History of Console Codenames

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GERALTITUDE

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#1  Edited By GERALTITUDE

I was very curious about all the console codenames and so started doing some research. This information is culled from my bad memory, GamesRader, NowGamer, IGN, our very own wiki pages, and the internet at large. Please help with accuracy! I'm sure something is incorrect or missing. I didn't include any codenames that became the system name, such as DS. Sega is where most of the confusion seems to be at, so someone who really knows that stuff should speak up!

Atari

According to a not insignificant number of websites, Atari's codenames are all well-endowed women who were working at the office at the time. See how far we've come? Stella is the lone outlier, and was instead named after a bicycle.

Sega

Planets. Nothing more to say here, except what's already been said: maybe Sega shouldn't have broken naming conventions for the Dreamcast. Just to clear that one up, White Belt and Black Belt where two versions of the Dreamcast, the latter built by an American IBM team, the other in Japan. White Belt became the DC we know today. Both versions had codenames so I included them all. Katana is the most famous one, for obvious reasons (samurai are cool).

Nintendo

One interesting thing about Nintendo's codenames is they use an abbreviated version in their SKUs. GameCube games start with DOL, DS games with NTR and Wii games with RVR.

Sony

Microsoft

  • MARZ (Microsoft Active Reality Zone), VERV (Virtual Entertainment and Reality Venture), TAC (Total Action Center), TS0 (Three Six Zero), CPG (Cyber Playground), DirectX-box - Xbox
  • Xenon - Xbox 360
  • Project Natal - Kinect
  • Durango - Xbox 720?
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recroulette

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#2  Edited By recroulette

So...Sega had codenames for their consoles based on space. There is a console named Saturn, but the codename was Jupiter? Isn't that something.

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nintendoeats

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#3  Edited By nintendoeats

Neat, I'm glad to have this information.

This also suggests that EITHER Sega considers the Master System II to be the SG-4000, or they had a failed console in development before the Mega Drive. Very interesting.

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posh

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#4  Edited By posh

nice post! I only knew dolphin and revolution of the ones that weren't recent

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jay_ray

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#5  Edited By jay_ray

@GERALTITUDE said:

Sega

  • White Belt (Katana, Guppy), Black Belt (Shark, Dural) - Dreamcast

Planets. Nothing more to say here, except what's already been said: maybe Sega shouldn't have broken naming conventions for the Dreamcast. Just to clear that one up, White Belt and Black Belt where two versions of the Dreamcast, the latter built by an American IBM team, the other in Japan. White Belt became the DC we know today. Both versions had codenames so I included them all. Katana is the most famous one, for obvious reasons (samurai are cool).

Planets? or Roman Gods?

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RazielCuts

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#6  Edited By RazielCuts

@GERALTITUDE: Is there any more context for the individual names? I'd like to know where 'Project Cafe' came from. (Is it weird that's the only one I find random)

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GERALTITUDE

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#7  Edited By GERALTITUDE

@Jay_Ray: That is a good point! And I guess Mark V isn't really the name of a planet or a god... haha.

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GERALTITUDE

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#8  Edited By GERALTITUDE

@RecSpec: This might not be 100% correct. I'm a little confused at where Jupiter begins and Saturn ends. Still looking into it!

I'll try and find some tonight after work, give you a guys n gals some background about each one if I can.

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recroulette

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#9  Edited By recroulette
@GERALTITUDE: Oh I wasn't questioning your research, that just seems like a thing Sega would totally do.
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GERALTITUDE

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#10  Edited By GERALTITUDE

Oh that's cool, I knew that. Just wanted to say that the Saturn codename and its history is a little confusing. At one point Saturn was also the Saturn's codename too I think. But yeah.. Sega dude. Nomad is a really sweet name I think, had never heard it before.

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crusader8463

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#11  Edited By crusader8463

I love that Atari named them after ladies with big boobs. Such a random dumb thing to go with. The whole list just goes to show how pointless names are. Interesting that the Playstation ended up keeping the PSX thing.

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chilibean_3

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#12  Edited By chilibean_3

Cool stuff, duder.

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buft

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#13  Edited By buft

I read this exact feature on Games Radar last week, pretty interesting stuff

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#14  Edited By TheHBK

I find the Nintendo ones the most interesting. When you have a badass name, it goes into the effort of the system. Dolphin is kinda timid and then you got the gamecube. Revolution and they sold a shit load of Wiis. Project Reality, now that is a ballsy title.

But the best ones are the Sega ones. I remember the Dural name and wonder what that system would have been like.

