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According to reports, Activision may have requested Microsoft to ban players with modded consoles

Yesterday, news broke that Microsoft had banned a massive amount of players from its Xbox Live service which is available on its popular Xbox 360 gaming console.  According to reports, the banned players had one thing in common -- they had modified their console's hardware or firmware to carry out unauthorized activity such as installation of an alternate OS, playing out of zone media, or running pirated software.

Initially, the estimates pegged the number of banned users at 600,000.  Now CNET is reporting that over 1 million players have been banned from the service.  That's a pretty incredible number as Xbox Live only has 20 million subscribers.  That means that approximately 1 in 20 players has been banned, or roughly 5 percent of the service's total population.

The ban coincided with the release of Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Tuesday, and many are speculating that the rampant piracy of the game before its release triggered Activision to demand action from Microsoft.  Pirated copies were widely floating around torrents sites over the weekend, and players with modified consoles may have taken it out for a spin ahead of release.

Xbox Live Director of Programming Larry Hryb, aka Major Nelson has stated, "Players who find their Gamertags banned from Xbox Live have wound up in that situation due to violations of the Xbox Live Terms of Use.  The Xbox Live team monitors players for not just cheating, but also for things like threats, racism, profanity, and just being an all around poor sport and ruining the game for others."

He continues, "When a Gamertag comes up as violating our policies for online behavior, the person who owns that Gamertag is punished by being banned from the service. Keep in mind, this isn't just a ban on a particular game. This is a ban on the Xbox Live service as a whole, so you won't be able to go online at all during your ban. Initially, you may be banned for a day, a week, or depending on severity, permanently! Kiss that $50 goodbye."

The ban revokes the consoles' crypto keys, making information saved by them unreadable on other Xboxes.  The ban also limits the console's functionality, via blocking HD installation and the use of a media extender.  For those banned, they do have the option of buying a new console, but that's a rather pricey option.  Users who do move to another Xbox should be able to get back on Xbox Live as Microsoft hasn't yet banned Gamertags -- just placed the ban on individual consoles.  When it gets down to it, it appears that as Major Nelson pointed out, over 1 million Xbox users are out a bit of money and enjoyment because Microsoft decided to crack down hard on console modding.

The crackdown is not without precedent.  Apple in 2007 bricked thousands of unlocked iPhones, which it claimed were illegally modified and violated its EULA.  Microsoft also reportedly will be banning third party storage in its latest update for the Xbox 360, forcing users to buys its more expensive memory sticks.


Update
: Thur., November 12, 2009, 2:30 p.m.:

In recently released statements Microsoft says the ban is permanent and suggests owners of modded Xbox 360's buy a new console.  In a statement eerily similar to Apple's following the bricking of unlocked iPhones, a Microsoft spokesperson commented, "Users of banned Xbox consoles can recover their profile to another, unmodified Xbox 360 console to resume their Live service.  The banned console will be unable to connect to Xbox Live."

Reportedly, Microsoft discovered a way to detected modified DVD-drive firmware, leading to the bans.  Modifying the firmware allows users to run otherwise disallowed discs such as out-of-zone media, backup copies of DVDs or games, and even pirated games.

At press time hundreds of modified/banned consoles are reportedly flooding eBay and other online auction sites, as owners of the blocked consoles presumably try to dupe those who haven't heard the news into buying the damaged goods.


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One thing that bugs me...
By nvalhalla on 11/12/2009 2:15:31 PM , Rating: 3
The "for being a poor sport" comment is troubling. If someone is upset about the actions of other players, calls them some names, acts a fool, should they be banned from online play? It wouldn't be an issue if it was a ban from chat, or even that game, but a ban stops access to netflix and all kinds of other features, and blocks them for all users of the system. Banning modders I get, but I would hope that any bans for other actions wouldn't be too severe,

(Full disclosure: I own no next gen consoles, so I don't know all of how "Live" works)




RE: One thing that bugs me...
By dark matter on 11/12/2009 2:21:38 PM , Rating: 5
I don't really see the issue with the "poor sport" comment in all honesty. It isn't right that someone can play with a copied game alongside other people who have purchased said game.

Seems only fair to me. If you want to take the risk of using copied games, then you have to bear the consequences of your actions. Just like in real life.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/12/2009 2:36:22 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
I don't really see the issue with the "poor sport" comment in all honesty.

quote:
It isn't right that someone can play with a copied game alongside other people who have purchased said game. Seems only fair to me. If you want to take the risk of using copied games, then you have to bear the consequences of your actions. Just like in real life.

These two parts of your post have nothing to do with each other!? And only the first part has anything to do with nvalhalla's post to which you were replying. Note the part of the article about which nvalhalla was commenting:

"Players who find their Gamertags banned from Xbox Live have wound up in that situation due to violations of the Xbox Live Terms of Use. The Xbox Live team monitors players for not just cheating, but also for things like threats, racism, profanity, and just being an all around poor sport and ruining the game for others."

Modding is separate issue. The question that was raised was why is poor sportsmanship banworthy?


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By dark matter on 11/12/2009 2:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
That is your opinion Sir, but I believe they do. Of course you are welcome to your opinion. Just I think your wrong.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By quiksilvr on 11/12/2009 3:34:58 PM , Rating: 3
I reject your reality and substitute my own! Gotta love debates.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Cypherdude1 on 11/13/2009 1:53:12 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
"...The Xbox Live team monitors players for not just cheating, but also for things like threats, racism, profanity, and just being an all around poor sport and ruining the game for others."
In my opinion (IMO), this is classic Microsoft and Steve Balmer behavior. Once they have control, they IMO pretty much do as they please. This only confirms my suspicions and makes me glad that Microsoft was never able to take over Yahoo!. Can you imagine having a Microsoft employee monitoring Yahoo! chat?

quote:
The ban coincided with the release of Activision's Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 on Tuesday, and many are speculating that the rampant piracy of the game before its release triggered Activision to demand action from Microsoft. Pirated copies were widely floating around torrents sites over the weekend, and players with modified consoles may have taken it out for a spin ahead of release.
I agree with this part. I think that Activision was within its rights to demand that its cracked games be banned. I also agree that Microsoft has the right to ban hacked X-Boxes.

quote:
Microsoft also reportedly will be banning third party storage in its latest update for the Xbox 360, forcing users to buys its more expensive memory sticks.
I am not a lawyer, but I am pretty sure that this policy is a violation of anti-trust (monopoly) laws. Because our leaders take so much money from the rich, I don't really expect them to move against Microsoft. However, in Europe it's a different story. Don't be surprised if the European Union officials move against Microsoft:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Trust_Laws


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By jhb116 on 11/13/2009 10:30:00 AM , Rating: 2
Reply to your final statement only - Although I agree that Microsoft should allow third party storage devices - I disagree with your statement about this violates anti-trust laws. As has been pointed out by a vast # of Apple devotes in the Mac vs Win 7 integrated browser debates, Microsoft does not have a monopoly in the console space and therefore - the anti-trust laws do not apply in this case.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Kahnivorous on 11/14/2009 5:41:28 PM , Rating: 2
In recently released statements Microsoft says the ban is permanent and suggests owners of modded Xbox 360's buy a new console.

Microsoft would suggest something like this. I'm not 100% familiar with their User Agreements or Contracts, but I'm guessing it basically says you "...aren't allowed/permitted to alter the firmware in anyway.." some where in there.

What this conjures up is the millions of comments from Console fan-boys who claimed the console was better than PC and that it was PC users who were causing the market to switch to console only games. Obviously...they were quite mistaken.

The whole modding concept started with PCs not to mentioned created on PCs. Why, if you're so sure that consoles are so different or better, would you "mod" your console? Unfortunately, you can offer up this kind of reason on "Gamecrap" (gamespot) and expect them to understand.

All that aside, I'm more fixed on the fact that this whole fiasco points to a bigger problem: Microsoft's motivation to try and separate their console from the PC world - while trying to make a few billion off of it.

