Sony Wants More Women Interested in PS4

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Here is my question:

How does the console developer make hardware more friendly towards women when it's in fact games that sell to the audience? How is Sony going to change how developers and publishers do business?

No one is denying that systems selling to a larger audience is a good thing. No one is denying that having more females in development rolls is a good thing. I question how Sony plans on making that happen, or indeed what they can do to spur that forward. Time will tell.

Also, I mean, I can't be the only thinking this, but this is the worst case of bandwagon jumping I have ever seen from a corporate structure. With all the news lately involving women and all the (sometimes) quite inane sexism/misogyny finger pointing that has been happening lately, I get wanting to add your name to the list of people that are "defending against the sexist ways of the entire industry". How does PS4 news or talks have anything at all to do with that? I'll tell you, it doesn't have anything to do with that because they have no way of designing hardware that appeals to a female audience.

Eclipse Dragon:
<---Female gamer

Purchased a PS1
Purchased a PS2
Purchased a PS3

Sony.... I don't think you have anything to be worried about.
I guess it's nice that they're trying, even if they're going about it all wrong.

Make good games and they will appeal to everyone regardless of gender. You don't need to make a concentrated effort. Making games that they think "will appeal to women" when they have no idea exactly what appeals to women, could end up being more of a mistake rather than a smart decision.

On a side note: I wonder how well Nintendo sold the pink GBA, DS and currently selling the pink 3DS, and what percentage of those buyers were female compared to the other colors.

Yup. I'm a woman. I own a PS1, PS2, PSP, and PS3 and finances allowing I'll own a PS4 in due time. You don't have to make it pink, but I would very much like it if you include the stand so I can fit it into my entertainment center with my other fine Sony products rather than making me purchase it separately. That would be super. You can even make it pink if you really want to, I don't care.

... I do have a pink controller for my PS3. Partly because I like knowing which one is mine and party because my fiancÚ won't touch it with his grubby work-man-constantly dirty with some metal cutting grease hands which gum up the buttons of our other two standard black controllers.

Also - that picture of a pink PS2... I did not know that existed and I'm actually a little tempted. Purple would be great too. Or blue. I am getting a little bit tired of basic black, sure it's classic but... everything I own that is electronic is black these days! The world has colors dammit let's use some of them.

The main thing I got from this article is that House is working at Sony. But they want to increase diversity in games so good for them. I've been really liking the direction Sony's moving in with the PS4 so far, seems like they're really putting in effort to improve themselves.

image

I really hope nobody gets the idea to make a gender-swapped version of Dead or Alive Volleyball to sell this thing to women.

The thought alone is...terrifying.

Binnsyboy:

Sacman:
Well, you can;t exactly accuse Sony of not trying... especially when they released Rez, and it's special controller...<.<

image

Never heard of Rez, but based off of the 'Trance Vibrator', I choose to assume it's as bad as it sounds.

Rez is quite fun and as non-sexual as it gets.

The Trance Vibrator however is just too easy to misuse. Pretty much like everything small and vibrating. :)

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/news250706mizuguchi

Xarathox:

mfeff:
sniptastic

Nobody remembers Rez, and it's Trance Vibrator? There's no way in hell that wasn't specifically designed to be anything but a goddamn sex toy for someones girlfriend to get them "into" gaming.

OT: I'm getting sick of all these companies forcibly trying to draw in women with the rhetoric they keep spewing. The concept is stupendously easy... just make a good product and people (including women who are interested) will buy it.

Ahhh! Totally forgot about THAT! Yeah my primary store sold out of em... then I was moving em around our district, then the district ran out... good times good times. MemoriESSSS Soooo mannnnyyyy Memorrries!

(and awkward retail moments)... such as "returns for defective units", or "used hardware..." (blink, blink)... there are laws... I think...

Well, lets be honest... if these companies have too many more bad years, be prepared for the porn and peripherals to make a come back... in a big way! Porn... the last commercial prayer of a scoundrel.

