Microsoft would have been skipping yet another generation not just in computers but also in video game consoles, if a statement by Robbie Bach, former Chief Xbox Officer at Microsoft, is true. The Xbox 360, which was the Playstation 3’s main competitor, was almost called the Xbox 3.
The Xbox 3 would have been named in a similar manner to the gap between Microsoft’s Windows 8 and Windows 10, only this time it was done for the express purpose of not seeming inferior to Playstation. After all, you didn’t want to have the Xbox 2 go up against the Playstation 3, as Bach said.
The reason that the name was skipped was so that it seemed like you were catching up. The Playstation had already been out for many years before the Xbox even came out, with the first Playstation coming out in 1994 while the Playstation 2 came out in 2000, a year before the original Xbox. With Microsoft so far behind, Microsoft had to put thought into what to name the console.
Both names actually had their problems. The Xbox 2 would have made Microsoft seem behind Playstation, while the Xbox 3 might have confused consumers that would instead have wondered where the Xbox 2 was. The company got around all of this by going with neither of the names, and instead making the Xbox 360.
The Xbox 360 went on to become wildly popular, starting off the console wars of whether the Xbox or Playstation was better. While both console lines have had their own distinct games (such as the Killzone, Final Fantasy, and Metal Gear for the Playstation and Halo, Gears of War, and Knights of the Old Republic for the Xbox), both are somewhat on parity with one another.
For now, until the next generation of consoles comes out, the Playstation seems to hold the advantage (especially since Microsoft went against the Xbox 3 logic and backslid to the Xbox One).