Microsoft - ki$$ my a$$!


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Alexstarfire on 11/12/2009 3:49:01 PM , Rating: 5
No, that is not an opinion. That is fact. Poor sportsmanship has nothing to do with modding or piracy.

Depending on the severity I could see banning that person temporarily, but that's it. No permanent bans should happen over sportsmanship.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By SPOOFE on 11/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: One thing that bugs me...
By wannabemedontu on 11/13/2009 9:42:40 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree. Poor sports(i mean the type that really ruin the game, not just trash talkers) ruin the game for everyone, especially if they are cheats. People choose to spend there time on the site to have fun, if someone wants to be a jerk, don't try to be there parent, just kick them off and let them be a jerk somewhere else and let us get back to enjoying our game. No different then being a butthead in public, ever here of the charge "disorderly conduct"? There should be a similar way to deal with these people online. It isn't a "right" to play xbox on line you know.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Alexstarfire on 11/13/2009 9:24:09 PM , Rating: 2
Cheating is not the same as port sportsmanship. I agree that if you are laming, TKing, and not really trying and being an ass that something should be done, but I don't think that power should rest with a company and the "rule" being that vague.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By jhb116 on 11/13/2009 10:36:55 AM , Rating: 2
Agree in concept. There are different levels you can set for your account when setting up or joining groups. I don't have much experience with it to know how effective it is. One way to help with this particular problem is ban them from family friendly zones/groups or even create a poor sport zone and force them to play with their own kind. Might even help change some attitudes when they get owned by their own. :)


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By LRonaldHubbs on 11/12/2009 4:06:30 PM , Rating: 3
From a philosophical standpoint, sure, modding for the purposes of piracy or cheating could be related to poor-sportsmanship. However, in the context of the quote in this article, the Microsoft employee that made the statement about sportsmanship was very clearly talking about in-game conduct and not modding. Furthermore, nvalhalla was very clearly keeping with the context of this quotation in his/her own comment. Therefore, as I said before, your comment is irrelevant to this line of discussion. This is not an opinion, it is basic reading comprehension.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By MrBlastman on 11/12/2009 3:54:04 PM , Rating: 2
"Poor sportsmanship" as a bannable offense is a dangerous proposition. What one person considers "poor sportsmanship" may to another seem like fair goading and par for the course. What is worse, is that if Microsoft has a poor sportsmanship ban policy in place, it may operate like a "Zero Tolerance" policy seen elsewhere. The goons in operations may be no better off than a standard government worker.

I do not own a 360 or a PS3 so I have not had to deal with this though, I have spent enough time online PC gaming on dedicated servers (Thank you CoD: MW 2 for making my decision easy and saving me money!) to know there are sometimes rogue Admins on servers who are high on a power trip and abuse their power. I once had an Admin ban me (it was revoked shortly thereafter by his superior and he was reprimanded) due to be kicking his tail all over the server and when he complained I told him to suck it up and play better. He then banned me--of course the ban was not warranted.

So, I think this "poor sportsmanship" is a slippery slope at best. It is also another reason why I don't game on consoles and stick strictly to PC gaming.

If a developer works hard to create a game for all of us and some tools out there think it is okay to pirate said work and play online--if they get banned then good riddance. The developers have to feed their families too!

As for modding the consoles? Well, that is the risk you take when you game on a closed platform. There is a large reason why a great number of PC gamers build their own systems--freedom. Consoles may look inexpensive and affordable but really, for that price, what are you honestly paying for?

In Microsoft's case, the right to use their product, at their discretion. So, what looks like a good price up front, may not be such a great deal for those who want to play on their own terms. It just isn't going to happen. I am not sad over all of this chaos.

If the game is good enough to play online in any great capacity, buy the game--so more good ones like that one can be made by those same developers.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By SPOOFE on 11/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: One thing that bugs me...
By MrBlastman on 11/12/2009 4:07:06 PM , Rating: 5
The beauty of my inclusion was it illustrates that my scenario was limited to a single server rather than a blanket policy from a governing body which can choose to cut me off completely at their whim in one single swoop.

The worst that can happen while gaming on a PC when you are banned from a server? Go to a different server--or, change your ip address. Oh no, big problem there!...

...Far less of a problem than say Microsoft deciding to ban your entire account from everything.

Where's the inconsistency? Perhaps it is your reading comprehension that is inconsistent. :P


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By SPOOFE on 11/12/09, Rating: 0
RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Iketh on 11/13/2009 1:14:05 AM , Rating: 4
but wouldn't they need to buy the game first to experience the bad sportsmanship?


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By mindless1 on 11/13/2009 1:50:32 AM , Rating: 1
You are overlooking that a generic term like poor sportsmanship is wildly subject to human interpretation and error.

There should be no permanent ban-able offenses that are vague in description. Once they have your money they have a contractual obligation that doesn't go away if they don't "like" your personality for some reason.

So yes I do think bad enough sportsmanship should mean a permanent ban, but possibly only with a persistent offender that was already given a briefer vacation one or more times, and only if the vagueness is gone by clearly stating what offenses fall under poor sportsmanship.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Hiawa23 on 11/13/2009 12:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
no issue with that, I have never modded my consoles, just not for me. I think gamers have to know, right or wrong, MS has made it clear, Activision probably had something to do with it, that if you mod your console for unauthorized use, you have every right to do that, but you are not going to log that console on our server, if we can catch you. This doesn't affect me but I understand why MS would do this especially in these troubling times where companies are looking at every peeny lost or othewise.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Bruneauinfo on 11/12/2009 2:56:04 PM , Rating: 5
poor sportsmanship is most likely not a permanent ban.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By xioxio on 11/12/2009 3:32:54 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Initially, you may be banned for a day, a week, or depending on severity, permanently!

quote:
Banning modders I get, but I would hope that any bans for other actions wouldn't be too severe

Modding, in this case, will be banned permanently. In other cases, just like any other online games, you might be suspended or "temporally" banned for a short period of time for 'being a poor sportsmanship' as a warning. Once you done the same 'poor sportsmanship' action multiple times, it could end up to be a permanent ban.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Hakuryu on 11/12/2009 4:34:39 PM , Rating: 2
I've been using Live to play online for a long time, and can assure you that people just don't get banned for being poor sports, but they can face bans for 'continually' being a poor sport.

I get into games with idiots all the time that are trash talking, team killing, and just general griefing of others. It's not such a big deal, you just look at your recent played with list and set those players to 'avoid'.

The problem players, those that scream racist remarks, team kill over and over in every game they join, those that enjoy destroying the experience for others - those are the players that get banned, and it is usually a 3 day or week ban.

Don't assume just because they mention poor sports they will ban anyone that occasionally team kills...that is wrong. In fact they are rather lax in banning people at all for poor sportsmanship.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By sigmatau on 11/12/2009 6:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
The racism on Xbox live is actually quite surprising. When some immature racists find that they are playing with a black person, the bigotry gets out of hand. Many of my friends are black, and I have heard this first hand. I am not sure who is raising these "kids" but I could never imagine using the same language (and I swear like a sailor) as they do. This to me should be a permanent banable offense after a couple of strikes.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By rburnham on 11/13/2009 12:07:21 AM , Rating: 1
I like the idea of banning for poor behavior. To many people get away with being assholes online because there are no consequences. Now there are. So grow up and behave or get banned.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By BZDTemp on 11/13/2009 4:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
I am sure it takes more than a little bitching to be banned otherwise loads of people would be banned as there are some really sore losers on LIVE. Often it seems to be young teens which find it very hard to accept being owned by competitors which then makes them retaliate anyway they can.


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By callmeroy on 11/13/2009 8:39:09 AM , Rating: 2
The poor sport thing is questionable, as others pointed out it matters how you are defining "poor sportsmanship".

