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Microsoft Targets Masses With Xbox Live Family Pass

Microsoft is continuing to ramp up its focus on a broader market on its Xbox 360 console with the Xbox Live Gold Family Pass, a $99 package that offers up to four individual memberships.
Microsoft is continuing to ramp up its focus on a broader market on its Xbox 360 console with the Xbox Live Gold Family Pass, a $99 package that offers up to four individual memberships. The family package is half of what it would cost for four normal one-year memberships, which regularly cost $50 each, Microsoft said Tuesday. The deal comes prior to the release of the mass market-targeted Kinect motion-sensing camera due to launch later this year. The family package includes a "family center" on the Xbox 360 dashboard and on Xbox.com, where users can change account settings. Also, the primary account member can purchase and dispense Microsoft points to other family members under the account. There is also monitoring so parents can see what gaming activities family members have been taking part in, and features billing to the primary account holder, instead of four different accounts. Microsoft said that family pass holders will be entitled to certain family content and discounts. Like other home consoles, Xbox 360 already boasts features that allow parents to set restrictions on kids' gaming. Parents can set Xbox 360 gaming boundaries based on factors like time played and ESRB ratings. Now in its fifth year, Microsoft is attempting to transition its hardcore-friendly home console to be more inviting to the mass market, namely through the Kinect, which the company believes removes the barrier of entry for new users by removing the need for a controller.

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