Luciella:

oreso:

Phasmal:
snip

snip

I agree with her.
I have played all GoWs and not even once thought of Kratos as sexy. I always saw him as some barbaric trope model that makes men feel they want to be like him, never that he was done to appeal to me as a girl. As for Bayonetta, its obvious its made to appeal for men, as the promotion ads asked people to "undress her", unless u swing for the other side, i would never see that as a power-fantasy for a woman, more like a boner-fantasy for dudes.

As for good examples of sexy males that appeal and are specifically made for women (or at least for most of the female gamers i know), you can find Bioware and square enix normally know it.
For example, i found quite appealing Alistar Theirin, Zevran and Fenris (dragon age) as well as Carth Onasi and in a minor way Atton Rand (kotor). I know many girls that played the first Dragon age that enjoyed quite a lot (myself included) to make Alistar or Zevran run naked in battle, just because we could take the armor off to a very nice point, plus the depth of the character that is what really attracted us makes it worth it and worth of many sexy fanfictions.
The female gamer base tends to have an artistic side, you will find that most of the writers and artists that keep some game alive for years through their works (comic's of side stories, or fanfiction) are women in general. You can go to fanfiction and still find updated stories about DragonAge 1 or to deviant art and the same thing, comic artworks that have being kept updated since the game release till this year.

As for other examples, Sephiroth appeals a lot to women, Kingdomhearts as a whole as well.

Women in general are not attracted instantly to beef-looking men without a shirt and in a bikini. A good way of knowing which characters are done for women, is the personality the male character has (This is why many women are attracted to Garrus, myself included) AND then the option to see what he's got under his cloths, or lil glimpses in some scenes here and there that actually make sense. Not the entire character to be nude all time, no; that's just pointless.

Ladies, we most of us, men, have realized that women aren't hive minded creatures.
So why it is so hard for a lot of you to understand that men aren't hive minded either?
Let me talk about me personally (I'm pretty sure there are at least few that think the same way)
I don't find Kratos as power fantasy, rather he is power parody.
Have you ever thought that maybe, just maybe Kratos was designed as barbarian, because he IS BARBARIAN? And his clothes and body complexion projects that?
Kratos first response to problem is kill/crush/destroy, and for any more or less mature person such attitude is laughable.
How low you must think about males to even propose that all (or even majority) males dream to be braindead brutes?
Don't you think that if Kratos is power fantasy, he at most can be teenage power fantasy. Any adequate person older than 20y knows that true power comes from knowledge, skills and willpower, not from overgrown pieces of meat hanging from your body or anger.

Would you be surprised that I find Bayonetta repulsing? Even ugly?
Maybe she has awesome personality, I don't know, since I never played the game.
But from physical point of view she isn't sexual fantasy of every single male.

From what you are saying I take that for you character personality plays much more important role, then looks.
I can respect that.
But lets say that Kratos had deep and emotional backstory and character behind him.
Lets say that games did better job to portrait him as tragical character, that is not as much on path of vengeance, but simply tries to achieve sense of justice against gods, who shattered his life into pieces. And his body complexion simply gives him enough strength to punish gods and their minions for injustice they did.
And lets assume that for some reasons you found this sense of honor and justice attractive.
Wouldn't you at that point consider Kratos attractive, like the characters you mentioned you like.
Because if answer is yes (and I assume it's yes) then it means that developers simply did a bad job of making Kratos into compelling character.
And there is no point of arguing if his design is appealing to anyone.
Bad character is bad character no matter how he/she looks.

My personal power fantasy? Simple. Adam Jensen. Diplomacy for him is more important than violence, not to mention that through all the game his main task is not to seek revenge or saving the damsel (or some BS like that), but rather investigate what happened and who was really behind the attack. Basically his doing his job. Boring I know :)

Well, here's a thought, Sony. How about when a developer wants to make a game that features a female as the main protagonist, or even wants to put a female on the box art, you actually let them. And when publishers won't allow it either, you should encourage more of these games to be developed.

