MS offers Xbox 360 kiosks to children’s hospitals

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Microsoft on Wednesday announced a plan to distribute hundreds of kiosks based around its Xbox 360 video game console to children’s hospitals across the United States. The goal, according to the company, is to provide sick kids with a respite and a catalyst for fun.

The first hospitals to receive the kiosks are Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of New York-Presbyterian, Children’s Hospital & Regional Medical Center of Seattle and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County in California.

Microsoft has partnered with a non-profit organization called the Companions in Courage Foundation to coordinate the delivery of the kiosks. Companions in Courage builds interactive playrooms in hospitals to help kids connect with families and others.

The kiosks are set up with a variety of Y-rated TV programs, G-rated movies, and games rated E and E10+ by the ESRB. They come with headsets and Xbox Live Vision Cameras, and have been configured to communicate with other kiosks over a dedicated Xbox Live network designed specifically for this purpose — the network limits chat via voice, text and video to only those children playing from hospitals participating in the kiosk program.

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