If you mean just people being normal jerk offs over and poor losers -- that's not ban worthy...unfortunately being a jack ass is every American's God given right, and the one we exercise the most often....lol. ;>

But seriously, I have no clue how Live works the only consoles I own are a Real 3DO player that's not been plugged in for about 10 years and the original Xbox which has not been played in a year.

I think it would be acceptable to have a community voting system for poor sportmanship of the type I explained earlier (the ones who curse up a storm and are just jack asses), then after a certain number of votes they get a suspension.

Aside from the poor sportsman issue, there's not else wrong with the perma ban in my view for modding, cheating, pirating....I'm quite pleased actually that folks doing that are finally get it up the rear in having to buy a new system...I think its hilarious actually. :)

dumb asses...


RE: One thing that bugs me...
By frobizzle on 11/13/09, Rating: 0
RE: One thing that bugs me...
By Manch on 11/17/2009 10:58:29 PM , Rating: 2
Live has gamer zones that you can join like family, casual, hardcore. Depending on the zone you're in they match you up with people of that group.

The idea being that if you're in the family zone your not going to have to worry about your 10 year old kid playing UNO and hear some 14 year old kid screaming the racist words constantly.

On the other hand if you're in the hardcore zone anything well almost anything goes.

Usually excessive profanity will get you banned for a few days. chasing another gamer in and out of matches to team kill will get you a couple of days too but if and only if a lot of people file complaints against you. If you keep doing it though they will increase the ban incrementally.

I heard of a few people getting banned a few days for acting like a little douche, but not a permanent ban. Some people have actually had the backlash from other gamer be so bad that they make them change their gamertag.


One way of getting your sales figures up I guess.
By dark matter on 11/12/09, Rating: 0
By DarthKaos on 11/12/2009 2:51:35 PM , Rating: 5
I bet they all go out and buy another one too. But I bet at least 70% of them get a PS3 now. With all the issues the Xbox has had why would you not try something else.

The only thing keeping anyone on an Xbox is being online with friends who have one too. Chances are that if you mod your machine so do your friends. If that is the case, why not all get PS3s that can do everything for the same price as an Xbox and none of the hardware restrictions.


By dark matter on 11/12/2009 3:00:12 PM , Rating: 2
I could be wrong, has the PS3 been modded yet to play copied games?


By Alexstarfire on 11/12/2009 3:52:17 PM , Rating: 1
How does $299 = $199? The 360 is still $100 cheaper, or 2/3rds, 66%, the price of the PS3.


By SPOOFE on 11/12/2009 4:04:47 PM , Rating: 2
I would offer that most people - especially out of the population with the savvy, imagined or not, to mod their consoles - would prefer a step up from the Arcade... unless the console ban doesn't affect their HDD, in which case they can just carry it over, but since I've never modded a console or gotten banned I don't know the specifics.

Then there's also the spite factor, or another way of putting it, "Once bitten twice shy." They may go for a PS3 fueled on indignation alone.


By Reignfyre on 11/12/2009 10:24:05 PM , Rating: 4
Simple...

PS3
$299 TOTAL
This includes built in wi-fi and free access to the Playstation Network.

360
~$199
+$ 99 for the wi-fi adapter
+$ 50 per year (cheapest version) LIVE access
=$348

Still sounds like the PS3 is cheaper to me. Not by a lot I grant you, but I can still play and surf with the PS3 right out the box.


By bob4432 on 11/13/2009 1:47:34 AM , Rating: 4
well, unless you have cat5 to run to your 360, i guess it depends on your location. as for the free xbl silver service - it is weak - you need gold to play online, chat w/ friends and to get the netflix service, basically xbox silver is basically just to get updates from ms, game demos and some game updates.


By Alexstarfire on 11/13/2009 9:25:41 PM , Rating: 2
And again down rated for posting facts. Do people not like facts?


RE: One way of getting your sales figures up I guess.
By SunLord on 11/13/2009 5:09:47 AM , Rating: 2
Uh if I'm not mistaken the $199 doesn't come with ya know a hard drive..

Just for shit and giggles here are the price break downs for all the fanboys based on bestbuy.com. This really only proves that anyone who buys a 360 Arcade is a major idiot. Wireless doesn't matter but I'll throw it in anyways.

PS3
$299 120GB PS3 with Blu-ray and Wireless
$349 250GB PS3 with Blu-ray and Wireless
$464 250GB PS3 with Blu-ray and Wireless and MW2 and 1 extra DS3

360 Arcade
$199 256MB 360 Arcade
$299 256MB 360 Arcade with wireless
$299 256MB 360 Arcade with 60GB HD
$349 256MB 360 Arcade with 120GB HD
$399 256MB 360 Arcade with 60GB HD and wireless
$449 256MB 360 Arcade with 120GB HD and wireless

360 Elite
$299 120GB 360 Elite
$399 120GB 360 Elite with wireless

360 LE MW2
$399 250GB 360 LE MW2 with 2 controllers
$499 250GB 360 LE MW2 with wireless


By Alexstarfire on 11/13/2009 6:24:19 AM , Rating: 2
Can you play without a hard drive? Yea, that's what I thought.

I've never argued that the PS3 wasn't a good deal for what's in it, but if you look at it you realize you don't NEED those things just to play.


By kondor999 on 11/18/2009 10:35:13 AM , Rating: 2
Alex, we're trying to compare apple-to-apples. Why is that so hard for you to understand? With your logic, a Ferrari and a Hyundai are identical because both get you to work.

And exactly what price do you put on my ability to, say, cheaply add a commercially-available 3rd party 7200rpm 500gb drive to my PS3 without first performing fellatio on Sony?

I own both consoles, but the PS3 seems to successfully combine many of the good aspects of PC's (easily expandable storage, free online, internet browsing, ability to install other OS's, built-in card reader, excellent integration with PCs to stream media) with the ease-of-use typical among consoles.


By kmmatney on 11/12/2009 11:41:46 PM , Rating: 2
My guess is that they will sell their old Xbox and buy a new one (to offset the cost). There will probably be new mods soon that are much safer (or at least can be used off-line, and removed while online). The PS3 is not moddable at all, AFAIK.


RE: One way of getting your sales figures up I guess.
By jeff834 on 11/13/2009 9:50:04 AM , Rating: 2
I had a modded xbox that got banned from xbox live and I have a few points to make for the people that aren't very familiar with the situation.

1. They ban your console and nothing else so if you really want to play online still you can easily get a used 360 console only for around $100 on ebay. I've been a part time dealer of video games and consoles on ebay for quite some time and if you buy from reputable dealers and use paypal this is a very safe purchase. I already have another unmodded 360 I'm using right now. I have a PS3 as well but it pretty much collects dust as far as games are concerned, everyone I know has a 360 and frankly the exclusives are much more appealing to me.

2. If you modded your system to play pirated games (I did it so I could play backups got really tired of games getting scratched beyond repair from the console being bumped) you can still play your single player pirated games pretty much forever, which means they're not putting a stop to piracy just keeping it off xbox live. By next year it will actually be less expensive to buy a used console and mod it then it will be to buy 1 game, so MS is really going to have to keep up with those bans, as well as keeping up with new firmware mods that are constantly being developed.

3. It is very hard to get any kind of ban from xbox live for "poor stortsmanship". I believe you have to be complained about many times to get even a temp ban and then after a number of temp bans you can get permanently banned. How exactly is that a "slippery slope"? If you purchase entrance into a six flags theme park for example and start shouting obscenities and racial remarks they will definitely kick you out no matter how much you paid to get in. Same thing goes for just about every public venue paid or free. Personally I just avoid the whole situation by not having voice chat turned on on live. If playing with friends we just use ventrilo.

One last comment about the article saying people are selling their banned 360s on ebay hoping no one will notice they're "damaged". I can pretty much guarantee that if I wanted to sell my banned xbox on ebay or craigslist and put it up as a modded 360 that's banned from xbox live I could get almost as much or even just as much as I would if I put an unmodded used console up for sale. I don't condone piracy but there are plenty of people out there who would pay $100 to get a console they can play an infinite amount of free single player games on.


