Nov 7, 2007
Microsoft has revealed a new parental control feature for the Xbox 360 dashboard called the Xbox 360 Family Timer, which will be available for download from Xbox Live in early December. This new feature will let parents set the amount of time little Johnny can play games on a daily and weekly basis. The Timer will automatically turn off the console when a pre-determined time limit has been exceeded, and notifications will warn players that the session is coming to an end.
That sound you hear is thousands of 13-year-old Halo fans wailing.
"It's Microsoft's responsibility to provide parents with tools they can use to manage their children's video gaming and online experiences, and we have made that a priority from the very start," said Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft's E&DD division.
The Xbox 360's existing family settings allow parents to set guidelines for which games work for the kids, make choices about content and decide who their children can play with online.
Microsoft doesn't mention whether or not the feature will come as part of the forthcoming Fall Dashboard update or as a single download.
According to Bach, empowering parents (read: spoiling kid's fun) is a core Microsoft responsibility. "We've seen a tremendous response to the robust parental controls offered on Xbox 360 and Windows Vista, and the Xbox 360 Family Timer will continue to deliver on our promise to provide safer, balanced and fun entertainment for everyone," said Bach.
"Professionally, I am proud of my division's work in this area, and personally, as a parent of three school-age children, I know how important it is to be engaged in an ongoing dialogue with my family in order to uphold our household screen time rules."
Any bets on how long before there’s a hack? Lot of smart kids out there...