Microsoft confirms 360 Family Timer for December
Software giant announces that new console feature that lets parents ration game time will arrive next month; touts alliance with PTA.
Currently, all three current-generation consoles have parental controls. Like similar features on televisions and DVD players, the tools for the Wii, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3 let parents lock out games of a certain rating. Thus, a 35-year-old man could own Gears of War without worrying about his 5-year-old son accidentally playing it.
This morning, Microsoft upped the parental-control ante by officially announcing the long-rumored Family Timer feature for its Xbox 360 console. Based on a similar feature in the Windows Vista operating system, the feature lets parents limit the amount of time a child plays on a daily or weekly basis. Once a child nears the maximum playtime, a reminder will appear on the console to warn the player to save the game soon.
The Family Timer option will be a download from Xbox Live and will be available in December. Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's Entertainment & Devices Division, unveiled it at a Washington, DC event this morning. The event was to promote PACT, "a family contract" being promoted by the Parent Teacher Association as a way "to foster family discussion about screen-ime guidelines." The PACT contract is available for download on the newly revamped family games section of Xbox.com.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email email@example.com