By kondor999 on 11/18/2009 10:43:27 AM , Rating: 2
Your "disc scratching" claim sounds like the typical specious drivel used by pirates to rationalize theft. Why the F are you "bumping" your 360 during gameplay? Please. You're stealing - just man up and say it.

Anyone else here "bump" their 360 on a regular basis?

:-)


By celticbrewer on 11/12/2009 3:24:45 PM , Rating: 4
All x360 owners I know (legit, non-modded) are, on average, on their 2rd machine (NOT counting warranty returns), some as high as their 4th due to hardware failures. They should be used to re-buying by now.

Of course, MSFT will now count these replacements towards sales counts to "prove" that Xbox is selling better than the other consoles as your subject suggests


RE: One way of getting your sales figures up I guess.
By Iaiken on 11/12/09, Rating: -1
By goz314 on 11/12/2009 4:06:12 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Go to somewhere that idiots sell 360's (Costco for example). Buy a new 360, swap the units and return the banned unit. Shady? Hell yes! But it's no worse than MS permanently banning my friend who modded his 360 into a media PC.


Promoting that sort of behavior is not just shady but it's also illegal, immoral, and representative of how immature some of these narcissistic jack-holes can be. Apparently, people who would try to dupe retailers in such fashion believe the rules apply to everyone else but themselves.


By MrBlastman on 11/12/2009 4:11:55 PM , Rating: 2
That is pretty lame dude. What happens to the consumer who then buys that same Xbox next? They get shafted and you wasted their time.


RE: One way of getting your sales figures up I guess.
By michec on 11/12/2009 4:34:15 PM , Rating: 2
We can only hope that your friend will be charged with fraud when they track the return and the mismatched serial numbers.


By sigmatau on 11/12/2009 6:23:59 PM , Rating: 2
Actualy what that would amount to is easily a felony. Returning merchandise under false pretences is a felony. They can actualy hold the console and call the police when they see that you have a different serial number. Even Wal-mart checks the serial numbers.


RE: One way of getting your sales figures up I guess.
By SunLord on 11/13/2009 5:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
Depends on if you can swap the case or not. Then you could probably get away with it if it was an all cash transaction...


By Elementalism on 11/13/2009 9:04:49 AM , Rating: 1
If the store accepts it there is little recourse they have against the douchebag who does this. Because the product is now out of the person who returned it the simple defense of "somebody at the store did it" comes into play. I work for a company that takes Costco and Walmart returns. There are PCs that we get that had weights in them with no insides. People actually bother to rip the guts out and put in weights and return it. Nothing anybody can do once the store accepts it.


By lewislink on 11/13/2009 12:05:01 AM , Rating: 1
Wrong. Only an idiot would think that way. Sheesh...they are seriously stumped by what MS has done to them that they are desperate to try something so foolish as this to recover their illusion of self respect and self worth.

Piss on their self respect and self worth. It's gone forever. All of the rule breaking, console modding idiots are...well...to use their own term, PWN. Which means, MS and all of us rule abiding citizens own their asses. They have been CONQUERED!

"Now that's what I'm talkin' 'bout"


By goz314 on 11/12/2009 4:12:53 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, but that won't work. Modding your hardware or the firmware contained within it is explicitly prohibited by MS, and it will by definition void the warranty. -Catch 22.


By Belard on 11/12/2009 5:07:38 PM , Rating: 2
Hence... I think there are really only about 22~23 million actual 360 owners out there. With the 33% failure rate, and now this.... If 50% of these people goes out and buys the $200 Arcade version (then xfer the HD)... then MS makes a boat load of money from selling 500,000+ units + $25 million dollars for the players re-buying a new XboxLive account... maybe.

Is their ID same as a paid account?


By jeff834 on 11/13/2009 10:00:23 AM , Rating: 2
Plenty of PS3 owners have dealt with the YLOD (yellow light of death) or their bluray lasers going bad as well. I can't remember if Sony has a year or 90 day warranty, but they definitely don't come close to touching the 3 year 360 warranty. Why did so many people you know buy new consoles? Is there a limit to the amount of warranty replacements? Did they all get them at launch and their warranty ran out recently? I'm not that familiar with the warranty system as my launch console, while recently banned from live, is still going strong.


By Sinisteer on 11/13/2009 1:03:03 AM , Rating: 2
Also, have you heard that over 47% of all statistics are made up on the spot. ftw


"May be Result of CoD:MW2 Piracy"
By rpsgc on 11/12/2009 2:25:03 PM , Rating: 5
Everyone knows piracy only exists on the PC... oh wait!




By MrBoffo on 11/12/2009 2:40:47 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly, the more games become console-centric the more the piracy will as well.


RE: "May be Result of CoD:MW2 Piracy"
By jonmcc33 on 11/12/2009 3:06:06 PM , Rating: 5
Tell me about it. EA stopped making Madden for the PC due to apparent piracy but it's highly evident that it is worse for consoles.


RE: "May be Result of CoD:MW2 Piracy"
By ZimZum on 11/12/2009 3:33:58 PM , Rating: 2
Worse? no. Piracy on the consoles is a reality. But the barrier still exists that you actually have to modify your console whether by mod chips or alternative firmwares to be able to play pirated games on them. Not everyone is willing or able to do that because of the consequences like those in the above article. No such speed bump exists on the PC. Piracy is as easy as a few clicks on the PC end. You don't even need to burn a copy of the disc like you don with consoles.


By inperfectdarkness on 11/13/2009 8:22:31 AM , Rating: 2
so does this mean i can pick up a bricked 360 for single-player play for, oh, $50 or less? if so...i "might" actually buy an xbox for the first time. if only because i want to play forza 3.

i have a pc if i want to game online.


RE: "May be Result of CoD:MW2 Piracy"
By SPOOFE on 11/12/2009 3:44:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
it's highly evident that it is worse for consoles.

In terms of total numbers, but NOT in terms of percentage of users. Piracy is more a problem on the PC because the actual sales are only a fraction of console sales.


RE: "May be Result of CoD:MW2 Piracy"
By Alexstarfire on 11/12/2009 3:50:20 PM , Rating: 2
Other way around. Worse percentage wise, not in total numbers.


RE: "May be Result of CoD:MW2 Piracy"
By SPOOFE on 11/12/2009 4:01:28 PM , Rating: 2
I think some wires got crossed. In general, console game sales are much higher than PC game sales, and this is what makes the smaller absolute numbers of PC pirates more significant because they're still a very large percentage of PC gamers. Consoles deal with piracy but it is less significant due to the much higher number of legit sales.


By Alexstarfire on 11/13/2009 9:30:03 PM , Rating: 2
How do you figure the small catalog of console games compares to the vast catalog of PC games in terms of sales? Valve alone has probably sold more games on Steam than many game companies have on consoles. Wish I could find some numbers to look at though.


By SavagePotato on 11/12/2009 5:28:30 PM , Rating: 2
You have to give Sony credit in that blu ray actualy did prevent piracy on the ps3. Though not through all that wonderful DRM but the obscene price of recordable media.

Too bad it's kind of a one shot deal, by the time they release their next console, if it was blu ray, it may be cheap enough to warrant piracy.

Then again Sony is under the delusion that they are going to succeed with a driveless all digital distribution option for the ps3's successor.

I guess you can't blame them for being ignorant as to why that won't work, being a Japanese company, since in Japan internet speed doesn't suck major ass.


Used Consoles?
By Scorpial on 11/12/2009 3:06:03 PM , Rating: 5
So what happens if you buy a used XBox 360 console, unaware that it was banned. I guess you are S.O.L. It might only be a matter of time before this actually becomes a problem, as I can see hardcore gamers with modded consoles that were banned selling them on ebay or craigslist just in time for the holidays, and using that money to just buy a new console. Poor little Timmy with his "new" Xbox that his grandma bought for him for christmas won't be able to connect to Xbox live...




