In fact, one of the biggest supporters of this feature was supposedly Satoru Iwata himself, who was keen for Nintendo's console not "to be seen as an enemy in the household." Eventually, however, an alternative way of monitoring use was found: the play history list that we're all now familiar with.
Said Aoyama: "Instead of instituting some play limit ... this allowed parents to monitor and discuss how much their children were playing ... this is why you can't erase the play history on the console."
Interesting! Any parents/kids out there who care to give their opinion on which they think works best? Also, does this mean that Iwata is something of an authoritarian with his own kids? It's difficult to imagine him being so strict and ruling with an iron fist -- just look at his happy face!