Wii

Revolution To Feature Parental Controls

by Robert Graves - November 16, 2005, 7:13 am PST
Total comments: 26 Source: Nintendo Press Release

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Nintendo Announces Play Control System For Next Hardware


Families Can Decide Who Plays Which Video Games


16th November 2005 – Nintendo today announces it will include a play control system in its next home video game system, code-named Revolution, coming in 2006.


By using a password-controlled setting, adults can decide what flexibility they'll allow younger players to have in playing video games rated 3+, 7+, 12+, 16+ or 18+. The system also ensures dedicated adult gamers can opt to play without limitations.


How does it work? The actual game software will contain a code indicating the rating, which will activate the control system to remain locked or unlocked. The feature will be included in every Revolution worldwide.


"Even though most Nintendo games are appropriate for all ages and the game ratings are clearly displayed on the front of every game package, this added feature encourages parents to take responsibility for the games their children play," said Jim Merrick, Senior Marketing Director, Nintendo of Europe


Nintendo's games in Europe are rated using the Pan European Games Information (PEGI) age rating system for interactive games, which groups games into five different age bands, 3+, 7+, 12+, 16+ or 18+.


Nintendo's next console will usher in a new era of video gaming. It will feature a controller designed to be used with either one hand or two, a first in the video game industry. The position and motion of the controller itself dictates the action on the television screen. A second, plug-in expansion gives hard-core gamers additional control for more in-depth game play.


Revolution will play both new game discs, as well as Nintendo GameCube discs. It also will have access to 20 years of fan-favorite games, including those from the Nintendo 64, Super NES and NES eras.


About Nintendo

Nintendo Co., Ltd of Kyoto, Japan, is the acknowledged worldwide leader in the creation of interactive entertainment. To date, Nintendo has sold more than 2 billion video games worldwide and more than 350 million hardware units globally, creating such industry icons as MarioÆ and Donkey Kong and launched franchises like The Legend of Zelda and PokÈmon. Nintendo manufactures and markets hardware and software for its popular home video game systems, including the Nintendo 64, NINTENDO GAMECUBE, Game Boy Advance, Nintendo DS, and Game Boy – the world's best-selling video game system which has sold over 180 million units. As a wholly owned subsidiary, Nintendo of Europe, based in Grossostheim, Germany, was established in 1990 and serves as headquarters for Nintendo's operations in Europe.


Click onto www.nintendo-europe.com for all of the most up to date official information on Nintendo.


About PEGI

The Pan-European Game Information (PEGI) age rating system was established in 2003 to help European parents make informed decisions on buying interactive games. Designed to ensure that minors are not exposed to games that are unsuitable for their particular age group, the system is supported by the major console manufacturers, including PlayStation, Xbox and Nintendo, as well as by publishers and developers of interactive games throughout Europe.


Talkback

couchmonkeyNovember 16, 2005

I find something vaguely disturbing about this type of parental control, I guess because it does the work based on what some organization feels is appropriate for kids. I also question whether many parents will actually know about this feature or use it. I suspect a lot of parents leave everything to do with videogames up to their kids, except maybe hooking it up to the TV. However, what I'm starting to get at here is that parents should take more responsibility in watching what games their kids play, and while that's a noble thought, it's not something Nintendo can implement in its hardware. face-icon-small-wink.gif

So it's not all bad. It's a decent tool for concerned parents that don't have time to watch every videogame their kids play. I hope they'll also match this system up to the ESRB. It sounds like it matches up to the European rating system, and I think that's a smart way to go to reinforce the ratings systems that are out there.

Spak-SpangNovember 16, 2005

Couchmonkey:

Actually, that isn't completely true. Yes, there is an outside organization that is rating the games by different classifications. However, it is still up to the individual parents or even individual players to create a password and lock certain content.

In other words, I could decide to let my 12 year old play 16+ games, but not 18 if I wanted too.

I find the 5 category age classifications to also be very flexible allowing for minor variance to get lesser age restrictions.


This is a great idea, and really helps the idea of going after the nongamers. It's not just parents that want to feel safe about the games they buy.

NotSoStuNovember 16, 2005

Very good idea, especially with all the ESRB crap lately (Thank you very much, Jack Thompson). Unfortunately, it'll just give the MS/Sony fanboys another reason to say "lol ur kons0l iz kidie."

UncleBobRichard Cook, Guest ContributorNovember 16, 2005

Quote

this added feature encourages parents to take responsibility for the games their children play,"


Ummm... No it doesn't. It lets them turn a blind eye and lets them assume that someone else is going to be doing the parenting for them...

NephilimNovember 16, 2005

noone used this feature on xbox, so dont worry

Ian SaneNovember 16, 2005

I think this is a great idea. No one has to use it but it's there if you want it. Nintendo, despite how their popularity has dropped with gamers, still seems to be the first word wackos think of when they get the cute idea of suing the game industry. Nintendo gets a lot of stupid crap dumped in their laps for things they have nothing to do with (like getting blamed for violent videogames when 90% of their games are E-rated or getting blamed for causing seizures when they have warning all over the damn boxes and manual). So this just gives them a little more protection. The next time someone freaks about games Nintendo can say "look sh!t-for-brains. We've got built-in parental controls so screw off!"

JonLeungNovember 16, 2005

3+, 7+, 12+, 16+ or 18+?

I too think that it should reflect the ESRB, or at least have settings to include them. I don't see the 13+ or the 17+ that the T and M ratings would suggest. Not that I agree with the ESRB all the time, but I think it would lessen any confusion.

