Originally, it was reported that the law would not impact consoles. Today, Sony Computer Entertainment of Korea announced that it would be taking the PSN offline for underage players in compliance with the law.
The Shutdown Law was apparently designed with PC online games in mind, but now also includes console gaming, impacting both the PSN users and Xbox Live members.
The law is designed to limit Korean youth’s late night gaming as well as online game addiction. It also aims to ensure Korean youth get six hours of sleep each night, with online gaming banned between midnight and 6am.
Starting November 18, Sony will not allow players under the age of 16 to make new PSN accounts in South Korea as well as prevent them from logging onto the PSN.
Both Sony and Microsoft are saying it is difficult to develop and implement shutdown systems for under-16 players in such a short window of time. Sony cannot say when it will have a system up and running, and it will announce how it will handle the PS Vita at a later date.
The Sony shutdown system would allow under 16-year-old players to log in during the day, but prevent them from playing between midnight and 6am. It would also prevent them from making new accounts, meaning that Sony of Korea would probably be monitoring the accounts by IP addresses.
While PSN users must enter their age and birthday when making an account, Microsoft of Korea apparently doesn’t collect age data for all players, complicating enforcement. Thus, Microsoft is actually considering shutting down Xbox Live for all players, regardless of age, during the designated shutdown block.
Nintendo of Korea has yet to reveal how it will deal with enforcing the Shutdown Law.
Critics say (via Gamasutra) the law does nothing to address why children game late at night, also arguing that the government hasn’t proven late night online game is more harmful than, for example, watching television.
SCEK, 18일부터 만 16세 미만 유저 PSN 이용제한 실시 [Ruliweb — Thanks Cat Mario!]