Oh look, problem solved.

When will they realize that women have always been there, have always played the same games, and don't need to be specifically marketed to? I think everyone is sick of brown shooters, not just women.

Make good games and improve the female roles in them. The type of game isn't necessarily the issue. Heck, I surprised someone on Primal Carnage because he and a friend thought that girls didn't play "violent" type games. There are chicks out there who enjoy sniping people's brains out, and they don't need a pink camo-suit to enjoy it. For games where people can make their own characters, but more options in there aside from slut & sluttier. Write good characters, both men and women. Make more varieties of characters. The guy doesn't always have to be the badass, broody hero and the gal doesn't have to be the weak, submissive/ignorant victim. I could go on and on. I'm just asking that the help make better games and maybe find some way to improve the gaming environment (not sure how that would be possible without overly strict policing).

Doom972:
"We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course," - This could be just a simple joke, but it gives me the impression that this guy has never met a female gamer before.
I'm not so sure about the writer of the article either.

Those female gamers that already exist (what few of them there seems to be) seem to like the games that they play as they are - otherwise they wouldn't be playing. I don't think that there aren't that many female gamers because of games not being female-friendly enough, but because they just don't feel like playing video games - I know, it's shocking, but some people just don't find the very idea of sitting down and playing a video game fun, regardless of the games themselves.

Female gamer here, I got some friends of mine into gaming by introducing them to RPGs, like dragon age. Most of them just aren't into video games though, like you said they have no interest in sitting down in front of a computer (or console) and playing a game.

It's nice that they have come out with this after their very male dominated ps4 announcement. To be honest I'd love a pink console but only because pink is my favorite colour not because I have ovaries.

I bought a PS3 last minute because missing out on the JRPG's and exclusives were just painful. Also I think playstation plus is a really good idea and I will be getting a ps4 in the hopes they have it. (I spend way too much money on games.)

To attract women I think they just need to look at games like Tomb Raider and Bioshock Infinite and go from there. Just stay classy Sony :p. PS1 AND PS2 were best consoles. (Apart from maybe Gamecube for which I have a soft spot)

If you really want to pull in the girls make a game with Tom Hiddleston in it. Honest. Really it will work. *cough*

1. Make decent, fun games

2.Make your games less focused as a power fantasy for your male audience.

Done.

By "women" I assume they mean women who have not previously been gamers - if that is the case, the PS4 will never be the main place to start. No one is going to spend several hundred dollars before they even find out if they like the hobby they're starting. New gamers are likely to try free or cheap online PC games. They might later decide to invest in an expensive console but more likely will continue PC gaming.

Eclipse Dragon:
<---Female gamer

Purchased a PS1
Purchased a PS2
Purchased a PS3

Sony.... I don't think you have anything to be worried about.
I guess it's nice that they're trying, even if they're going about it all wrong.

Make good games and they will appeal to everyone regardless of gender. You don't need to make a concentrated effort. Making games that they think "will appeal to women" when they have no idea exactly what appeals to women, could end up being more of a mistake rather than a smart decision.

On a side note: I wonder how well Nintendo sold the pink GBA, DS and currently selling the pink 3DS, and what percentage of those buyers were female compared to the other colors.

Every owner of pink Nintendo handhelds I've known has been an adult male.

Norix596:
By "women" I assume they mean women who have not previously been gamers - if that is the case, the PS4 will never be the main place to start. No one is going to spend several hundred dollars before they even find out if they like the hobby they're starting. New gamers are likely to try free or cheap online PC games. They might later decide to invest in an expensive console but more likely will continue PC gaming.

I look at the advanced quality of some of the games that you can play on mobile devices nowadays and I wonder to myself just how the gaming industry could possibly sucker anyone who isn't already heavily invested in the hobby into starting up.

Maybe they could coat the packaging of the PS4 in LSD or something.

Oh this is gonna be hard to change the view of average women, would require some very clever marketing. Most women are not into gaming altogether with the exception of occasional casual games I suppose.

