How-To: Parental Control Settings on Sony PS Vita
PS Vita is Sony’s current-generation handheld gaming system and can play downloaded games as well as reading PS Vita game cartridges. A wide variety of games are available for all ages but to ensure that your child is not accessing inappropriate games, media or downloading apps not meant for them while using their device, follow these steps to enable the Parental Controls before allowing your child to play.
When the device is turned on for the first time, it will prompt you to agree to a system update. This is required for the system to perform at full capacity with all of its available features.
To enable parental controls, open the Parental Controls App on the interactive touch screen by click on it and selecting “Start” in the center of the screen. Once you click start, it will ask you to enter a 4-digit passcode. This code will be what restricts the inappropriate content you may not want your child to have access to.
Under the “Features” section of the “Parental Controls” menu, you can restrict the Web “Browser” and “Location Data” features of the Vita. The browser application allows a user to surf the web, and location data is used by some multiplayer games as a functionality for interactions between players of the same region, but could allow your child’s location to be discovered by others. To restrict either of these features, click on the lock button to the right of the feature. Click “OK” to return to the “Parental Controls” menu.
Selecting “Games” will allow you to place restrictions on what games you would like your child to be able to play according to the ESRB ratings. For any child under 13, I would recommend dragging the slider to “Level 4.” This limits the ESRB ratings to “E10+”, which would be appropriate for kids ages 10-13. For any child under 10, I would recommend setting the slider to “Level 3”. I would recommend “Level 2” for any children under 5.
“Level 5” allows “T” rated games to be played, which are suggested for Teens 13+. Level 5 also enables the downloading and use of the Facebook and Skype applications. At “Level 9” “M” rated games can be played, which are for teens 17+. At “Level 10” “A” rated games can be played, but it is highly unlikely that you would be reading this if you were thinking of setting the limit at level 10 or above. Once you have set the restriction at the desired level, click “OK” in the bottom right corner.
If you want to limit the amount of screen time your child has and instead encourage them to go outside and get exercise, utilize “Play Duration”. It’s a nice feature on the PS Vita that you can enable and will help make your parenting a bit easier. Play time can be set with a daily play limit or by setting a specific limit for each day of the week. To “Restrict per Day” click on that option, then select the “00:00” and choose the desired number of hours and minutes. To “Restrict Daily Total” select that option and customize the hours and minutes for each weekday. Click “OK” in the bottom right corner when you’ve set the desired restrictions for Play Duration.
If, at any time, you need to change your passcode, select the “Change Passcode” option under “Games” and it will prompt you for your current passcode before asking you to enter and confirm a new code.
Do NOT share your passcode with your child as it will allow them to play games outside of the rating restriction.