Tuesday, 9 July 2013

What The Original Xbox COULD Have Been Called....

Yesterday an article was posted on IGN titled: Rejected Names for the Original Xbox Revealed, in which a load of names (mostly ridiculous I might add) were listed as things that the first ever Xbox console could have been named, but, luckily, wasn't.

Normally I'd let an article like this slide without a word or simply tweet it out on twitter, however the names in this list are so bizarre it's more than worth dedicating an entire post to.

First of all I recommend you check out the original article (link is that pink text above) for ALL of the rejected names as I'm only going to list the interesting ones here.

Now, it's important to remember that these names are things the original Xbox COULD have been called INSTEAD. So instead of 'Xbox', we could have been landed with a console called 'MAX', yes 'MAX'.

Guy 1: "Hey man, you wanna play some games later, on MAX?"
Guy 2: "Uh, who's Max?"
Guy 1: "What? You know, MAX...?"
Guy 2: "Who the hell is Max? Do you have another sex slave again? Oh God, I told you dude, I don't want anything to do with any of those weird orgies you have, so just leave me alone!"
*Guy 2 runs away sobbing*
Guy 1: "Jesus, why bother including a Co-Op feature on the console if no-one wants to play with you?"

What was 'MAX' supposed to be, your gaming 'buddy'? A games console with a human name? Sounds pretty dodgy if you ask me. But 'MAX' is actually an acronym. It actually stands for: 'Microsoft Action Experience'. What the hell is with that? Was the early 2000's really this sad?

Meh, MAX isn't even that bad though. Apparently Microsoft considered the name 'AIO'. That really rolls off the tongue easy huh? A-I-O? Sounds like a robot from an 80's si-fi flick.

And what about 'MIND'? The 'MIND' console. Did anyone else get an image like this:

in their head when they read or thought of that? MIND?

"Hey kids, play games on your MIND!"

Well, they already could. Called 'imagination'. How's that for you Microsoft?

But one of the best ones has to be 'FACE'. Yeah, Microsoft actually considered calling the first ever Xbox 'FACE' instead.

Seriously, you couldn't ever ask a girl to come over and play on it with you, could you? imagine that:

Guy (to girl): "Hey what you doing tonight?"
Girl: "Nothing. Why?"
Guy: "Wanna come over and play some games? On my FACE?"
Girl: "You sick, sick, sad deprived little man. You're a real pervert you know that?"
*Girl starts to walk off*
Guy: "Hey, wait, no it's a games console! We can play all sorts of things. Shooting games, right? You like them? I can shoot you in the face? Or you can shoot me in the face? C'mon, everyone loves these games right?"

OK, so maybe you'd have to be mental to actually say 'I can shoot you in the face', but I couldn't resist that joke. If you're wondering what 'FACE' actually stands for though, it means: 'Full Action Centre'. I know, I know, 'Full Action Centre' doesn't actually turn into 'FACE' if you break it down, but apparently Microsoft thought 'FACE' would be more appropriate than 'FAC', and given that 'FAC' obviously sounds a bit like 'Fuck' it's arguably no surprise they went with the whole 'face' thing. That said, I don't know why they even considered 'FACE' or 'Full Action Centre' in the first place.

Tic-Tacs could have had stiff competition if Microsoft had actually gone for the name 'TAC', which was apparently considered too. Video game discs for the 'TAC' console, which stands for 'Total Action Centre' (seriously, M$, what the fuck was with your obsession with 'Action Centres'?) by the way, could have been called 'TACs'. Yep, people almost had to go around calling their games 'TACs'.

You know what I really want to know? I want to know who the fuck Microsoft had employed as their head of fuckin' Marketing or 'Name Deciding' or whatever the fuck the department that came up with these stupid names was called. He's probably fired now though. Well, actually, given the fact Microsoft decided to name the newest Xbox the 'Xbox One', he is probably still working for them. And '360' wasn't exactly a genius name either, was it?

The name 'MARC' is pretty funny when you consider it is just a dumb way of spelling 'Mark' and is just a face-palm of a thing to call a console, however what's REALLY funny is what 'MARC' means.
'Microsoft Acton Reality Centre' is what's behind it.

