MIND (Microsoft Interactive Network Device)', 'FACE (Full Action Center)', 'MOX (Microsoft Optimal Experience)', 'VERV (Virtual Entertainment & Reality Venture)', 'M-PAC (Microsoft Play and Action Center)', 'R&R (Reality and Revolution)', and 'MARZ (Microsoft Active Reality Zone)'.

Discussion

302 comments
twisted_sith
twisted_sith

oh god some of those names are awful...i mean, "xBox?" what were they thinking???

MrOrbitz
MrOrbitz

"Bye mom, I'm going to Stephanie's house to play with her FACE!"

Lol I had to.

Wobbletop
Wobbletop

classic, discovered live with Ghost recon 2. This article makes me want to log back on and have a battle on Quarry again!!! Awesome game

GAMERALL
GAMERALL

So the X in Xbox comes from Direct X? finally I can die in peace. No wait, where does the X in Direct X come from? postponing dying in peace until knowing, hopefully it doesn't take me another 12 years...! 

OldKye
OldKye

Should have been the "FACE Box MIND!" "Full Action Center Box Microsoft Interactive Network Device" A name so unnecessarily long you can't help but remember it.

kbaily
kbaily

Let's face it. Teenage boys like things with the letter "X" in it.  As Bender would say "the X makes it sound cool." Like EXTREME!!!

Warful
Warful

I like "Xbox" and I liked that they went with "Xbox 360" but going from Xbox, to Xbox 360 to Xbox One, that makes no sense. Fair enough that they went with the "All-In-One" advertising, but that's still weak. Why not Xbox 720 as rumored? To really state that this is an improvement above the previous console, that this builts upon the previous 360 degrees of immersion, but adds a whole new dimension: Another 360 degrees in the form of new features and additions never before seen in entertainment systems and yada yada. I liked Xbox 720 more.

Valkeerie
Valkeerie

Yeah, how about Dreamcast 1.5? Not 2, because that thing still needs to exist!

frozenux
frozenux

damn that thing was ugly....

kellian1
kellian1

Good thing they didn't call it x-pac...wouldn't want that kind of heat.

Revl8n
Revl8n

And now we have Xbone.  Problem solved.

vongroove
vongroove

What about the Xbox PC is better?  I like that name, what do you think!

Dream-on-stereo
Dream-on-stereo

Too Manny Sony fan Boys

My console platforms: PS,PSone,Xbox,PS2,Psp,Xbox360,PS3.

i droped nintendo it was to much money to spend on

cause i love exclusive titles :)  

plm3d_basic
plm3d_basic

The obvious choice would have been xbox 3 or infinity.  One makes no sense. 

dragonkantus
dragonkantus

they should have called it the POC (piece of crap)

WeskerTeam
WeskerTeam

That's my sexbox, and her name is sony.

xolivierx
xolivierx

they should have called it the RROD

Warful
Warful

Microsoft is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get...

soheil_m
soheil_m

FARZ (Farm Action Registered Zeus) , ZARZ (Zero Anomaly Reality Z!) , BALLS (Boys Alot Love Loving Special) ... They didn't mentioned These !!! :D

lostn
lostn

Some of these actually sound good. MIND, VERV, and MARZ are great names, albeit being a little pretentious.

BelaidKL
BelaidKL

I read somewhere else another called MEA... Is it just me or does this sound good?

torres_unix
torres_unix

Who gets paid to come up with such idiotic names?  Can I get a job like that?

PETERAKO
PETERAKO

in your "FACE"


you are such a VERVert


30 seconds to MARZ


xbox one will have a MIND of its own

jhcho2
jhcho2

That list of names clearly shows are bad the Xbox team is with names. I guess 'Xbox One' doesn't seem so bad by comparison. Seriously, MOX, VERV and M-PAC sound like pornographic terms. I'm glad they didn't go ahead with any of that.

OldKye
OldKye

@GAMERALL "Microsoft DirectX is a collection of application programming interfaces (APIs)..... Originally, the names of these APIs all began with Direct, such as Direct3D, DirectDraw, DirectMusic, DirectPlay, DirectSound, and so forth. The name DirectX was coined as shorthand term for all of these APIs (the X standing in for the particular API names)"

Copied from the wiki.

OldKye
OldKye

@kbaily Sega tried that too with the "Master" system lol and Nintendo tried thing's like "It's a cube not a box" but always love that Sony just kept with "It's a station you play with.... number 3 this time."

Warful
Warful

It seems I can't get Trevor off my MIND, and I like having Trevor on top of my FACE. Wait. What the hell?

RedLegZeff
RedLegZeff

@Warful Yeah that's just 2 circles. Sounds more like a skateboard move. Though they like to have names that reflect the changes, so how about Xbox Hal? Or maybe the Xbox yakov smirnov, Instead of you watching xbox, xbox watches you! Can Even be abreviated to XY

crazyeightz1
crazyeightz1

The obvious choice couldn't have been xbox 3 since they're talking about the original XBox.

Oh and speaking about the new console, they can't call it infinity cause what would they call the one after that? Infinity plus One?

ShadowOfKratos
ShadowOfKratos

@berserker66666 

Isn't it the same console? It's number 1 right? C'mon man, don't tell me Xbox One isn't the number one Xbox... That's just retarded man.

Grenadeh
Grenadeh

@jhcho2 All console names are bad or obvious. NES, SNES, N64, DreamCast, Colecovision? Who gives a shit?