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Microsoft confirms new parental control feature

Microsoft has officially announced a new parental control feature, the Xbox 360 Family Timer

Microsoft has officially announced a new parental control feature, the Xbox 360 Family Timer.

The Family Timer will enable parents 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.

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.

According to Microsoft, Xbox was the first videogame and entertainment system with built-in parental controls for both online and offline use.

"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," Bach said.

"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."

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