By Andrew Liszewski
A few weeks ago Microsoft announced a new partnership with the non-profit organization Companions in Courage which is dedicated to supporting families with children who are dealing with life-threatening medical conditions. As part of the partnership, Microsoft will be supplying hundreds of standalone Xbox 360 kiosks to children’s hospitals across the country. The first wave of kiosks have been installed at the Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, the Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center of Seattle and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County, California. Not only will the kiosks feature games, TV shows and movies, but they’ll also be all connected to each other with a special version of the Xbox LIVE network allowing kids from one hospital to interact and play games with kids from another.
The customized and hospital-friendly Xbox 360 kiosks are pre-loaded with a variety of E and E10+ rated games, Y-rated television programs, G-rated movies, as well as Xbox LIVE Headset and LIVE Vision Camera capabilities, which enable patients to communicate over a dedicated Xbox LIVE network. This network, created just for Xbox 360 kiosks and consoles in children’s hospitals, allows patients to play games over Xbox LIVE, but limits chat via voice, text and video to only those children playing from select hospitals across the country. The Xbox 360’s industry-leading parental controls, known as Family Settings, will be used to help restrict access to content outside of ratings parameters, as well as the times during which patients can use the kiosks or consoles.