RE: Used Consoles?
By BadAcid on 11/12/2009 3:15:31 PM , Rating: 3
Good chance to get one cheap if you don't care about online play at all, which is entirely possible for a lot of people.


RE: Used Consoles?
By Alexstarfire on 11/12/2009 3:58:57 PM , Rating: 2
Except that it's not just online play that you're banned from.


RE: Used Consoles?
By jeff834 on 11/13/2009 10:06:01 AM , Rating: 2
Yes actually it is just online play that you're banned from as far as playing goes. You won't be able to install games to the hard drive, but that's about the only other thing you can't do.


RE: Used Consoles?
By Alexstarfire on 11/13/2009 9:27:10 PM , Rating: 2
Also says media extender capabilities no longer function.


RE: Used Consoles?
By Freezebyte on 11/12/2009 3:22:33 PM , Rating: 2
Your SOL


RE: Used Consoles?
By Aloonatic on 11/12/2009 4:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
It seems that that's already started to happen and there are lots of xBoxes that have been banned appearing on sites like eBay.

Apparently, MS have said tuff, your console will be banned forrrrrreeeeeeeeeeveeeeerrrrrr!


RE: Used Consoles?
By joex444 on 11/12/2009 7:42:17 PM , Rating: 2
Wait a minute. If you buy a banned Xbox, and it was banned for firmware then all you need is a DVD burner and you get any game you want? Am I missing something?

Is multiplayer really that important? You now have potentially a million people who can buy an Xbox for cheap and never buy a game, yet has access to any single player game their little heart desires.

Am I wrong here? I mean, a banned console still plays pirated games does it not?


RE: Used Consoles?
By bob4432 on 11/13/2009 1:37:43 AM , Rating: 2
bingo, you are correct. fyi - the games need dl dvdss, but yeah, you have it correct. you just have to find a way to get the game, but yeah, you are correct.


RE: Used Consoles?
By bob4432 on 11/13/2009 1:39:52 AM , Rating: 2
yep, too bad for little timmy...


Do some fact checking please....
By Narbo on 11/12/2009 2:16:07 PM , Rating: 5
They are not banning gamertags from XBL they are banning consoles from connecting to XBL. It appears that Microsoft has discovered a way to detect DVD drives with modified firmware regardless of if you are playing an original disc or not.

Any gamertag used on the banned console is still fine and can be recovered on an unbanned console.

What *is* new this ban wave is that the banned console has it's crypto keys revoked which makes any data written by that console (saves, gamer profile) unreadable on other consoles. Further Microsoft has disabled the HD install feature as well as the media extender feature further reducing the functionality of the box.

Obviously many people are rather unhappy about this as it is effectively a form of bricking the device and goes well beyond the scope of merely disabling its XBL capabilities.




RE: Do some fact checking please....
By Taft12 on 11/12/2009 2:51:47 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
it is effectively a form of bricking the device


You use that word. I don't think you know what it means.

"Bricking" is when a device isn't good for anything other than a paperweight or doorstop. A banned 360 will still play games and stream media, etc.


RE: Do some fact checking please....
By Narbo on 11/12/2009 2:59:32 PM , Rating: 5
I'm well aware of what it means. I said ' a form of bricking ' the device meaning 'drastically reducing the functionality so that it might as well be a brick'.

Either way, the bottom line is that Microsoft have chosen to implement restrictions on the banned console well above and beyond simply denying it access to XBL.


RE: Do some fact checking please....
By xioxio on 11/12/2009 4:30:26 PM , Rating: 1
They would turn it into a complete brick if they could. It would just be too harsh. So they made it to have limited features to punish them and if those players still want to play, they'll have to buy a whole new console just to somewhat make up for those pirated games they played.


By Alexstarfire on 11/12/2009 3:56:33 PM , Rating: 5
Yea, I don't understand how they can remove functionality like HD installing, corrupting PERSONAL game files, and removing media extender capabilities. Simply a ban from XBL makes sense since it's a service, though modding alone shouldn't warrant this ban, but nothing else does. Yea another reason I'm glad to have stayed away from the xBox. The original was a POS, just like this one.


By dyslexiczoetrope on 11/12/2009 8:46:34 PM , Rating: 2
public or private keys? also are they doing mac registration?

just trying to get a heads up on how to bypass...


By dyslexiczoetrope on 11/12/2009 8:47:35 PM , Rating: 2
public or private keys?

also are they doing mac registration?

just trying to get a pointer on where to start researching a bypass..


M$ might be shooting themselves in the foot
By cwolf78 on 11/12/2009 3:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
If there really are 1+ million XBL subscribers who now have severely crippled units, I wonder what percentage of these will opt to get a PS3 this time around now that they are $299 instead of another Xbox. Like one other poster commented, a lot of these people are probably already on at least their second Xbox 360. I'm sure this was the last straw for some of these users. It would be amusing if by doing this M$ actually helps the PS3 sales figures.




RE: M$ might be shooting themselves in the foot
By michec on 11/12/2009 4:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
As another member already pointed out, Microsoft is not making any money on the console. They make their money on the software and accessories. If you are a modder and aren't paying for the games to begin with, they could care less if you go out and buy a PS3 next time. They aren't getting any revenue from you anyway. You're a "bad customer" to them and they could care less if you buy or not buy another Xbox.


RE: M$ might be shooting themselves in the foot
By SavagePotato on 11/12/2009 5:37:11 PM , Rating: 2
They probably won't anyway. They will buy another Xbox, mod it again, and continue on.

As far as I know there isn't any such thing as modding for the ps3 which means you are stuck paying for your games.

You can drop $300 on games mighty fast. For someone like that, I would imagine they will just mod another XBox and keep on pirating till that one gets banned too, then blow it out on craigslist again and the cycle repeats.

It seems to me that the very act of banning these people costs Microsoft money. Either way, they aren't going to spend money, and if Microsoft is still selling the console at a loss, well, don't they lose out even more by banning the pirate? Since now they have to basically lose money for him to go out and buy another Xbox which he will probably just mod again.


RE: M$ might be shooting themselves in the foot
By Griswold on 11/13/2009 7:50:31 AM , Rating: 2
Can you explain to me why anyone with a banned console (for modding it), unable to use XBL, should go and buy another xbox to mod it yet again and be, yet again, unable to use XBL?

If you want to use XBL, you obviously have to have a un-modded xbox. If you just want to run pirated games and not use XBL, theres no reason to go and buy a new one...

With that said, I think MS did the right thing and it is not like they shot themselves in the foot.


By jeff834 on 11/13/2009 10:11:48 AM , Rating: 2
Your new modded console isn't automatically banned, you have to get caught first. A lot of people are speculating on how MS knows you have a modded console, but the fact is they can't actually read your firmware version so right now the modding community is trying to figure out how they know. It won't be long before a new firmware mod comes out that avoids detection yet again allowing pirates to play games on live for as much as another year before they're banned again. Not to mention you'd be an idiot to buy a brand new console for $200+ when you can get a nice used one for $100 or less.


By molgenit on 11/13/2009 9:04:51 AM , Rating: 4
They ARE making money on the Xbl service, so IF some of the gold members go to another platform, MS WILL be losing money. Furthermore this type of publicity will never be helpful so it will be harmful. Ultimately this will encourage a deeper hacking into their OS to fix some of the problems the ban will do since it has created a market. Now, they will never be able to get back on Xbl but there will be work a rounds for some of the other things. It may even bring legal cases concerning the legality of forcing consumers to buy only MS drives and locking out 3rd parties. With the RROD issue, pay for play service and now massive bannings (even if it’s justified) this further paints the console in a bad light in the minds of the masses. I know games sell the consoles but the future will hold less and less specific series (titles yes but series no) since many developers lost a lot of revenue by tying themselves to a platform so that makes choices somewhat more flexible. Now that prices are in the more consumer sweet zone the PS3 will probably do better than the X-box 360 this holiday season (BTW I only have a X-box 360 and am not a PS3 fanboy).This will definitely bite MS in the butt how much remains to be determined.


no sympathy
By klutch2013 on 11/12/2009 3:09:04 PM , Rating: 2
i personally feel no sympathy for game hackers PC or Console, because you know, its your own fault that you got banned, your the one who decided to hack the console / PC Game or OS, yea who cares a few more functions at the risk of getting your whole console banned and having to buy a whole new one?? no way, i bet there will be all kinds of law suits against Microsoft, but you know, i am sticking with Microsoft, the kids need to learn to play fair, and Microsoft is covered by their TOU's (Terms of use) anyways....




