Xbox One’s October update introduces new family settings designed to balance screen time, in addition to wish list notifications and Mixer viewing improvements.
The new family settings options enable parents to choose how much time children spend using specific games or apps in addition to the total time spent on a device. Chosen settings will be applied across Xbox One consoles, Windows devices, and Android devices using the Microsoft launcher.
“Our goal is for this feature to help families develop healthy habits and strike that balance that we know they want,” Microsoft’s family audience product and strategy lead Mouna Sidi Hida said, according to GI.biz.
“This means one hour of a specific game or app per day is one hour of that game or app – no trying to sneak in extra screen time by switching from one device to another,” Jason Ronald, director of program management for Xbox, wrote on Xbox Wire.
Xbox One’s October update, which is rolling out now, also introduces notifications that alert players when items in their wish list receive a price discount, integrates a full Mixer viewing experience into the console’s dashboard, and enables players to recommend Xbox Game Pass console titles via direct messages.
Microsoft also says it’s made “significant improvements to the Recent Players experience” and “improvements to automatic game updates, significantly reducing when you encounter the ‘update required’ screen when launching a title”.
In May, Xbox head of operations Dave McCarthy said Microsoft is committed to being a standard bearer for promoting healthy gaming behaviours.
“We have an on-going commitment to constantly evolving that tool set around things, like screen time, content restrictions and spending controls… because some people need help,” he said. “Parents especially, it’s not easy being a parent in this modern age.”