Don’t round up Xbox 720 to an even-numbered Xbox 8 just yet.
Sure, Microsoft won two Xbox 8-related domains today, Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org, as part of an IP dispute with a registrant hoarding domains in China. However, the company is probably just flexing its trademark muscle and has no intention of unifying its video game products under the Windows 8 banner. To back up our theory that Xbox 8 won’t be the new name, we made a list of five reasons why the default rumored Xbox 720 name will remain the favorite.
1. Microsoft Will Update To Windows 9 And Possibly Windows 10 In That Time
This supposed Xbox 8 console will seem old when Microsoft updates its operating system to Windows 9 and, yes, Windows 10 during the console’s lifespan. Imagine if Xbox 360 had been named Xbox Vista. That much-maligned OS launched a year after Xbox 360 came out and since then, we’ve moved on to Windows 7 and are already enjoying Windows 8 Release Preview. The final version of Windows 8 is expected to be released this fall. Xbox 720, on the other hand, is rumored to have a fall 2013 release date at the earliest. Name a new system after an OS that’s already a year old and is likely to be replaced twice over? We don’t think so.
2. Left Out Xbox8.com
Microsoft acquired Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org, but the real catch, Xbox8.com, is still in the hands of someone based in China. It appears to be a different registrant in China than the Xbox8.us and Xbox8.org cybersquatter. Microsoft hasn't filed any paperwork to secure that domain from what we can tell. There’s certainly more value in this top-level domain, so while the company could try to acquire Xbox8.com in the future and probably will, it’s bidding its time. There’s no rush probably because there’s no pressing need (such as a new console named Xbox 8).
3. Microsoft’s Routine Trademark Enforcement
Microsoft has a history of protecting its trademark from domain squatters. Just ask Mike Rowe. Back when he was a high school student, Mike registered the domain name MikeRoweSoft.com. The real Microsoft asked to buy it from him for $10. He asked for $10,000 and the company sent him a cease and desist letter instead, worth much less than the initial $10. The two parties eventually settled out of court, with young Mike receiving some education boosting perks in exchange for handing over the domain.
OS manufacturers like Microsoft aren’t messing around with anyone that they perceive to be a cybersquatter. It’s a shame. Gwyneth Paltrow’s daughter, Apple, can pretty much never have a nice domain name to call her own.
4. Just One Of Many Domains
The Xbox 8 domains are just two of many that Microsoft obtain in this haul. XboxPhone.com, XboxTablet.com, XboxLiveTV.com, and XboxCompanion.com were also awarded to the company. Either it wanted to repossess all of these domains from the China-based registrant in one clean security sweep or this person correctly predicted Microsoft’s future plans for its phones, tablets, TV streaming, apps and next-gen video consoles.
Microsoft has four more domain cases in the queue, too. The company has filed complains for XboxLiveRewards.com, XboxSports.com, XboxSmartGlass.com, and XboxMusic.com. SmartGlass and Music did turn out to be E3 announcements, but everything else seems to be trademark enforcement, not next-gen console-related clues.
5. Xbox Leaked Documents
The unconfirmed, but very convincing leaked Xbox 720 documents had Microsoft referring to the system as the long-rumored Xbox 720 name. Furthermore, the tech specs for this Xbox 720 console were well beyond what’s being offered currently. Specifically, the possibility of AR Glasses - referred to in the document as Fortaleza Glasses - make us hope that 1) the glasses are real and 2) Microsoft names the console after a big feature like that, not its OS.
Xbox Infinite Is Infinitely Better
Turn that Xbox 8 on its side, however, and all of a sudden we're turning our frown upside down. That's because Xbox Infinite makes the next-generation Xbox sound powerful in name and that powerful name could be incorporated into the console's design. Imagine some sort of infinite loop in conjunction with the green power button and Xbox symbol. It could also tie into the Windows 8 theme without backing Microsoft into a corner when it moves on to Windows 9 and 10.
Finally, it stacks up well against the PS3. Microsoft had the same problem when naming Xbox 360 when it knew that the second Xbox would compete with Sony's PS3. The company couldn't go with Xbox 2 simply because "2" seemed inferior to PlayStation "3." Xbox Infinite doesn’t have that problem. It sounds promising right out of the box. It’s catchy, unique, and gives Microsoft a valid reason to register the Xbox 8 domain names as a precaution.
Xbox 8 Isn’t Enough
Xbox 8 doesn’t add up to the perfect name for Microsoft’s next Xbox system. It’ll be outdated in a few years, Microsoft is missing the most important domain extension and today’s revelation just seems like one of countless domain cybersquatting sweeps the company does routinely. In our minds, Xbox 8 is out, Xbox Infinite is the better choice, but Xbox 720 remains... for now.
Which name are you pulling for? Xbox 8, Xbox Infinite, trusty old Xbox 720?