SPOnG is now pretty much certain that the finalised name for the Xbox 2 is actually Xbox 360, with one of our staff infiltrating a top-tier focus group held by Microsoft for its new Xbox last night.
As you may know, this comes after Xbox lead J Allard used the moniker Xenon for the first time at last week?s GDC.
The study, held in London?s Soho, saw a mixture of male and female gamers and Xbox owners presented with a series of prospective marketing campaigns for the Xbox 360.
The three lead contenders to be offered by the best in media and marketing to date are - somewhat depressingly - Xbox 360: Amplify Yourself!; Xbox 360: You're Next!; and Xbox 360: Shine! Really, that?s what they?re working with right now.
The tagline for Xbox Live is another Nadbaggian example of consumer lifestyle marketing at its most generic. Xbox Live: Ménage a Billions.
All of this was offered up to what was quite a cynical bunch of consumers last night. ?It became clear to me that the marketing brief given to whoever this agency is who has come up with these ad concepts for Xbox 360 should have been to communicate the fact that Xbox 360 is instantly connectable to your friends, and by extension a network of friends and friends of friends and potential gaming partners you might not meet or have met in any other way... other than through online gaming through the online Xbox 360,? said our man on the inside. ?Either the brief was way off this clearly straightforward objective ? or the agency have failed to communicate this.?
A considerable selection of concept advertising was shown to the group too, though again this smacked of coming from the stable of generic urban lifestyle marketing. As one attendee told SPOnG, ?It seems odd that since the original PlayStation launched, they [media agencies in general] can?t come up with anything more imaginative than clubs, girls and drug references to get us to buy.?
The reaction to the name Xbox 360 was in itself a sticking point. ?Will it come with some kind of 360 degree headset?? was the first question asked upon the announcement of the name. The answer, somewhat unsurprisingly, was no.