- Bud Light this week announced the launch of BL6, a gaming console shaped like a six-pack of brews with two built-in koozies to keep beverages cold. The Anheuser-Busch brand's unit features a projector and comes loaded with six games, including Tekken7, Soul Calibur VI and RBI Baseball 20, according to details on ShopBeerGear.com.
- The device is for sale by auction on the beer gear website, with proceeds from the sale going to the National Restaurant Association's "Change is on the Menu" program, which is designed to help restaurant workers displaced by the pandemic. As of press time Wednesday morning, the auction bid was at $4,020.
- Bud Light announced the console via Twitter on Tuesday, saying the beer company had won the console wars, referencing recent releases by Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox. An accompanying video called the device "half koozie, half projector and half console."
With more than a little projected overlap between beer drinkers and gamers, Bud Light's attempt to piggyback on hyped-up console releases by Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox makes sense. After all, competitor Miller Lite last year unveiled the "Cantroller," a Bluetooth-enabled beer can that doubled as a game controller, to drum up some buzz with a kooky giveaway.
Bud Light's timing with its "half koozie, half projector and half console" device is far from coincidental. Last week, both Sony and Microsoft released new versions of their respective gaming consoles for the first time in years. As is often the case, the introductions were met with significant hype.
With so much attention devoted to these two blue-chip companies going head-to-head, it's unsurprising that other companies — even beyond the tech or gaming categories — are looking to snag some of the attention. Kraft Heinz's Philadelphia Cream Cheese earlier this week launched a campaign for its Philly Series 5 kit, riffing on the new PlayStation's design and cheekily described as a "stunning advancement in cheesecake technology."
Though Sony and Microsoft are taking different approaches to their marketing strategies — Sony is offering exclusive games at launch, while Microsoft bets on a gaming subscription service — both have the same goal of becoming the central in-home entertainment hub for homebound consumers during the ongoing pandemic. Bud Light's BL6 looks to tap into that interest.
"Consoles have transformed to being about much more than just gaming. They now take front and center in people's homes as a centralized hub for all things entertainment. For both the [older generation] Xbox One and PS4, half of all gamers use their consoles for non-gaming activity," Visual Capitalist reported last week.