Speed Reads

Google's Gender-Neutral Games

Google is selling 'gender-neutral' controllers to appeal to women

Google hopes to get a competitive edge in the gaming industry by appealing to women with its new game service, Stadia.

"Some of our historical competitors in the console space have been a bit more masculine and a bit more mechanical in their approach," Phil Harrison, Google VP and head of Stadia, said in an interview with CNN Business. In designing new hardware, Google is trying to go "gender-neutral" by selling controllers in three colors: white, black or "Wasabi green," reports CNN. Director of design, Isabelle Olsson explained to CNN that the green color was particularly chosen because "both men and women gravitated towards this color."

CNN notes that the strategy is different compared to other gaming services such as Microsoft's Xbox controller "which comes in colors like electric blue or firetruck red," but also mentions that Google isn't the first to take a gender-neutral approach as Nintendo previously made the Switch Lite in bright colors like turquoise and yellow to appeal to all genders as well.

But color isn't the only design choice meant to appeal to women. In a behind-the-scenes video, Google industrial designer Jason Pi said the controllers will also be designed especially "for small and large hands so it's super usable for a large segment of gamers that aren't always appreciated." Stadia is set to release on November 19 to gamers of all gender. Ramisa Rob