RE: no sympathy
By Alexstarfire on 11/12/2009 4:02:54 PM , Rating: 2
ToU doesn't equal law, just FYI. I'm all against banning cheaters, pirates, hackers, etc. from playing ONLINE. Honestly pirates should just get their whole console bricked. Microsoft has gone over the top on this though. Players are effectively banned from more than just online play, and not only that, but it's just due to modding which in itself is very unspecific. Modding != pirating or cheating. It is a likely indication, but it's a lot like profiling. Just because you fit the profile doesn't mean you've done anything. It's circumstantial evidence.


RE: no sympathy
By goz314 on 11/12/2009 4:29:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Modding != pirating or cheating. It is a likely indication, but it's a lot like profiling. Just because you fit the profile doesn't mean you've done anything. It's circumstantial evidence.


Sure, but how ever "circumstantial" that evidence might be, the actions taken by banned users through modifications of their consoles are specifically prohibited by MS. Users are not being banned for suspicion of piracy, they are being banned because they broke the terms of use.


RE: no sympathy
By Lerianis on 11/14/2009 7:27:49 PM , Rating: 2
But those ToS's are in violation of other parts of the law, that say basically that once you buy something... you can mod it all you wish.

Plus, there are the people who modded their consoles to play LEGALLY BACKED UP GAMES (I have three friends who did that) and get caught in this 'anti-piracy' bullcrap when they are not pirates.

Microsoft is stepping over their bounds here.... and I am shocked that their lawyers did come up to them, smack them across the face and SCREAM at them "WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING? DO YOU WANT TO GET SUED! "

Basically, circumstantial evidence is NOT ENOUGH to mess with someone's legally bought console, period and done with. That is not for discussion, that has been STATED many times in courts of law across this whole country. Sure, it was in the NON-digital age.... but those laws were NEVER CHANGED (sing this with me)!


RE: no sympathy
By Lerianis on 11/14/2009 7:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
Right in one. Some people forget that many portions of the ToS and ToU's that are out there..... are breaking other laws and stepping over the rights that these companies actually have.

As in, you have a LEGAL RIGHT to back up your discs and PLAY THEM. If Microsoft starts banning you because you do that by modifying your console...... they are asking for a PECKLOAD of hurt as soon as any judge gets it in their courtroom.

Basically, once I bring a console home.... Microsoft has NO RIGHT to do anything to it that would 'brick' it, because it is now my property.
If they can prove that I am a pirate (and just having the ABILITY to play pirated games is not proof enough in a court of law, even a CIVIL court of law!).... THEN they can call the police on me.

Until then though... Microsoft is breaking a LOT of laws, and is asking for a smackdown.

I'm expecting any day now to see "Microsoft sued in class action lawsuit!" by people who have legally bought their games and modified their consoles to play backed up games in order to protect their investment.


RE: no sympathy
By sinful on 11/15/2009 8:31:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:

If they can prove that I am a pirate (and just having the ABILITY to play pirated games is not proof enough in a court of law, even a CIVIL court of law!).... THEN they can call the police on me.

Until then though... Microsoft is breaking a LOT of laws, and is asking for a smackdown.


It's easy to prove you're a pirate: YOU ARE USING AN ILLEGAL COPY OF MICROSOFT'S FIRMWARE.

Case closed.

So... let's see, you're a proven pirate, and you're breaking contracts... yeah, good luck with a "legal smackdown".

"Your honor, after I installed the ILLEGAL firmware and BROKE MY CONTRACT with MS, they had the *gall* to disable my illegal device!"

GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!


Rampant Piracy on Consoles
By LittlBilly on 11/12/2009 2:26:46 PM , Rating: 5
I guess the PC is no longer the only platform that has huge issues with people trying to cheat developers of their money.

Two of my friends that have a modded console have had their consoles banned the weekend prior to COD:MW2's launch. I can't defend their modding practicing by saying they just wanted to run an alternate OS or enable additional functionality.

I just hope that this lessens developer hatred of the PC and treat its PC audience as a dedicated market (with dedicated servers) instead of an afterthought.




RE: Rampant Piracy on Consoles
By wushuktl on 11/12/2009 3:10:43 PM , Rating: 2
while that would be great i doubt that would happen as a result of these XBL bans. With or without piracy, console games are still just selling more and making more money.


RE: Rampant Piracy on Consoles
By Proxes on 11/12/2009 4:24:10 PM , Rating: 2
Game devs are moving toward producing for consoles only because of piracy on PCs.

It would be in Microsoft's best interest to make sure people can't use pirated games with their console.


RE: Rampant Piracy on Consoles
By Lerianis on 11/14/2009 7:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but what about the people who have their game disc get scratched beyond readability? Are they supposed to be "SOL"? HELL NO!

This is a class action lawsuit waiting to happen, because Microsoft does not have ANY FLIPPING IDEA who are real pirates and who are 'Joe Schmoes' who are simply playing LEGALLY BACKED UP GAMES on their modified consoles.

Yes, you do have a right to back up your games AND PLAY THEM!

Microsoft forgets that a bunch of companies for PC got sued over this, and lost their cases 10+ years ago. I remember one of the first CD games I had wouldn't 'authenticate' and 3 months after I bought it, they released a patch to remove the authentication because it caused so many problems to legitimate users who were trying to play backed up copies or copies of WORKING DISCS that they had made.


Everything in this article is wrong
By term117 on 11/12/2009 2:25:11 PM , Rating: 1
First microsoft does not ban your live account they ban your console. And in 99% of cases it is permanently.

Second there has not been 1 million players banned this number is completely ridiculous. At the very most the number is 50,000 and that's even stretching it. As someone who has been following the xbox modding scene for 6+ years these numbers are just plain fabricated.

Lastly they didn't ban me :)




By Jacerie on 11/12/2009 2:49:02 PM , Rating: 2
<sarcasm>
Thanks for providing a traceable IP log. Your ban will be forthcoming...
</sarcasm>


RE: Everything in this article is wrong
By AyashiKaibutsu on 11/12/2009 2:54:45 PM , Rating: 2
Did you play MW2 before it was released? From what I understood, people playing games before they're released is the main way microsoft detects pirates. I don't have an xbox yet alone a modded one, but the couple of people I know with ones weren't banned either. They stick to the no unreleased games policy.


By dark matter on 11/12/2009 2:57:28 PM , Rating: 1
Totally! You wouldn't drive a car down the high street that hasn't been released yet. Not unless you want to bring a shedload of attention to yourself.


By jeff834 on 11/13/2009 10:15:38 AM , Rating: 2
I can say for a fact that is not how they detect it. It might help them find people easier sometimes, but there are definitely other ways. I have a modded 360 and was banned recently and never once played a game I didn't pay for so I could not have played before release. Also stores all over the world break street dates they don't punish people for playing unreleased games on live, they punish retailers for selling early.


Great opportunity for Sony's PS3
By jyqureshi on 11/12/2009 4:43:36 PM , Rating: 2
I think Sony needs to jump on this opportunity and offer a $50 or $100 discount, in collaboration with game shops/electronic shops, to turn in their "broken" Xbox360s for a fat or slim PS3.

Do you hear Sony?




RE: Great opportunity for Sony's PS3
By Freezebyte on 11/12/2009 4:52:31 PM , Rating: 2
And WTF would Sony do with all that defunct IT equipment exactly? Selllng it to the Chinese for cheap disassembly labor is against international law.


