What is in a console name ?

Remember the good old days when each generational system from Sega and Nintendo had its own unique name. There was the Master System, NES, Mega Drive (Genesis), SNES, Saturn and the N64 to name a few.

That all stopped when the new boys started to play, Sony and Microsoft. Both companies saw the potential and had strategies in place to create a gaming brand and then ensured that their brand would be at the centre of every generational model they produced.


Sony kicked off the uninspiring console naming convention when they released their second generational console, the Playstation 2. The Playstation and Microsoft’s XBox brands are huge business. The goodwill built into these brand names are almost on par with Coca Cola’s Coke brand. What was disappointing to see, was that the once king of the video gaming domain, Nintendo, following suit and calling their next gen system the Wii U. I mean, how uninspiring is that ! They probably thought, if you can’t beat them, join them.

I hear gamers grumbling about Commodore using a numbering system in their model names. At least Commodore had a purpose. The numbering was to inform the buyer how much memory (RAM) the system had. So, the purpose was built into their naming convention. Heck, even NEC had differing names for their systems, but lets not open that can of worms.

Perhaps I am intoxicated by nostalgia, but I do miss the days when each video gaming system had its own unique name. Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, please take note !



  1. amonitelab says:

    I think it’s also because times have changed and Super Playstation would not sound as cool as Super Nintendo (that’s a bad example). But i agree that it all sounds a bit dull and is unimaginative just changing a number or adding a letter at the end of the original console’s name.


  1. […] credit where it’s due, this post was originally inspired by a post on the Australian Retro Gamer site. Check ‘em […]