The Microsoft Xbox Was Originally Slated To Be Called What?
Answer: Direct X-Box
In 1998 four members of Microsoft’s DirectX team–Otto Berkes, Kevin Bachus, Seamus Blackley, and Ted Hase–began experimenting with hacked apart laptops in a bid to build a prototype gaming machine for Microsoft. Shortly after they cobbled together a working prototype they pitched it to Ed Fries–then the head of Microsoft’s game division. In an interview with gaming news and development blog Gamasutra, Fries recalls the experience of naming what would become the Xbox:
[…] These crazy guys walked into my office and told me they had this idea to get Microsoft into the console business. They were from the DirectX team, and they wanted to make this thing called the “Direct X-Box”. […] marketing hated the name, they went off and created this whole, long list of better names for the machine.
Direct X-Box was shortened to Xbox and, despite the best efforts of the marketing department to kill the name off, the test group subjects loved it. The Xbox name stuck and Microsoft went on to develop the Xbox and then Xbox 360 in a wildly successful foray into the console gaming market.