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X05: Bach Talks Xbox 360 Parental Controls

In the run up to Microsoft's Amsterdam-based X05 press event, where a number of new Xbox 360 games are likely to be showcased, Robbie Bach, Microsoft’s senior vice presid...
In the run up to Microsoft's Amsterdam-based X05 press event, where a number of new Xbox 360 games are likely to be showcased, Robbie Bach, Microsoft’s senior vice president and head of the company’s games division, has spoken in detail about the company’s plans for parental control systems for the Xbox 360. In an interview conducted by the IDG News Service, Bach has spoken at length about the new 'family settings system' for the Xbox 360. According to his description and already-released information, the system controls what game content can be played on the console, with a password being needed to access mature content and to log on to Xbox online. The controls can be varied by the parent to enable voice communication, whether the user’s identity is revealed and other details. The interview also noted that Bach will apparently be using his time in Europe to talk to regulators in Brussels about the Xbox 360's parental controls system, which in Europe will be mapped to the new PEGI game ratings syste – the titles in the U.S. refer to the ESRB ratings, which were used in an earlier version of parental controls for the Xbox. On the subject of mature content, Bach claims: "We shouldn’t be reacting to the latest piece of legislation." According to Bach, Microsoft aims to have a “leadership position” in this area, both in regards to parental controls and game industry workers, with Bach even commenting: "We give employees choice. If there’s a game they are uncomfortable with they can move on to work on something else, no questions asked." Other subjects covered in the interview include the prospect, originally cited by Bill Gates, of Halo 3 being released at the same time as the PlayStation 3 launch. According to Bach: "The point Bill was trying to make is that we’re not just going to ship and not have great stuff coming up... Halo is something we’ll ship when it’s ready."

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