Let's just all say that again, but out loud this time. Make sure you do say it out loud too, as if you were suggesting to a friend that they come over and play on it with you.

'Microsoft Action Reality Centre'.

What I don't quite understand about these names, or rather what I'm sensing about these names, is that Microsoft just took every 'cool' word that was used in the early 2000's and by kids of that generation and stuffed them all into a shitty acronym so it would appeal to young children.

I mean, 'Action'? I guess there was action in the games if you played, well, action games.
But 'Reality'? And 'Centre'? 'Action Reality Centre'? Those three words mean nothing. They make no sense together. There is zero sense to be made out of them.

Microsoft were just hoping 12 year olds would see a poster for it in their local game store and be like:

"MOM! LOOK! The new 'Microsoft Action Reality Centre' is being released! Look mOm, it says 'action'! ACTION MUM!! Can I have one? No? But MERM it's the centre of all action and reality! It's an 'action reality centre' merm! Please? I want one Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrm. MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRM.... MERM??!"

Actually, let's do that again, except just so you read at least the 'merm' and 'muuuum' parts in his voice, here is a picture of Cartman:

OK, so read it again now and hopefully it will be in his voice:

"MOM! LOOK! The new 'Microsoft Action Reality Centre' is being released! Look mom, it says 'action'! ACTION MOM!! Can I have one? No? But MERM it's the centre of all action and reality! It's an 'action reality centre' merm! Please? I want one Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrm. MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRM.... MERM??!"

Did it work? Leave a comment telling me if it worked or not!

Anyway, trying to get kids to want the console when the it has far more mature titles than teenage or kiddy ones is a pretty suspect marketing ploy.

Names like 'MAP' and 'MIC' really do open up the question of how people would react when asked to play on them with you. Like with a couple of the other names mentioned, I don't think inviting people to play on your 'MIC' or 'MAP' would work out well. Probably because half of the people asked would be like:

"Dude, why would I want to play on your map? I ain't 12 years old. I'm going home to play on my Playstation."

Or they might be like (assuming you pronounced 'MIC' like you do the abbreviation of 'Microphone'):

'Uh, man, you do know we have games consoles like the Playstation? And we have TV? I think we're a bit past the time when we have to rely on microphones to keep us entertained."

I know all these 'confusion over the name' issues could be resolved by simply telling the person: "No, not a 'microphone', 'MIC', as in the new console!", but how dumb would you look telling people your new console was called 'FACE' or 'MIC' or 'MIND' anyway?

Guy 1: "Ooooooooh, you thought I meant 'face' as in MY face? Hahahahaha, no I meant 'face' as in my new console 'FACE'.
Guy 2: "Your new console is called 'FACE'?"
Guy 1: "Yah."
Guy 2: "...."

Nah, I'm just joking. If you've got good friends they wouldn't make a big deal over the fact they own a perfectly normal 'Playstation' while you own a, uh, 'FACE', but you couldn't blame them for laughing at it either.

In the end it's a good thing that Microsoft's first ever games console was called 'Xbox', because otherwise we could all be awaiting the release of the 'FACE One' or the 'MIND One'. Or maybe the 'MAX One'. Or the 'AIO One'. Yeah, thanks for not going too outlandish with the final name.

One final funny thing worth mentioning is the fact that all of the 'rejected' names stood for something, like 'MAX' stood for: 'Microsoft Action Experience', however the final name, Xbox, doesn't actually stand for anything. Well, not as far as we know. All of the 'possible' meanings behind the name 'Xbox' are just people thinking up things themselves. Microsoft has never said what it really means, although given that the '360' that was shoved after 'Xbox' for the console's second generation was confirmed as meaning Jack-shit, it is perfectly possible that Microsoft decided to give up trying to make the console sound 'cool' with words like 'action' and just named it something pointless. Well good thing you did too Microsoft, because inviting people over to play on your 'FACE' isn't something anyone would have enjoyed doing.

What do you think of these rejected names? Share your thoughts bee-low!

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