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New York to beam disaster alerts to Xbox gamers

'Liberty City' to test emergency broadcasts via consoles

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Evading terrorists and nuclear attacks on your Xbox 360 looks set to become a real-world challenge as well as a virtual one. New York State (NYS) has begun trialling use of the console as an emergency broadcast system for disasters.

NYS’ Emergency Management Office (EMO) has opted to use the Xbox 360 as a test bed for console-transmitted warnings which may eventually see the EMO interrupt your Modern Warfare 2 game to warn that real-life terrorists are headed your way.

While the EMO is already geared up to make emergency broadcasts by TV and radio, it wants to reach out to younger people by taking advantage of the console’s web connectivity.

PlayStation 3 and Wii owners shouldn’t be worried, though.

The EMO is only using the Xbox 360 during its tests and, should a console-based emergency broadcast system prove workable and be adopted, then all major web-connected consoles will likely be included. ®

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