Nintendo Almost Used Microsoft-Style Parental Controls

During Takashi Aoyama's presentation at GDC, he told an interesting anecdote about developing the Wii. Specifically, current Nintendo president Satoru Iwata demanded that, for the Wii not to "to be seen as an enemy in the household," it should have a parental control timer that would automatically shut the console off after a period of time (sound familiar?).

Aoyama explained that a "debate raged for several weeks" until the team came up with what they felt to be a better direction, the play history list.

Aoyama explained, ""instead of instituting some play limit...this allowed parents to monitor and discuss how much their children were playing...this is why you can't erase the play history on the console."

It's interesting to see how two companies making similar products tackled a problem (limiting play time to please parents) in such a different manner. Nintendo hoped that the list would provide constant check-up on children, initiating a parent to child dialogue. Microsoft, on the other hand, went with the more straightforward, lest child-trusting approach (the even Iwata initially supported).

Which is better? I love the philosophy behind Nintendo's parental controls, but I'm betting that for most American families, Microsoft's are flat-out more effective. Thoughts?


    Parents first need to know how to access PARENTAL CONTROLS... when they can't do that they simply take the power cord... :-) so both are equally effective

    I like the way Nintendo is going with this but I don't know how well it would work. My little cousins used to play at least 5 hours everyday on PS2 so their dad locked the TV and to this day they don't know the code. If there was a timer for the PS2, it would've been better because their father doesn't have the time to come upstairs and turn on the console just to see how long they played. He knows how long, he wants it off.

    Long story short:
    It's a good idea in theory, but in practice it may not work. Parents already know how long the children have been playing, they want to have them cutoff.

    i like the idea but has it already been invented?
    i need to invention for school and one idea of raccoon safe garbage cans was taken.The next thing on my list is parental control.

    I like Wii, but I have not bought a way for my kids because I can't control how long they will play. I will not buy one until Nintendo comes out with a version that allows me to limit playing time.

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