A new addition to the Xbox 360 Family Settings called the Family Timer.
The feature is available on new game discs purchased at retail stores and is available as a software download via Xbox LIVE for owners of older consoles.
Xbox 360 added the Family Timer to its existing set of industry-leading parental control features intended to help make the Xbox 360 experience safer and more secure for the whole family.
The Family Timer enables parents to set the amount of time their Xbox 360 can be used by members of their household by day or by week. For example, if a parent has allowed their child to play the Xbox 360 for two hours a day, they can set the console to allow for only two hours of play a day. After those two hours expire, the child will not be able to use the console again within that 24-hour period, unless additional time is granted by the parent.
- Easy to use: intuitive to discover, use and monitor.
- Flexible: limits can be set on a per-day or per-week basis.
- Reminders: the console will give notifications at one hour, 30 minute, 15 minute and five minute intervals before the time expires.
- Override access: parents and caregivers can simply enter the security Pass Code to “suspend” the Family Timer functionality (pauses the Timer so they can spend time on the console without using up the Timer clock).
To access the Family Timer, go to the System Blade and select “Family Settings” then “Console Controls” and then “Family Timer.” This is the only access point for the initial set-up of the Family Timer. Once set, the parent/administrator can access the feature through the Personal Settings button on the Guide, which will list the Family Timer as an option.
- When setting the Family Timer, a parent/administrator has three options for setting limits: Daily, Weekly or Off.
- The Daily option allows the parent/administrator to set limits on console use per day in 15-minute increments.
- The Weekly option allows the parent/administrator to set limits on console use per week in one-hour increments.
- During the inaugural set up of the Family Timer, the system will prompt the administrator to “Set Clock” to the current time and time zone. This will allow the timer to track time appropriately, replenishing the time at midnight if set Daily and midnight on Sunday if set Weekly.
- The first time any of the Family Settings features are accessed, whether it is the Family Timer feature or others, the console administrator is required to set a Pass Code. This is a four-button combination. If a Pass Code has already been set, the system will ask for the Pass Code in order to edit Family Settings.
- The Timer is set per console, not per profile.
- While the console is in use, notifications will appear at one hour, 30 minutes, 15 minutes and five minutes before the time expires. Additionally, the Guide blade has a real-time countdown so a user can check the Timer status at any time. These functions provide gamers sufficient notification to save their game.
- When the Timer expires, a pop-up alerts the gamer of the end of the session and offers three options: Add More Time, Suspend Timer and Shut Down Console. In order to select the Add More Time or Suspend Timer functions, the user is required to enter the Family Settings Pass Code.
- The Suspend Timer function allows parents and/or other users with access to the Pass Code to spend time on the console without using up the Timer clock.
- When the Suspend Timer function is on, the Timer is suspended for that session only. Once the console is turned off, the Suspend Timer function will automatically turn off and the console will default back to the pre-determined Family Timer settings.