This one’s just for the ladies
One of the big takeaways from this year’s E3 is that women are a bigger presence in gaming than ever before. More than half of all games on display at this year’s show let players step in the shoes of a female character, including Aloy from Horizon Zero Dawn and Joule from ReCore. A greater presence of women in games could lead to more female gamers, at least that’s what Microsoft is betting on with its recently announced Xbox wOne, the first gaming console made exclusively for women.
“Consider this glass ceiling broken,” said designer Sandy Worsham at this morning’s unveiling.
The console is the brainchild of Microsoft engineer Bruce Alcott. In a Q-and-A session with the press, Alcott described how his team studied women inside and out for two years to build the Xbox wOne from the ground up.
“Everything we know about women can be found in this system, from the bright pink console to the bright pink controller,” Alcott explained. “Even the name was designed to appeal to women. It’s an Xbox One, but it’s also an Xbox won as in women have finally won by getting their own console. You can see the ‘w’ is italicized because any product aimed at a woman must contain some sort of delicate writing on the packaging. Finally you can also see that the ‘w’ is lower case, which is a friendly little reminder to women on where they stand in society.”
The Xbox wOne launches this fall and will come preinstalled with software that appeals to women; including Facebook, Twitter, Kim Kardashian’s Instagram feed, TMZ, Cosmo quizzes and Killer Instinct. The console also includes a feature where it will shut off if played for more than an hour at a time, because let’s face it ladies you’re never going to meet a husband sitting around playing video games all day.
For women who don’t play video games, Alcott says the new system even has something for them.
“We are very excited about what we’re calling ‘Boyfriend Mode.’ We realize many females out there don’t like to play games, but will sit and watch their boyfriends play videogames for hours on end. Boyfriend Mode gives that experience to women who don’t have a boyfriend. Simply put in any game and turn the mode on. With Boyfriend Mode, girls can sit back and watch as the game plays itself, simulating what it’s like to have a boyfriend who completely ignores you as he tries to kill as many zombies as he can. Just like a real boyfriend, you can ask the Xbox wOne questions like ‘Are you almost done?’, ‘Which one is the bad guy?’ or ‘Why do you even play this? It doesn’t look fun,’ and the console will respond with answers a real boyfriend would give like ‘Not now,’ ‘That’s the bad guy now pay attention,’ and ‘Fuck Becky, you just got me killed!’; along with 37 different kinds of annoyed grunts and the prolonged dead silence of ignorance.”
If the Xbox wOne is a success, Alcott says the company has plans to introduce console aimed at Latinos known as the Xbox Juan.