Let’s face it. No company has ever come up with a name for their video game console that made you go “Yea that name is so cool, I’d buy that thing just coz the name is so cool!” Right? So let’s have a look at the top offenders (so far).
|A real boy playing a Virtual Boy|
Nintendo Virtual Boy
So the name was given to keep with the ongoing trend Nintendo had then of having the word “boy” in their products (eg. GameBoy). The moniker Virtual Boy though gives me the pedophiliac heebie-jeebies. “Can’t get that strapping, young paperboy lad to come down to your basement for some refreshments? Then get yourself a VIRTUAL BOY! All the fun, none of the embarrassing lawsuits!“
I owned and loved this machine but what in the blue blazes were Sega thinking?! The name Dreamcast reminds me of unicorns and rainbows and fairies and other less-than-manly crap. They should’ve just called it the Sega PukeInMyMouth, really.
Microsoft X-Box & X-Box 360
It has been proven that adding an “X” to your product name gives it an appeal to the uneducated masses and makes them think “Whoa X! This thing must be EXTREEEEEME!!!” Microsoft called their first ever video game console the X-Box at first because they hadn’t come up with a proper name for it then. You know, all ooh mystery-box-like? I guess the marketing guys fell asleep or something coz the name stuck and they probably rationalized and said something like “Well our product is so EXTREEEME that no other name would do it justice so X-Box it is! Now let’s down some bottles of Mountain Dew!!! High-fives all around, yeah!“
A few years later they developed a newer X-Box model and christened it the X-Box 360. This was due to the fact they thought it was “revolutionary” (360 degrees, geddit?) but Nintendo had the rights to the name Nintendo Revolution (which later became the Nintendo Wii). But to me 360 just connotes that the product just made a whole roundabout turn in development and ended up in the exact same place. Hurray for progress!
Them wacky Japanese have done it again. Slightly cool ‘coz the name doesn’t really mean anything but also annoying for the exact same reason! At least the name Wii sounds like “WHEEE!” like you’re having fun. Maybe they should’ve called it “Nintendo Wii Argh! Fuck! My Brand New Plasma TV!!!” instead as there are many YouTube videos to attest to the hilarity that ensues after not attaching the Wii controller to your wrist as recommended.
Sony Playstation 1, 2, & 3
Sony’s first foray into the video game console world was a hit to say the least. It gave Nintendo & Sega a run for its money and the Playstation 2 eventually was the cause for Sega to throw in the towel with regards to its hardware production. Admittedly the Playstation name isn’t all that bad but it does make me think of kiddie rides and kiddie games in a kiddie theme park. And we all know that video games are unlikeTrix, they aren’t for kids. The decision simply add a number to the later models is also boring. Haven’t they learned from Hollywood and its sequels? Sequels with just numerical names have all fallen flat on their faces. Rambo? Karate Kid? Psycho?
LEAST OFFENSIVE NAME: Sega Saturn
After the Sega CD, the Saturn was the next sign of the apocalypse for Sega. Undoubtedly a capable machine just like the Dreamcast that followed, it too really just did not have the support of 3rd party developers. But unlike the Gaycast, Sega Saturn was a pretty decent name for a gaming machine. It was slightly ambiguous and let’s face it, Saturn with its rings is one bad-ass planet.