Young Xbox 360 addicts will have to prepare for rationed gaming as the console adds a timer feature to its parental controls from early December.
Family Timer, which can be downloaded through Xbox Live, allows parents to set the amount of time their children can have access to games on the 360 console on a per-day or per-week basis.
Once the time is running out, the young gamer is alerted by a notification warning that the console will be turned off automatically at a certain point: this will happen regardless of whether game play is saved or not.
Parental controls were originally introduced to the Xbox 360 in 2005, with settings for parents to manage what features their child accesses on Xbox Live, who they talk to online and what games they can play both online and offline.
“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 Robbie Bach, head of Microsoft’s entertainment and devices unit.
“Professionally, I am proud of my division’s work in this area and, as a parent of three school-going 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.”
Microsoft recently released the Xbox 360 ‘Arcade’, an Xbox package designed specifically for the family, with five games suitable for both children and adults, including Pac-Man Championship Edition.
By Marie Boran