The original Xbox was once known internally as the "Microsoft Entertainment Activator" and "Real Performance Machine", among other things. A little more sanely, the manufacturer once dreamed of titling its third Xbox console "Xbox Infinity". Thanks to Xbox One marketing and planning director Albert Penello and Forbes for that particular revelation.
Infinity was rumoured to be the machine's title shortly before announcement, as per the below "leaked" image, which was originally posted on Reddit. This seemed plausible to many in light of the use of "Infinity" as an umbrella term/fiction for Halo 4's online offerings - more plausible, anyway, than "Xbox 720", despite the latter's appearance on a game developer's CV.
"The name Xbox Infinity was in the running, I can say that," Penello told Forbes. "They're crafty. Who's to say that they didn't leak that name out in the weeks ahead of the launch? They are very crafty."
Pushed to explain the final choice of moniker earlier in the year, Microsoft's Jeff Henshaw had this to say. "There's something very powerful about it. Xbox One really embodies the concept that this is the first device, the combination of this very powerful console that brings all its eight cores, 8GB of RAM, super fast memory, super powerful SoC we built, super powerful dedicated audio and video processing subsystems."
He added that the console's handle "is really the embodiment that this becomes one device that addresses all the entertainment that you want to enjoy on your TV, and brings it to you in a way that's so simple, that it can be the only input you have connected through your television. It is truly the one place to go for all this."
What would you have called the new Xbox, given the opportunity? "Xbox Infinity" certainly gels with Microsoft's promise of infinite cloud power for Xbox One, though I can't help but wonder what Microsoft would have called its successor. Here's a pile of rejected case designs for your contemplation.