"We have long been concerned that game systems are increasingly connected to the Web and could be used to attack children," said Rob Enderle, a well-known technology analyst, in an e-mail to ABC News. "Many are chat-enabled and controls over what is said may be inadequate.
"This does highlight that parents need to monitor what their children do on these systems as they should any personal computer, because, increasingly they (and phones) are becoming personal computers," Enderle wrote.
Devlin, the Texas prosecutor, said Sony helped his task force understand the workings of the PlayStation system. (Sony, contacted by ABC News, did not comment for this story.) All the major manufacturers include parental controls in their consoles -- though parents, sometimes kept at arm's length by rebellious teenagers, may have to be assertive about protecting their kids.
Microsoft, whose Xbox 360 competes with the PS3, has an Internet Safety Enforcement Team and says it trains police at conferences on how to work with the system.
"Can you think of an easier setting than playing games online?" said Allen. "These are games. These are children's games."