Microsoft has issued an official press release that confirms the existence of the new parental control feature, the Xbox 360 Family Timer.
Microsoft Corp. today unveiled a new parental control feature, the Xbox 360 Family Timer. The Family Timer will enable parents for the first time to set the appropriate amount of gaming and entertainment time for their kids, on a daily or weekly basis.
“As a leader in interactive entertainment, 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 the Entertainment and Devices Division at Microsoft.
The Xbox 360 Family Timer is an addition to the console’s existing set of industry-leading parental control features. Similar to its Windows Vista counterpart, the new Xbox 360 Family Timer can restrict children’s activity time and can be set on a per-day or per-week basis. Helpful “notifications” will appear to warn the gamer that the session is nearing the end and the feature will automatically turn off the console when a pre-determined time limit has been exceeded. The Family Timer feature will be available for download via Xbox LIVE in early December.
Xbox was the first video game and entertainment system with built-in parental controls for both online and offline use. Known as Family Settings, these controls allow parents and caregivers to set guidelines for which games work for them, make informed choices about content, and decide who their children can play with online. Earlier this year, Windows Vista launched with a set of similar parental controls that allows parents to guide children's game playing, web browsing, and overall computer use. These controls help parents determine which games their children can play, which programs they can use, which websites they can visit—and when.
According to Bach, with more than 13 million Xbox 360® consoles sold worldwide, the company’s drive to empower parents 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.”