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71Ranchero

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#15  Edited By 71Ranchero

@GERALTITUDE: Blackbelt was actually partly developed by Microsoft. Im not sure how much involvement MS had overall but it was definitely what spurred the development of the Xbox. When the Dreamcast first started showing signs of an early death, Sega actually tried to negotiate with MS to include Dreamcast backwards comparability into the Xbox but MS declined.

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s10129107

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#16  Edited By s10129107

Direct X-BOX??

Holy shit. I totally get it now. It is a Direct-X Box. It makes total sense. It's NOT a stupid name. Wow. Its actually a great name. You just fucking blew my mind.

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rachelepithet

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#17  Edited By rachelepithet

WTF could Durango mean?

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#18  Edited By JoeyRavn

@GERALTITUDE said:

@Jay_Ray: That is a good point! And I guess Mark V isn't really the name of a planet or a god... haha.

Mark V? We all know that the only god is actually Johnny V :O

Jokes aside, cool topic, duder.

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#19  Edited By nintendork666

Awesome thread. A+ work dude. I remember being super hyped for "the Dolphin", thanks to NP magazine.

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#20  Edited By Nodima

Couldn't a codename for the PS2 be PS9?

Jokes.

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#21  Edited By Lord_Xp

This is a pretty interesting topic actually. I love codenames to major console's. It's good to know when I hear it somewhere. Or I could be a hipster and use codenames since it's more underground n such....where's my starbucks?

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#22  Edited By Hunter5024

Cool I didn't even know half of these. Sony's codenames sure suck.

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GERALTITUDE

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#23  Edited By GERALTITUDE

Thanks, well wishers.

@nintendoeats said:

This also suggests that EITHER Sega considers the Master System II to be the SG-4000, or they had a failed console in development before the Mega Drive.

I tried to look this up (mostly through wikipedia and google) but I couldn't find reference to the SG-4000, but I read something that may or may not be relevant. Jupiter is the codename of a console project that began with cartridges in mind. During the development of Jupiter, Sega decided to go with discs instead of cartridges. At one point they considered a disc-based console with a slot for a cartridge. Anyways, the Saturn Project was birthed from Jupiter, and the rest is history.

@crusader8463 said:

Interesting that the Playstation ended up keeping the PSX thing.

I think PSX was popular lingo that stuck around after the project name reveal. It just stuck. Later, with a certain version release of the console (I don't remember which, maybe the smaller, rounder ones?) it became official.

@TheHBK said:

I find the Nintendo ones the most interesting. When you have a badass name, it goes into the effort of the system. Dolphin is kinda timid and then you got the gamecube.

Here's a fun GC fact: the name of the GPU is Flipper. @Nodima said:

Couldn't a codename for the PS2 be PS9?

I think it was during last week's Unprofessional Fridays that Jeff joked the Orbis might look like an orb. I instantly thought back to that amazing PS9 commercial.

@Atramentous said:

@GERALTITUDE: Blackbelt was actually partly developed by Microsoft. Im not sure how much involvement MS had overall but it was definitely what spurred the development of the Xbox. When the Dreamcast first started showing signs of an early death, Sega actually tried to negotiate with MS to include Dreamcast backwards comparability into the Xbox but MS declined.

I didn't know that about Blackbelt. Very intersting. I do kind of remember something about that Dreamcast backwards compatibility.

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#24  Edited By nintendoeats

@GERALTITUDE said:

I tried to look this up (mostly through wikipedia and google) but I couldn't find reference to the SG-4000, but I read something that may or may not be relevant. Jupiter is the codename of a console project that began with cartridges in mind. During the development of Jupiter, Sega decided to go with discs instead of cartridges. At one point they considered a disc-based console with a slot for a cartridge. Anyways, the Saturn Project was birthed from Jupiter, and the rest is history.

(Just so you know...The Saturn does have a cartridge slot. Which actually is a really nice analogy for the whole console.)

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71Ranchero

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#25  Edited By 71Ranchero

@GERALTITUDE said:

@crusader8463 said:

Interesting that the Playstation ended up keeping the PSX thing.

I think PSX was popular lingo that stuck around after the project name reveal. It just stuck. Later, with a certain version release of the console (I don't remember which, maybe the smaller, rounder ones?) it became official.

PSX was the name of the DVR box with a PlayStation 2 built in that Sony released in Japan. The smaller PlayStation was called PSOne.

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GERALTITUDE

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#26  Edited By GERALTITUDE

@nintendoeats: Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight. Never seen one in peson.

Oh sweet. That's a pretty slick box, except for the nine logos in that corner and lack of a "true" PS logo.

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#27  Edited By DarthOrange

Somebody at Atari was actually named Candy by her parents?

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So that's where the Dolphin emulator got it's name... I actually did not know a lot of these!

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#29  Edited By mike