By Bateluer on 11/12/2009 5:00:34 PM , Rating: 2
Doesn't matter what they do with it. They get a SP3 out into the hands of a user, which increases their install base, which means they can potentially sell more game titles.


By jyqureshi on 11/12/2009 5:20:57 PM , Rating: 2
Recycling them is a really good option.


Cheap 360!
By werfu on 11/12/2009 4:21:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well, it's time to grab a modded X360 on the cheap of eBay then. After a while somebody will find a crack to get back onto Live and most of these console will be back online. If it's only the console ID, than patch the ROM and change it.




RE: Cheap 360!
By kmmatney on 11/12/2009 11:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
I'm thinking about buying one just for off-line gaming. Too bad this didn't happen to the PS3 - I'd be all over buying a banned console with a blu-ray player in it.


RE: Cheap 360!
By jeff834 on 11/13/2009 10:21:28 AM , Rating: 2
Not likely as they've been banning consoles from live for years and it hasn't happened yet. I also believe the developers of the modded firmware have said it is fundamentally impossible to unban your console from live, as that ban uses information on your 360 that is pretty much read only.


Ok....
By Trisped on 11/12/2009 5:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
So Microsoft bans "modders" and we act like it is a sin? Don't follow that, I remember with the original XBox all the complaints about modders since they were hacking the system making it easier to cheat. They were locked out, so why wouldn't these guys?

I also don't understand why the article says "Microsoft discovered a way to detected modified DVD-drive firmware." I seriously doubt that Microsoft didn't have mechanisms in place before they even launched the system to do that. In fact, I expect that they keep up with current modding systems and release new games with characteristics which expose the firmware. Then I would wait 6 months and keep track of all the systems that exhibit symptoms and then ban them.

I also find it very interesting they are "Banning Accounts" but you can get unbanned by switching consoles. Wouldn't that mean they are banning consoles, not accounts? And what is the big deal anyways? It isn't like where Apple bricks your unit, you can still play games on it, just not online.

Personally I think this is a sign of good things: legit players don't have to worry about hackers and content creators are getting compensated for their work.




RE: Ok....
By Lerianis on 11/14/2009 7:34:52 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, but there is a difference between modifying a console to be able to 'cheat' and modifying a console to play what could be LEGALLY BACKED UP COPIES OF GAMES!

I also have no problem with the 'banning' from XBox Live because you are cheating in a game with a modchip.... ban away. However, if you are not doing that.... leave my console alone.

It also doesn't give you the right to send out an update to my console that DISABLES THE FUNCTIONALITY OF MY CONSOLE! That's a period and done with, that courts said many times in the non-digital age could not be done..... unless you were the.... P O L I C E.... what does that spell.... POLICE!

Basically, Microsoft has no idea whether these 'modders' are people simply playing LEGALLY BACKED UP COPIES OF GAMES.... or actual pirates.
The law does not give people the right to discriminate against someone else just because they 'look' like a criminal..... they actually have to be PROVEN to be a criminal before they are allowed to do that.


RE: Ok....
By Lerianis on 11/14/2009 7:37:48 PM , Rating: 2
I also must make it clear that Microsoft must PROVE that you are cheating in games.... either by the servers catching your character doing things that are impossible (running through bullets without being damaged) or someone reporting that you are doing that, which is then confirmed by someone watching you or the server watching you the next time that you are on the server.


i say sue MS
By rika13 on 11/13/2009 7:12:19 AM , Rating: 2
simply removing XBL access to the gamertag should have been enough

Actively damaging the console in a manner where it substantially reduces its usefulness in it's advertised functions can be considered property damage, there is currently no legal framework for MS to do this (the RIAA tried to get Congress to allow it, and failed hard, thank you Republicans!!)

thanks to this reckless act, M$ has a class of 1 MILLION owners and any potential buyers of used xbox 360 consolse who can sue because their consoles were damaged because of a direct action M$ took that is in violation of law, most people will take their bricked consoles to gamestop or pawn shops and dump them, then get new ones at a different store or the next day

Also this will damage M$ reputation since it shows them as Apple-like control freaks who will gleefully destroy their customer's property in a vengeful temper tantrum




RE: i say sue MS
By TETRONG on 11/13/2009 10:08:51 AM , Rating: 2
I agree with you.
The console, like anything else is your property and you can do anything you want to it.
Their "terms of service" are simply not enough to back this up.

Now they have put themselves in the sticky situation of actively reducing the functionality and hence value of the console.
They'll pay big-time for this in a class action suit-then they'll have the laws changed, or ACTA will make this crime punishable by death.


RE: i say sue MS
By Biggie B on 11/17/2009 8:41:15 AM , Rating: 2
You can sue them all you want, it's not going to get you anywhere (or anything - $). There is just no legal ground for modders to stand on.

MS isn't doing anything at all to your hardware (i.e., "actively damaging" it), and the hardware is the only thing of which you can claim any ownership whatsoever. They are simply modifying their own operating system to remove access within that OS to whatever features they feel like. They are allowed to remove access as soon as you violate the TOS. They are completely within their rights to change whatever they want.

You still own the hardware, and you can do whatever you want with it (unless it's illegal, of course). Use it as a doorstop? You bet. Need a paperweight? No problem. It'll still probably have a better online community than the PS3, lol...

You take your hardware and use it however you want. Unfortunately, you're just not allowed the same latitude with THEIR operating system.


No pity
By Freezebyte on 11/12/2009 3:10:24 PM , Rating: 1
I have no remorse or tears for the nimrods who thought they could truly get away with this without incurring some kinda penalty or punishment. QQ more hackers/stealers




RE: No pity
By Lerianis on 11/14/2009 7:42:41 PM , Rating: 2
Not everyone who modifies their console is a stealer, jackass.
I know 4 people who modified their console who have bought EVERY SINGLE ONE of their games (50+) legally.

Why did they modify? So they could play LEGALLY BACKED UP 1:1 copies on their consoles, so that they could protect their investment by not using the EASILY SCRATCHED original discs.

Now, do you still think it was right for Microsoft to do that to my friends? I don't think so, their friends and family don't think so, and neither do the lawyers that have contacted.... who are thinking of filing a class action lawsuit (note: I didn't put this in my earlier postings because I just got the e-mail from them 2 seconds ago!).

Microsoft basically is treating everyone as criminals here... and that is not allowed under our system of law. If people were cheating in games.... fine, ban them from XBox Live.... no problem with that, if they can prove it.

But disabling functionality of their consoles that isn't connected with XBox Live? Hell no, that is overstepping their bounds, ToS or Tou, or whatever you want to mention!


RE: No pity
By Biggie B on 11/17/2009 8:25:09 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, you keep forgetting that to make a legal backup copy of a game, you need written permission from the publisher. Yes, it's possible to make a legal backup copy of a game, movie, whatever the heck you want, but to do it legally, you need written permission.

As far as the reduced functionality goes, Microsoft isn't doing a dang thing to your hardware. They are modifying THEIR OWN OPERATING SYSTEM, of which you have ZERO ownership, in such a way as to remove access to certain features. You're correct that as soon as you buy it, you own the console outright, and you can do whatever you want with it. You're dead wrong, however, that disabling features is somehow stepping over the line of what Microsoft is allowed to do.

You buy the hardware, and can claim ownership of it. However, you are only licensing the software, which is subject to Terms of Service. Since they are only allowing you to use their operating system on a conditional basis, they can revoke such privileges whenever you violate those terms that they have set forth. They could brick the system completely (as long as the hardware was unaltered) and there could be no legal recourse, as they would be perfectly within their rights.

Do I agree that they're taking the proper course of action? I don't know (and I don't honestly care, since my box is unmodded). Is it harsh? Absolutely. But, is it beyond the scope of what Microsoft it legally allowed to do to their own OS? Fundamentally and completely, no. Not in any way shape or form...


