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Xbox 2 gets a codename

According to men on the Internet, Xbox 2 is being referred to internally at Microsoft and trusted developers as "Xenon" - a rather more politically correct project codename than Project Midway, which is what the company called the original Xbox development work. Taking on the Japanese, see?

Although internal development codenames mean absolutely nothing about what a product will actually be called when it hits shelves, it should be noted that Microsoft are shockingly unimaginative in this department - Project Gotham was the codename for the software project that became, er, Project Gotham, and Xbox was the development name (chosen after someone realised that perhaps wooing Japanese developers to work on "Project Midway" might be a tad tasteless) for the console that became, er, Xbox.

As for the next generation Xbox, well, chances are we're still going to call it Xbox 2 until Microsoft says otherwise. However, the system is actually unlikely to be called that when it finally arrives; Microsoft is apparently concerned that consumers might assume that Xbox 2 would be less powerful than PlayStation 3 because of the version numbers. Current bets are on "Xbox Next" as the brandname.

Meanwhile, we're still waiting for any kind of confirmation about a name for Nintendo's forthcoming console. A number of sites (allegedly quoting development sources, no less) are claiming that the internal codename for the system is N5 - which is news to us, and to a number of colleagues in the industry. We started using the N5 moniker to refer to the GameCube's successor some time ago, simply because it's easier to type than "the console that Nintendo are doing after GameCube"â¦

Rob Fahey avatar

Rob Fahey

Contributing Editor

Rob Fahey is a former editor of GamesIndustry.biz who spent several years living in Japan and probably still has a mint condition Dreamcast Samba de Amigo set.