ESRB to automate download-only title ratings

Starting today the ESRB will hand out letter ratings to titles available on storefronts like Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo Wii Shop, DSi Shop, and the PlayStation Network Store.

ESRB

Note: We've been informed by the ESRB that download-only games have been getting ratings for some time, this news just changes the way these titles are assigned actual ratings. We've edited the post to reflect the correct story.

Starting today the ESRB will let publishers automate the ratings process for titles available on storefronts like Xbox Live Arcade, Nintendo Wii Shop, DSi Shop, and the PlayStation Network Store.

Publishers will be able to complete an online submission form that consists of multiple questions related to a game's content--a completely different process than traditional disc-based console games.

The ESRB has been proactive about parental education of the ratings system for video games, and recently released an app for Android and iPhone that will pull up extended ratings information when a game's UPC code is scanned via a smartphone's camera.

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