Xbox Live Family Accounts are actually not a bad idea. They allow parents to dole out point allowances, see exactly what the rugrats are getting up to on the Xbox 360, and generally offer a bit more control to families. And come the end of August, they’re toast to make way for the Xbox One.
This largely seems to be the fallout from the death of Points and the coming of a new console generation; you’ll get most of the features of a family account, like sharing games with a household, with a standard Live Gold account on Microsoft’s new console. But you won’t be getting those on the 360. In fact, to maintain the accounts you’ve built as part of your family’s plan is going to get pricey, quickly, on the 360:
Starting August 27, 2013, each activated account in your Gold Family Pack will convert to an individual Xbox Live Gold membership. Each of your family’s new individual memberships will have the same amount of time remaining on them as your Gold Family Pack does at the time of conversion. Plus, we’ll add a bonus of 3 months to each account!
Yep, what you’re reading between the lines is true: any accounts you want to keep going past that point you’re going to have to shell out for. On the flip-side, any and all parental restrictions will be staying in place, so if you were keeping your kids away from games they shouldn’t be playing anyway, you won’t have to worry about that.
It seems an odd choice to make, if for no other reason than you’d think Microsoft would want to seem as parent-friendly as possible. Anybody who’s been in a GameStop as an adult knows exactly how allergic a lot of parents are to, well, games in general, but to changes in how those games are administrated in particular. That said, the changes are relatively minimal, and seem to have more to do with the destruction of Microsoft Points, which will not be missed, than a prod to make parents pay $500 to keep their features.
That said, one suspects there will be at least a few angry comments about taking away activity reports. How are you going to ensure your kids keep their K/D ratio up without a proper training regimen?
(image courtesy of Shutterstock)
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