Tone Down the Commentary Please
By GTVic on 11/12/2009 3:50:20 PM , Rating: 5
"eerily similar" ... Did the author learn how to write by watching the evening editorial presentation (whoops I meant evening news broadcast).

The statement referenced was not eerie (inspiring a feeling of fear; strange and frightening) and I for one do not appreciate having the news analyzed for me and being told how to feel about it.

Dump the adjectives and just deliver the news please.




i don't agree if this is correct
By omnicronx on 11/12/2009 5:50:22 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
The ban also limits the console's functionality, via blocking HD installation and the use of a media extender.
100% with banning online accounts for modded consoles, but I'm sorry MS, unless you want to get sued, you better not be fudging with peoples offline activities. I don't care if a console is modded or not, its not MS property, disallowing offline usage such as media extender could put them in hot water if there is any thread of truth to this. With online gameplay, you can do just about anything with your TOS, but crippling hardware? Are you serious? There is absolutely nothing in your TOS that gives you legal authority to do this.




Modding isn't all bad
By room200 on 11/12/2009 3:29:24 PM , Rating: 2
I have no horse in this race, but one thing I can say is this: the modders/hackers forced a lot of the gaming comapnies to step up their game (so to speak). Modders came out with new skins, maps, and other things way beyond what game producers had ever conceived. Do you think that the gaming companies didn't notice? I'm against piracy, but modding/hacking DOES encourage innovation. Furthermore, it's only a matter of time before someone figures a way to "unban" the console.

I do know this; if I was a banned XBOX user, I'd not buy another XBOX (and likely never buy another Microsoft console.) I'd just get a PS3.




RE: Modding isn't all bad
By tayb on 11/12/2009 4:22:22 PM , Rating: 2
I really don't think Microsoft cares if you go out and buy a PS3 instead. Sony and Microsoft don't make money selling consoles, they make money selling software. If you're buying the console and getting all the software for free you are worthless to them and completely expendable. The only loss for Microsoft here is the revenue from Xbox Live subscriptions.

There is no user created content on the Xbox 360. The PS3 has a couple of games with user created content (little big planet is the only one that I have played) but the console environment isn't anything like the PC gaming environment where game-mods are the norm.


tough sh*t
By FITCamaro on 11/12/2009 5:46:35 PM , Rating: 2
If you're going to cheat, you run the risk of getting caught. Same goes for modding a console to play pirated games.

I have no sympathy for these people and I hope ebay cracks down on people trying to unload banned consoles without informing the buyer.




RE: tough sh*t
By jeff834 on 11/13/2009 10:25:25 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not really sure why you wouldn't inform the buyer. Plenty of market for a working modded 360 even if it is banned from xbox live. Many would rather have an unbanned modded console, but many others just don't care about online play.


Good
By rburnham on 11/13/2009 12:15:07 AM , Rating: 2
Banned for modding? Good, screw em. Let the paying customers have their fun.

My only concern is that I hope people who have opened their consoles to clean them have not been banned, as the Xbox is well known for having unreliable hardware.




RE: Good
By bob4432 on 11/13/2009 1:43:13 AM , Rating: 2
no, you have to change the 360's dvd rom firmware or possibly add a mod chip to get banned. if you just take it apart for cleaning, all you do is lose your warranty.


Simple solution ...
By cyberguyz on 11/13/2009 8:27:42 AM , Rating: 2
The solution is simple. Don't buy XBox 360 or join XBox Live.

When vendors get heavy handed they forget the simple fact that consumers are not forced to use their services. There always have a choice and that choice is made with our wallets .




RE: Simple solution ...
By Lerianis on 11/14/2009 7:09:54 PM , Rating: 2
Or, better yet.... buy the thing and file a lawsuit. There are a LOT of people out there who have 'modified consoles' yet have bought all their games legally and are playing 'copied discs' in order to protect their investment in the game.

Microsoft needs to realize they are heading for a REAL HURTING here, when someone files a class action lawsuit against them for doing this.
Really, there should have been no restriction on playing copied discs in the first place. Customers have a BLUNT WRITTEN IN LAW RIGHT to backup their discs and to play the backup!


Wow
By The0ne on 11/12/2009 2:21:49 PM , Rating: 1
1 million and counting. I'm pretty amazed actually.




RE: Wow
By GotDiesel on 11/13/2009 1:41:56 PM , Rating: 2
Just one more reason NOT to buy a microflop product..


By JDHack42 on 11/12/2009 8:49:13 PM , Rating: 2
They're telling 1 million people to buy a new console...

I think it's time to pick up some Sony stock.




Wow
By kmmatney on 11/13/2009 12:05:35 AM , Rating: 2
Just went on Craigslist to look to see if there were any banned consoles for sale in the Denver area. There are a few - however I was really surprised that there are people offering $5 to sell burnt pirated games. What a bunch of idiots. Here is an exact quote:

360 back ups - $5 (denver)
Date: 2009-11-12, 9:54AM MST
Reply to: sale-89pu7-1462741429@craigslist.org [Errors when replying to ads?]

"whats goin on guys got a flashed xbox 360 and no games well look no further i have any game you could imagine just shoot me an email with what ya want and ill have em ready asap hope to hear from you guys thanks"




There is always Xlink Kai
By bob4432 on 11/13/2009 1:49:22 AM , Rating: 2
there is always xlink kai for the banned 360s, at least i believe there is. i don't think it has been disabled....will have to look into it having multiple 360s.




Ownership
By MrJim on 11/13/2009 6:01:48 AM , Rating: 2
If i buy a product i should have the right to do what i want with it. Simple as that.




2 Xboxs
By leexgx on 11/13/2009 7:07:28 AM , Rating: 2
most i know have 2 Xboxs, 1 for copys (box has been banned likely all ready) and one for legit games

most may have all ready got 2 boxs as it is




Get a PC
By Murloc on 11/13/2009 8:27:07 AM , Rating: 2
if someone is good enough to mod a console, why doesn't he build a pc?
just buy a controller if you like it, and fps are better with mouse anyway.




By leexgx on 11/16/2009 9:21:29 AM , Rating: 2
http://www.dailytech.com/Modders+Release+Update+to...

i guess MS forced daily tech to remote that post, or the site was hacked




Hurts
By Gracias Profi on 11/12/2009 2:16:35 PM , Rating: 1
I'm pretty sure those users are going to feel more for there Achievement scores than those $50 bucks.




Xbox banning
By DearS on 11/12/2009 5:11:31 PM , Rating: 1
I think the PS3 is a much better deal in a lot of ways. From free internet, free wireless card, re=chargeable controller, big hard drive and Blue Ray. The 199 Xbox cannot make a case. and the 300 dollar one is still not as good in my book.

As for banning people, I think its pompous/arrogant. Perhaps burning games is also. I wish the gamers sue Microsoft.




By lewislink on 11/12/2009 11:28:59 PM , Rating: 1
How much enjoyment can a person take in one day? I love the way Microsoft is handling the idiots that break the rules. They are being shown, in-your-face style, that they aren't all they believe themselves to be. If you are the type of person that breaks the rules, you'll live all aspects of your life that way and it will come full circle to bite you in the ass. And the really pleasing part, for me anyway, is they are impotent to do anything about it. They finally get what they deserve.

HooYah!




Robber Barons
By congokit on 11/13/2009 4:13:36 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
"If a developer works hard to create a game for all of us and some tools out there think it is okay to pirate said work and play online--if they get banned then good riddance. The developers have to feed their families too!"
 

Look at this link, these are not "Johnny Programmer" types that work out of their basement for the love of it.

http://www.geeks.co.uk/7282-activision%E2%80%99s-b...

Bobby Kotick is a dick and so are XBox 360 users.   This is why people hate Capitalism and I hate Micro$oft.  Most 360 owners I know have already bought a second or third 360. Bobby and Steve have mouths to feed... with scraps left over from their feast.        




wazup homiez
By AliShawkat on 11/12/09, Rating: -1
"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner














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