Maybe they can make more games with covers featuring cool female characters? At least alongside with male characters. I think Tomb Raider got it right. Some of my female friends were interested in the game, plus I've read a few blogs of women who do not game on a daily basis loving it.

Or maybe they can advertise their titles in casual games sold on mobile platforms.

The Artificially Prolonged:
Have you tried making the console pink? I believe woman really like that colour? :P

As a woman, I don't Really like pink all that much. Now if they make a crimsion ps4 it might push it up a few points but at present I'm not interested in getting a ps4 at launch. My back log from my university days will give me plenty of gaming pleasure for months!

LadyTiamat:

The Artificially Prolonged:
Have you tried making the console pink? I believe woman really like that colour? :P

As a woman, I don't Really like pink all that much. Now if they make a crimsion ps4 it might push it up a few points but at present I'm not interested in getting a ps4 at launch. My back log from my university days will give me plenty of gaming pleasure for months!

Actually a crimson coloured console would be pretty sweet. Bet that would be saved for the special addition release a few years down the line though.

The moment Sony said "we need to attract more women!" they ironically tripped at the very first hurdle when it comes to dealing with the issue, rofl.

Sony, please hire game developers because you see good potential in them for game development. Their gender should be goddamn irrelevant, going out of your way just to inflate the female population is going to end badly.

Reaching out to new demographics is fine and dandy, but remember that the core audience comes first - female or not. Don't do what Nintendo did with the Wii.

Eclipse Dragon:

What I'm trying to say is, make good games and they will appeal to everyone regardless of gender.

Thing is, if that was true then there would be more women in gaming. There is clearly something up, and seeking to address that is NOT a bad thing.

Doom972:

Very little? The problem isn't women trying gaming and deciding that it isn't for them. The problem is that a vast majority of women dismiss it and never trying it - which is legitimate and understandable.

Even if true, a lot of that comes from preconception. Change the preconception, and you change the relationship with gaming.

Even the industry assumes that the bulk of us are homophopbic, misogynistic little man-children, which is why we're now getting reports of devs being told their games won't sell with a female protagonist or even marketing featuring a woman heavily. This is an industry that has worked hard to be exclusive, and the first step is simply to stop that.

Am I saying that women will play games in numbers equal to men? I seriously doubt that'll happen. But I'm betting you can get more of any demographic simply by no longer actively pushing them away.

And again, it doesn't require anything for the male base to fear, unless they worry about losing the exclusivity of their clubhouse.

Requia:

The plural of anecdote is not data.

For actual data, in the Jimquisition thread somebody dug up Nintendo's gender breakdown of console sales, Nintendo claims 80% of female marketshare in the console space. If that's even remotely accurate Sony very much has something to worry about.

To be fair, Nintendo got there with a rather interesting strategy. Remember back when the Wii and the DS came out? They were all "we're marketing to girls and old people! You know, people who don't play games!"

They then proceeded to create things like Cooking Mama, because...Bitches love to cook?

Baresark:

No one is denying that systems selling to a larger audience is a good thing.

Not to nitpick, but just look at the success of the Wii on that one. Clearly, people are.

Mylinkay Asdara:
You can even make it pink if you really want to, I don't care.

The point was more that they weren't going to, so I don't think you have to worry.

Unless you really want pink. Then, I suppose, you'd have to worry.

Yuuki:

Sony, please hire game developers because you see good potential in them for game development. Their gender should be goddamn irrelevant, going out of your way just to inflate the female population is going to end badly.

Thing is, adding more women to what is already considered a boy's club isn't necessarily stacking them solely because they're women. It could easily just be "no longer excluding them."

The other thing is, what he was talking about was a potential diversity for ideas, and that in itself strikes me as good "potential for game development." I seriously doubt they're going to hire bad people just to have women on the staff, so what's the real danger here? That we might get 38 brown FPS this year instead of 40? That they might take chances on a few less safe games?

