NEWS - Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Xbox 360 Update to Add Parental Timer

Xbox Live has been a great thing for gamers so far, bringing free content, extra map packs and new games to Microsoft fanboys on a global scale. Small children and teenagers have been endlessly entertained by multiplayer frag-fests, despite some of the controversies which have occasionally reared up on the system. Still - that bubble has to pop sometime and word on the grapevine is that a new update to the 360 firmware could threaten the rights of small children to liquify their brains through repeated play-throughs of Gears of War. Sources within Microsoft have apparently hinted to Kotaku that the upcoming Fall update to the Xbox 360 firmware will be adding in a parental timer feature. The timer will supposedly allow users (i.e. parents) to set a password on the system and then use a timer to limit the amount of gaming that the system can be used for at a time. This will obviously be a love it or hate it thing for 360 owners - the children will hate it, the parents will love it. Personally, I think it's a nice feature for Microsoft to add but it doesn't really address the fact that parents should communicate with their children instead of relying on technology to limit their gaming time and provide parenting for them. The system will also be no doubt fall victim to loopholes. If I were a child with a 360 instead of an adult with the mindset of a child then I'd keep a close eye on the updates and would put my own password in as soon as possible, locking my parents out and preventing any meddling with my gaming habits - but that's just me. Still, it's nice of Microsoft to add a feature like this in for those that want it.


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