A new Xbox Live Family Pack has been unveiled by Microsoft, costing £69 ($99). Set to launch this November, the pack will give families up to four-year-long Xbox Live Gold memberships on one console, maintained by a single master account. The master account holder will be able to purchase and dispense Microsoft points to other Family Pack members, change parental settings, and view activity monitoring reports showing how much time has been spent playing games on each account.
The billing system has also been simplified for Family Pack customers, with all purchases charged to the single master account. Parents will be able to keep tabs on the family’s spending by requiring purchases from family members to be authorised by the master account before they are complete. All the settings will be controllable in one place under the new Family Centre, which will be added to the Xbox Dashboard and Xbox.com.
Family Centre will work in conjunction with existing parental controls on the 360. These include the ability to remove mature games, movies, and content on the dashboard with Family Programming; allow family members to play certain games above the console’s designated BBFC rating with title exceptions; and control the amount of time spent playing games with the Family Timer.
The Family Pack forms part of Microsoft’s renewed focus on casual gamers, who were at the centre of its press conference at last week’s E3 event. Part of the show included the motion-sensing peripheral Natal, which was renamed to Kinect and also given a November release date. Fifteen titles have been confirmed for Kinect's launch, including first-party minigame collections, third-party fitness titles, and unnamed projects from Lucasarts, Q? Entertainment, THQ, and more.