Zachary Amaranth:

Doom972:

Very little? The problem isn't women trying gaming and deciding that it isn't for them. The problem is that a vast majority of women dismiss it and never trying it - which is legitimate and understandable.

Even if true, a lot of that comes from preconception. Change the preconception, and you change the relationship with gaming.

Even the industry assumes that the bulk of us are homophopbic, misogynistic little man-children, which is why we're now getting reports of devs being told their games won't sell with a female protagonist or even marketing featuring a woman heavily. This is an industry that has worked hard to be exclusive, and the first step is simply to stop that.

Am I saying that women will play games in numbers equal to men? I seriously doubt that'll happen. But I'm betting you can get more of any demographic simply by no longer actively pushing them away.

And again, it doesn't require anything for the male base to fear, unless they worry about losing the exclusivity of their clubhouse.

I agree that there is a preconception that gaming is a male-oriented hobby. I don't agree about games not being female-friendly enough to be the reason for it. Some people don't feel like sitting in front of a screen and playing a video game because it seems dull to them, so they dismiss the hobby outright without giving it a try. This is more common for females that for males - the same way a female-oriented hobby would be dismissed by a male without giving it a try.
In my experience, the average non-gamer (male or female) don't really know much about video games and are not aware of the problems some gamers keep making up because they can't seem to realize that this hobby isn't for everyone.

Doom972:
"We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course," - This could be just a simple joke, but it gives me the impression that this guy has never met a female gamer before.
I'm not so sure about the writer of the article either.

See, the thing is, they already tried a pink paintjob. Didn't pan out.

Eclipse Dragon:
What I'm trying to say is, make good games and they will appeal to everyone regardless of gender. You don't need to make a concentrated effort.

I agree with this.

What was once traditionally masculine is very much unisex. The best any dev or publisher can do to appeal to women without singling them out specifically is to make a good game, and maybe throw in the option to play as a girl.

As far as female protagonists go Sony was on a nice head start with Heavenly Sword, do more like dat. Also more story focus, my sisters who do not give any sort of shit about games wanted to understand what's happening in Bioshock Infinite. So get Irrational to make an exclusive for ya and ya good.

The_Echo:

Doom972:
"We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course," - This could be just a simple joke, but it gives me the impression that this guy has never met a female gamer before.
I'm not so sure about the writer of the article either.

See, the thing is, they already tried a pink paintjob. Didn't pan out.

I guess that it wasn't obvious that I meant that the idea of a pink console casing attracting female gamers was stupid.

Doom972:

The_Echo:

Doom972:
"We are not going down the route of making the console pink of course," - This could be just a simple joke, but it gives me the impression that this guy has never met a female gamer before.
I'm not so sure about the writer of the article either.

See, the thing is, they already tried a pink paintjob. Didn't pan out.

I guess that it wasn't obvious that I meant that the idea of a pink console casing attracting female gamers was stupid.

You're gonna... you're gonna be that guy?

I knew what you meant. I was just saiyan.

Concerning the power vs sexual fantasy argument, I think there's an inherent problem with the assumption that muscles are a component of power fantasy (though kicks ass all over the place does indicate a power fantasy).

To demonstrate, I don't think there's anything even remotely shocking in claiming that James Bond is a male power fantasy. He sleeps with all the girls he likes, kills the bad guys, and saves the (free) world on a regular basis.

This is what Sean Connery looked like playing James Bond:

Now, more recent versions of James Bond will be more visibly Muscled, though Daniel Craig is not exactly well, Sean Connery:

No efforts were made to get him to restore his previous look in order to play a part whose primary selling point was being a male power fantasy.

Offer a pink edition
^genious, i know

Perhaps female protagonists aren't enough? What is the point of killing another soldier #4124690 or a marauding groper? There is no emotional grip! Imagine for a second how it would be like to shove a knife in the ribcage of that bitch Clara, who keeps making moves on your boyfriend. Much more satisfying, isn't it.

