Shield your eyes
If Microsoft ultimately went with “Xbox” for its home console, what were the alternatives? Edge has posted a list of rejected names, and they’re pretty great in a “What were they thinking?” way. To be fair, naming can be a shockingly difficult task; one I wouldn’t wish on my enemies.
“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,” Seamus Blackley, a founding member of the Xbox team, told the outlet.
“When we got the first approval, Kevin [Bachus] was told we had to get a new name, because ‘xbox’ wasn’t legally sound, so against his judgment he did so, and got the phase two, or ‘car’ names,” he continued. “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.” A few examples of these include “FACE (Full Action Center),” “MARC (Microsoft Action Reality Center),” and “TSO (Three, Six, Zero).”
Rightfully so, Blackley referred to these acronyms as “crap.” Eventually, the team “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…” They made the right call.