Microsoft released the beta for the Xbox Avatar editor for the Xbox Insiders. Those who have access to the betas program will be able to grab the installer and mess around with the beta. The whole thing has been themed around “inclusivity”, with a large part of the original promotional trailer from 2017 being based on having robotic limbs, or having your character wheelchair-bound, or being obese, or being pregnant.
YouTuber JayShockBlast grabbed the beta and launched it for the first time, putting together a 21 minute video going through the details.
The first thing you’ll notice is that finding a default white male avatar to edit is difficult, and Microsoft pumped up the selection with a bunch of androgynous-looking templates or female defaults, even though we all know that majority of the users on Xbox are dudes. Although, if anyone disagrees Microsoft is always welcome to roll out the demographic data.
After you choose a template, you’ll then be able to choose the body shape, the skin color, the hair, the eyebrows, the facial hair color, the nose-type, lips, and chin.
You’ll notice that a lot of the options are geared toward making your characters look “gender-fluid”.
Masculine options are on the thin side, though. Worse yet is that the facial hair options are extremely thin.
In fact there are only 12 facial hair options. You can literally see all of the options for the facial hair below.
It’s amazing that they put more attention on robotic arms and wheelchairs than facial hair.
Once you get done with the basic setup you can then choose whether your character has disabled limbs or not. Additionally, you can then choose accessories for their face such as masks, or rings for their hands, or gloves, or wristwear.
When you finally get done decking out your character’s clothes, you can then choose their mood and then snap a photo.
One part of Microsoft’s promotion for the new Xbox Avatars is that the clothing items and accessories are gender-neutral. This is part of Microsoft’s aim to be more “inclusive”. However, all of your old Xbox Live Avatar customization items will not carry over. You will be able to use your old avatar if you want to, but you won’t be able to pick and choose pieces that you previously purchased for the new avatar.
It’s pretty obvious that the theme around the current selection of custom parts is based on San Francisco’s hipster culture. If you’re not into that culture, then you’re going to be left with scraps and a pittance of choices when it comes to customization.
The priorities were pretty obvious, putting wheelchairs, pregnancy, SJW haircuts, and bionic arms front and center above common, standard choices that the average, normal gamer would usually use in their everyday life.
There’s definitely a hard focus on cross-dressing and androgyny, but making tough-looking males isn’t really an option. Expect the SJW-defense force to come out praising Microsoft for being inclusive, while most normal gamers will likely just stick with their old XBL avatars to avoid the headache of making their character look like a goofy soy boy.
(Thanks for the news tip Divine Providence)