If they finally make a controller that fits comfortably in my hands, I might actually consider it this time.

blackrave:
snip

Dude , i seriously applaud you, the way you think is quite rare(i really hope it isnt).
You have no idea how many male gamer friends ive got, that literally ask me if there are nude girls or semi nude girls in the games i play. Or spend a lot of time in Hitman brothels/tabledance levels, just to watch their pixel titties bounce. Or play douchebag games of pure violence (grand theft auto) and think thats the best game ever made.
That has led me to belive what i typed up there. But really, its great you find tropes like bayonetta disgusting :)

And yeah you are right, if the writters took more time to develop Kratos character, women (and I) would be atracted to him regardless of looking like a barbarian.

What Sony needs, is to find a good share of writters to develop complete personalities and back stories for male characters, heh they dont even need to make the male show skin, we girls also have a very good imagination to fill the gaps (this mass effect porn for girls for starters):
http://reginaprimata.tumblr.com/post/19499850880/i-think-ill-do-these-three-at-a-time-since-itll

But yeah, you will find huge girl fanbases and shrine topics for certain males that you wouldnt even belive are atractive to women like Severus Snape or Loki (altho i like Thor more)and only because of the depth and tragedies of them.

A power fantasy for me as a girl would be the Female Shepard, the female Grey Warden , hell any RPG character well written that can hold for herself. Mmmm, even Lightning (FFXIII) regardless of the boring story i WILL buy the next game to know what happened to her, because i can indetify myself with her.

Its funny, but in general female gamers (not posers) have a very strong personality and like to be taken seriously and with respect, the same respect you would give to a male gamer. :)

Daystar Clarion:
Okay Sony, here's what you do, come closer.

Closer

Closer

Woman love killing giant monsters, skinnin' 'em, and turning 'em into weapons and armour so they can kill even bigger monsters.

See where I'm going with this Sony?

Don't blow it.

Last time I checked with my family, consisting all of women, they find game like that to be utter trite.

I'm afraid there is not much Sony can really do about this.

Game developers are the ones that have to create content that is appealing to the fairer sex.

But for most part, there have been very few break out successes - so far we got "The Sims", "Pokemon" and "World of Warcraft".

PS: We can theorycraft all we want about "what women/girls want in games", but what really matters is the results, i.e. real world (sale) data.

Daystar Clarion:
Okay Sony, here's what you do, come closer.

Closer

Closer

Woman love killing giant monsters, skinnin' 'em, and turning 'em into weapons and armour so they can kill even bigger monsters.

See where I'm going with this Sony?

Don't blow it.

Took the words right out of my mouth.

We want the same things; good gameplay where we kill shit and get good stuff for killing shit so we can get more cool shit bay killing more shit in fun ways.

Please, please, quit making gender appeal in games harder than it really needs to be.....

I say old chap:
First they get the women, then they get the increased profits.

No no no no no no no, first you get da money, den you get da powah. Den when you get da powah, chico, den you get the women...

Phasmal:

OT: I think the industry and the community both have long ways to go before this is a really `woman-friendly` hobby, but it's good to know that people in the industry want to try.

The industry doesn't have to do a whole lot, IMO, and trying too hard is just going to cost them. Some better content and representation character wise would do the trick.

The COMMUNITY, however, seriously needs to get dragged to the learning tree on gender, though....

The Artificially Prolonged:
Have you tried making the console pink? I believe woman really like that colour? :P

Is it bad that as a straight male , i'd totally buy a pink PS4? Hell i bought my DS in pink just to be different .

Dammit sony make me a pink PS4 and you can have my money!

OT: Okay , so ... How to make games FOR women? Wouldn't that alienate the men? How bout make games both can enjoy? But wait ! They are making games everyone can enjoy . How's this for an idea , some women just aren't interested in videogames . That's like saying how can we make cheerleading a more male sport (activity?) .

Those who want to play games play them , those that don't , well don't it's that simple . Can we move on to the next controversy please? This is dragging on way too long .

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