Nintendo will build a parental control system into its upcoming next-generation game console, it said yesterday.

The system will work with the age-rating already assigned to video games in many markets and allow parents to set the new console, code-named Revolution, to play only games with certain ratings. To work the rating data will need to be recorded into data on the game disc.

In the US there are six ratings levels defined by the ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board): EC (early childhood); E (everyone); E10+ (everyone 10 years of age and older); T (teen); M (mature) and A (adult).

Nintendo's Revolution is due for launch sometime in 2006. An early model of the console was first revealed in May this year. It's based on an IBM PowerPC processor and a graphics chip from ATI Technologies. The console mock-ups shown to date are the size of about three CD cases stacked together.

At this year's Tokyo Game Show the controllers for the console were first shown. They are wireless models that break away from the basic design used by many game-makers until now and look a little like a television remote control.

The Revolution will be the second or third of three upcoming new consoles to hit the market. The first will be Microsoft's Xbox 360, which will go on sale in the US, Europe and Japan over the next month. Sony Computer Entertainment's PlayStation 3 is due sometime in the first half of next year.