The age thing is always a bit overly mandatory. If I had a kid, I'm sure when they're 10 they'd be able to handle some of the things 13- or even 16-year-olds can handle.

So if it's not going to follow the ESRB anyway, perhaps a better way to deal with it is to have values coded into the games for the amount of sex, violence, language, and drug use, or for the descriptors they use (cartoon violence, life-like violence, suggestive themes, etc.). So if I feel my kid can handle some violence but not something sexy I can open up games that might've been rated M just because of violence but keep the M-rated games with sexual themes out of bounds.

But whatever. I doubt it'll be used much at all. Like Ian Sane says above, in a rare case I agree with him, it has value as legal protection for Nintendo. I believe the competition (or at least the Xbox 360) has this feature so why not? It's one more thing that Nintendo can say they have too and one less thing the competiton can say they exclusively have.

KDR_11kNovember 16, 2005

Will we get a 0,6,12,16,18 scale for Germany?

ArbokNovember 16, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Ian Sane
I think this is a great idea. No one has to use it but it's there if you want it.


I agree, as it doesn't effect me in the least and, for all we know, could be the type of thing that would convince a conscious parent to choose picking up the system for their kid, if the content of games is an issue with them. Of course that would depend on the fact if they knew about this feature or not, I wouldn't suggest any kind of marketing around this idea, but some mention on the back of the system's box would be appropriate.

Spak-SpangNovember 16, 2005

This rating scale is what they are using in Europe. They may use the ESRB for American games...or this could be an early sign that there will be changes coming to the ESRB.

And It isn't exactly allowing parents off the hook. A parent can't know every single game that will be put into their children's video game system. Children borrow games, rent games, friends bring games over...If there is more than one television in a house, or if the kids do a sleep over, then the parents can't watch 24/7. This gives the parents one additional protection for their children.

Besides that. I know several people that hate to see rated R movies for sex and violence. This feature allows them to turn on an additional security block for games they want to play, and avoid other games.

It is all around a great device whether you use it or not.

PaLaDiNNovember 16, 2005

I wonder if this gives games the option of censoring stuff for consoles configured for younger ages.

ArtimusNovember 16, 2005

BRILLIANT idea for avoiding lawsuits. Heck, cable and satellite manufacturers have been doing this for years.

JonLeungNovember 16, 2005

It would be neat if the game changed depending on the settings.

For example, a Mortal Kombat game could go bloodless but still be playable at the 12+ level. Then at the higher levels, blood and Fatalities could become available.

It'd be hard to market, I mean, the game would still be primarily 17+ and rated M. But it would be neat if I really wanted to play Mortal Kombat even when young'uns are present in the room.

Dirk TemporoNovember 16, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: UncleBob
Quote

this added feature encourages parents to take responsibility for the games their children play,"


Ummm... No it doesn't. It lets them turn a blind eye and lets them assume that someone else is going to be doing the parenting for them...


I disagree. I think it does encourage parents because if this is publicized, parents will say "Hey, that's cool."

vuduNovember 16, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: PaLaDiN
I wonder if this gives games the option of censoring stuff for consoles configured for younger ages.
I've actually been toying with this idea in my head for a while.

Since everyone keeps saying that game development costs are rising, it would be a great idea for publishers to add a self-cencoring feature for games for younger players. Some games already have a "core on" and "gore off" feature in their menu, but this would be taking it to the next level. It would mean that teens would still get to play some great M-rated games but wouldn't see any of the ultra-violence if their parents didn't want them to.
Quote

Originally posted by: Spak-Spang
In other words, I could decide to let my 12 year old play 16+ games, but not 18 if I wanted too.
I'm going to do just the opposite for me--I'll lock out every rating except for M and AO--this way I won't accidentally play any of that E-rated crap. I'm cooler than you.

KDR_11kNovember 16, 2005

I doubt that, you'd have to submit the games for rating twice to make sure the censored version actually meets the standards of the lower rating. Hell, I've seen games that have been censored completely and still got rated 18 here.

vuduNovember 16, 2005

I'm not too concerned with Germany and its zany violent-media laws. face-icon-small-tongue.gif

There is an almost identical press release for North America today, mentioning the ESRB ratings instead. Why we have the European PR up instead I don't know.

kirby_killer_dededeNovember 16, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: Stu L Tissimus
Very good idea, especially with all the ESRB crap lately (Thank you very much, Jack Thompson). Unfortunately, it'll just give the MS/Sony fanboys another reason to say "lol ur kons0l iz kidie."


Actually Sony offers the same feature in the PSP, not sure about their home consoles though. (I know parental controls are there for movies on PS2, I'm just not sure about games).

PlugabugzNovember 16, 2005

Quote

Originally posted by: TheYoungerPlumber
There is an almost identical press release for North America today, mentioning the ESRB ratings instead. Why we have the European PR up instead I don't know.


Because we're important too!

Nile BoogieNovember 16, 2005

This can't be a bad thing.

NinGurl69 *hugglesNovember 16, 2005

How precious.

KDR_11kNovember 28, 2005

So, MS does it, noone cares. Nintendo copies it, suddently Sony does, too. Perhaps Sony will announce a unified online service now that Nintendo did?

More like Xbox set the standard and everyone else is agreeing. Sony "suddenly" does it because it is "suddenly" launching a new console, too.

NinGurl69 *hugglesNovember 28, 2005

More like parents aren't aware of the controls and thus many mature games still get sold/played.

"Parental control options" would be the act of buying a GameCube. (full speed ahead, logic train!)

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