Microsoft has introduced new parental control tools for its Xbox 360 console that will allow parents to have greater control over the content their children play or watch.

The new controls, which are available to download in 26 countries via Xbox LIVE will also give parents the ability to limit the time spent playing video games.

Following a Microsoft survey conducted throughout Europe, the games console maker found that parents embrace the idea of support from the gaming industry, with 75% of them welcoming built-in technology or software to monitor the time their children spend playing video games.

A similar Microsoft survey conducted in the United States last month found that 62% of parents say they would use a timer if it were available to help them manage their children’s interactive entertainment use.

In line with the research, the Family Timer feature that will enable parents to set the appropriate amount of gaming and entertainment time on the Xbox 360 console for their kids — on a daily or weekly basis.

As not to annoy those playing, Microsoft says the software provides "Helpful notifications" that will appear to warn gamers that the session is nearing the end so they have sufficient time to save their game, and the feature will automatically turn off the console when the predetermined time limit has been exceeded.