Microsoft’s own games console, the Xbox 360, isn’t actually a games console, company CEO Steve Ballmer has decreed.
In an interview with USA Today, Ballmer was forced to correct the common misconception when asked what he believes differentiates the Xbox from other consoles in the market.
“Xbox isn't a gaming console. Xbox is a family entertainment centre,” he helpfully explained. “It's a place to socialize. It's a place to watch TV. We have Hulu coming. It's the only system where you are the controller. Your voice, your gestures, your body.”
Whether its a “family entertainment centre” or a games console, Microsoft knows it hasn’t done enough to get more girls interested in the device. But, according to Ballmer, Kinect is going some way to bridging the gaming gender gap.
“I think about my own family,” he said. “My wife used to say, ‘No, no, that's the machine the boys use,’ and now she says, ‘Yeah, I want to go watch movies. Let's go play the dance game.’”
“It opens up accessibility to family entertainment because with the Kinect, you control these systems with your body, with your voice. We've opened up the world of content in TV, movies. You just sit there and say ‘Xbox’ or ‘play movie.’”
“You go to your average 15-year-old boy, and he will say ‘I'll take an Xbox,’” he said. “I want that average 15-year-old girl as excited about the Kinect, and we haven't done as good a job drawing in that broader set of demographics.”