As someone who's a little too old for a gaming headset with cat ears, I find my hardware choices are pretty limited. Unless I want to shell out for one of the best mechanical keyboards with a riot of RGB lighting to compensate for colour options ranging from black to, er, black, my options for gaming keyboards, gaming mice and gaming headsets are all rather dull.
The aggressive styling of a lot of gaming accessories has a distinct whiff of Lynx Africa to it. So part of me is delighted to see Logitech's new "gender inclusive" range of gaming accessories, branded Aurora (opens in new tab): they're much more fun and come in colours including White Mist, Green Flash and Pink Dawn.
According to Logitech, the new range is based on "feedback from women gamers across the community" and isn't just about style. Logitech has prioritised "comfort, approachability and playfulness," so while the designs and colours are cute, there are also practical considerations such as catering for smaller head sizes and smaller hands, and thinking about accessories such as earrings and glasses for people wearing headsets.
While the feedback was primarily from women, the Aurora range is not just for women. Plenty of men wear glasses, have earrings, have small hands or just fancy hardware that isn't just available in black. The downside is that the products announced so far are all pricey, and some people worry there may be a pink tax happening here.
Pink shouldn't add to the price tag
Women and non-binary people are very familiar with the existence of the "pink tax", where products suddenly become much more expensive when they're not being marketed to men. While women and non-binary people are consistently paid less than men, they're often charged more for all kinds of products that are effectively identical other than their colour or packaging. Razors are one of the best-known examples: despite having identical RRPs, blades for men in my usual shop are consistently cheaper than the same ones for women.
Is that happening here? According to Engadget (opens in new tab), you could certainly interpret it that way. As Steve Dent points out, the Aurora G735 wireless headset is $229.99 while the very similar Pro X Wireless headset is $30 cheaper. The G715 keyboard appears to offer a lower specification for the same price you'd pay for a G915 TKL, and the G705 wireless gaming mouse is lower resolution than the identically priced and similarly small G503.
Logitech flatly denies pricing anything based on its target audience, and I suspect the explanation is less controversial: these are new product lines and come with customisation options that other Logitech kit doesn't, so that complexity is bound to affect the price. Give it a while and you'll see the same discounts as you see on other Logitech stuff. But I do hope that this collection isn't a one-off and that Logitech will also make some more affordable models with the same inclusivity in mind.