As a parent, I’m always looking for ways to monitor my kid’s “screen time,” whether that me computer or TV or video games. Knowing that there are other parents out there like me, Microsoft today announced (and launched) the Xbox 360 Family Timer, which is available for download via Xbox Live in 26 countries.
The new Xbox 360 Family Timer lets parents for the first time set the appropriate amount of gaming and entertainment time on the Xbox 360 console for their kids. The Family Timer includes settings for determining screen time on both a daily and weekly basis.
Similar to the parental controls in the Windows Vista operating system, the new Xbox 360 Family Timer can restrict children’s activity time.. Helpful notifications will appear to warn gamers that the session is nearing the end so they have sufficient time to save their game, and the feature will automatically turn off the console when the predetermined time limit has been exceeded.
A Microsoft survey conducted throughout Europe found that parents embrace the idea of support from the gaming industry, with 75 percent of them welcoming built-in technology or software to monitor the time their children spend playing video games. A similar Microsoft survey conducted in the United States last month found that 62 percent of parents say they would use a timer if it were available to help them manage their children’s interactive entertainment use.