Xbox Was Going To Be Called “Eleven-X”

The original Xbox was on its way to be named Eleven-X when Seamus Blackley and his launch team intervened and coerced “the naming guys” to accept its current name.

“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,” he reminisced.

Then there was “phase two, or ‘car’ names. These were so bad we didn’t even save them, but I remember making fun of one of them by calling it the ‘Microsoft Bunduss’. Then we got the ‘acronym’ phase from the naming geniuses.”

In that third phase, the naming guys sent Blackley a huge list of “crappy” acronym-based names. The names were so bad, the team decided to go ahead and use their internal codename as the console’s market name. The console was called “DirectX Box” internally, but by that time the team was used to shortening it to “xbox” in their emails.

“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…”

The complete list of crappy acronym-based names is as follows. Honorable mention goes to TSO (Three, Six, Zero).

- 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)

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