Microsoft wasn’t kidding when they said they planned on launching Natal like an entirely new console. It appears that the company intends to finish off the Xbox name after the Xbox 360. This is obviously a surprise considering the time and money that goes into building an identifiable brand name in the video game industry.
This news, which we’re classifying as a rumor until more details arise, comes from a FOX Interactive Media employee who said that the FIM subsidiary IGN was in the process of phasing out the TeamXbox name and site in preparations to consolidate the Xbox-only site’s content into IGN due to Microsoft's decision. You may remember that IGN shocked a lot of people when they fired TeamXbox.com’s co-founder and editor-in-chief along with several other employees back in March. Since that time, the site has seen a noticeable decline in content, traffic, and updates.
Around the same time as the firing at TeamXbox, FOX Interactive Media rebranded the site with the “Powered by IGN” slogan. Everyone knew the affiliation between the two, but slapping the IGN logo on there was odd.
In addition to the rumor coming out of FOX Interactive Media, Microsoft has been sending out new box art and PDF pamphlets which show new logos for the upcoming products and games. In addition, some of the box art clearly is missing any mention of the Xbox name, which we thought nothing of until the tip from the FIM employee.
We’ll keep an eye on this rumor as it develops since it impacts longtime users of TXB and fans of the Xbox brand. The most important thing is that a name change won't impact the hardware or quality of games. That's been proven by past successes like Nintendo and Sega.