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)'.