Wed. Nov 30th, 2022
Fun on Bowser's little iPhone.
enlarge / Fun on Bowser’s little iPhone.

After Nintendo’s big Switch system event on Thursday, the gamemaker quietly released an adorable Bowser-filled video that revealed a first for the company – and, frankly, for any game console: an app designed to track and monitor how it works. system is used.

This app, without a creative name Nintendo Switch Parental Controls, is clearly aimed at parents who have kids playing the new home portable hybrid. The app reveal video, which Nintendo has published on its “Nintendo Switch family fun” page, shows an animated 3D Bowser growling and growling at the Bowser Jr. character, while a narrator explains how the Parental Controls app, which iOS and Android is coming, let parents keep an eye on children’s play.

Parents using the app can remotely track the full login and gameplay record of each kid’s account, showing game start, play time, and what games kids are playing. App users can also enforce time limits on gameplay, and the video shows a “screen time” allowance per day. By default, this is a basic rule for time per day, although parents can also choose a more granular number of hours on specific days (including a suggestion that kids might be able to play the Switch more on weekends).

If a child exceeds his or her allotted time, the app gives parents two options: send an on-screen warning to the child that the time is up, or lock the system immediately. Nintendo gives parents the option to let kids check their own game over time, perhaps to find a save point or other logical break, but parents can close an account remotely if the child doesn’t obey the warning of such an alarm. . In one sequence, the video shows Bowser Jr. a full hour after his alarm (the little brat) goes on. What the video doesn’t clarify, though, is whether parents will be able to send shutdown notifications remotely, or whether they’ll only find out about kids’ time violations afterwards.

The video’s narrator tells potential app users, “Parents sometimes wonder, ‘Is my child playing too much? And what kind of games does my child play?’ That’s why Nintendo created an app to monitor your child’s gameplay.” The video also confirms that time limits are locked for the entire system as opposed to individual players, meaning if you have multiple kids fighting over a single Nintendo Switch, they’ll have to fight for that screen time allotment.

Otherwise, the app allows parents to remotely manage the types of child account options that are currently standard on game consoles, including ESRB grading rules and what kinds of things kids can do online. For those wondering about the system’s social sharing features, the preview video shows an option for sharing photos to social media, but not video, so it’s not clear whether the Switch will share options for sharing clips like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

At the time of going to press, one important question remains unanswered: how does the app work when a child uses the Nintendo Switch? offline? As advertised, these parental controls seem to rely largely on up-to-date reports on how the system is being used, and the video doesn’t explain if or how the limits would work offline (for example, enforcing stricter shutdown rules when the timer runs out) . Ars has sent questions to Nintendo and we will update this report if we receive a response.

By akfire1

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