During Takashi Aoyama's presentation at GDC, he told an interesting anecdote about developing the Wii. Specifically, current Nintendo president Satoru Iwata demanded that, for the Wii not to "to be seen as an enemy in the household," it should have a parental control timer that would automatically shut the console off after a period of time (sound familiar?).
Aoyama explained that a "debate raged for several weeks" until the team came up with what they felt to be a better direction, the play history list.
Aoyama explained, ""instead of instituting some play limit...this allowed parents to monitor and discuss how much their children were playing...this is why you can't erase the play history on the console."
It's interesting to see how two companies making similar products tackled a problem (limiting play time to please parents) in such a different manner. Nintendo hoped that the list would provide constant check-up on children, initiating a parent to child dialogue. Microsoft, on the other hand, went with the more straightforward, lest child-trusting approach (the even Iwata initially supported).
Which is better? I love the philosophy behind Nintendo's parental controls, but I'm betting that for most American families, Microsoft's are flat-out more effective. Thoughts?