How We Might Have Been Playing an 11-X Instead of an Xbox One

The Xbox was almost called the 11-X. We're glad they changed that name.
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Imagine for a moment it is 2001 and you are standing in line at Best Buy waiting to get your hands on Halo to play that evening.  Your best friend is standing beside you and with much excitement they exclaim, “I can’t wait to get this into my CyberPlayGround.” How about coming home from work, school, or a day of chores to pop in Call of Duty on your M-PAC?  These are just a couple of names thrown around for what we now know as the Xbox.

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Seamus Blackley and his team were the ones responsible for building and launching the original Xbox.  Though, before they could launch the console, they had to come up with a good name.  In an interview with EDGE, Blackley remembers that acronyms were being thrown left and right.  He says,

“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. 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.”

Hey Mom! Can we get the new VERV?

“Hey Mom! Can we get the new VERV?”

During the subsequent phases of development, the team had decided that they wanted to use the term Xbox, but others in positions of power disagreed. The 11-X name was getting a lot of steam, so Blackley decided to stick his ground. He states,

“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…”

Of course, they eventually settled on Xbox, but what if the console had been named the TAC instead? Would we be able to keep our brains inTACt as we revel in one of the best consoles to be released in the last 20 years? In our multiplayer games, would we have a TAC-tical advantage?  I don’t know, but I’m pretty sure we could “TAC” on the puns.

Ok, I’m done.


 Below is the full list of names that, thankfully, the launch team didn’t pick.

– 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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Corey Kirk
Gaming enthusiast. Great at many, master of none.