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ESA Lauds Parental Controls in New Consoles

The Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry's trade body, has released a statement confirming and praising the existence of specific parental controls...
The Entertainment Software Association, the video game industry's trade body, has released a statement confirming and praising the existence of specific parental controls in new consoles from Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo. Options for parents to limit the time spent playing, or to lock out games above a certain ESRB rating, are already present in Sony's PlayStation Portable and the new Xbox 360 from Microsoft; Nintendo has likewise announced content control in its upcoming Revolution console - this statement also serves as confirmation that the PlayStation 3 will have similar parental protection, a fact not hitherto confirmed by Sony. "The ESA is extremely pleased that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony Computer Entertainment America have voluntarily stepped up to take concrete steps to put the power to regulate the games kids play where it belongs – in the hands of parents, not government, retailers, or anyone else," said ESA president Douglas Lowenstein. "The combination of these new controls, the existing ESRB rating system, and voluntary commitments by retailers not to sell Mature and Adult Only games to minors strikes the right balance between strong self-regulation and the ultimate responsibility of parents to take charge of the media their kids consume." Given the amount of heat games have taken in recent months, with new anti-violent game resolutions cropping up in California, Michigan, Delaware, Florida, New Jersey, and the countries of Germany and Japan, the increased self-policing on the part of the game industry in addition to the established ESRB ratings was hailed as a sign of progress by the association. In addition to the console protection measures, Lowenstein also cited content control schemes such as Smartguard Software's Wallfly that enable parents to monitor and control PC game usage as well. "Today’s disclosure is a logical extension of the commitment of console makers to empowering parents," said Lowenstein. "I am proud that each console maker has taken the initiative to give power to the parents, offering technology not available for DVD players or even portable music players that will allow parents to control the entertainment their children access."

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