Print 110 comment(s) - last by murcHADA.. on Jun 15 at 2:48 AM

Xbox 360 ban message detailing the user's violation of Microsoft terms of service. (Source: Xbox-Scene)
Microsoft's Xbox 360 now able to sniff out illegitimate copies of games

More than a year has passed since the release of the Xbox 360 DVD-ROM firmware hack to allow the play of backup games and bootleg copies. Those with hacked firmware had the ability to play copied games, mostly burned onto dual-layer DVD recordable discs, even online Xbox Live.

For a while, it seemed that such firmware modifications were undetectable by Microsoft – but that appears to have all changed with the latest Xbox 360 system software released last week.

Word came from the Xbox 360 hacking community that the Spring Update may have the ability to detect those who were playing copied games. More specifically, the system software would be able to determine the legitimacy of the disc in the DVD drive, not necessarily targeting any specific method of modification.

As a pre-emptive measure, hackers released updated disc drive firmware introducing various features, such as disc jitter, in an effort to further the exploit. Such efforts, however, appear to be all for naught, as report on Xbox-Scene indicates that Microsoft is now banning from Xbox Live users with modified DVD-ROM drives, regardless of firmware version.

The banning measures appear to have started alongside the release of the Halo 3 beta, perhaps in what is best described as a crackdown on Crackdown bootlegged copies that contained Halo 3 beta access. Just as it did during the original Xbox days, Microsoft is permanently banning modified consoles from connecting to Xbox Live, but not the user account.

Microsoft acknowledges its new initiative with an entry in its Gamerscore Blog: “As part of our commitment to our members, we do not allow people that we have detected to have modified their console to connect to Live. This is an important part of our efforts to try and maintain a fair gaming environment for the large majority of gamers that play by the rules. This topic is more important than ever given the recent release of the Halo 3 beta.”

The blog continues, “As a result, some consumers that try to login to Live who we detect have illegally modified their console will get an error code (Status Code: Z: 8015 - 190D) when trying to connect to the service. These users will not have their account automatically banned from LIVE, but they will no longer be able to access the service from the console they modified. We have stated in the past that customers can only enjoy access to the Xbox LIVE community through the use of a genuine, unmodified, Xbox console and we will continue to enforce this rule to ensure the integrity of our service, the protection of our partners and the benefits of our users.”

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RE: microsoft is taking greed to the next level
By uallas5 on 5/18/2007 8:10:45 AM , Rating: 5
You're obviously a liberal who thinks that people should be given things for free if they can't afford them.

I was agree with everything you said until I got to that statement. What kind of drugs are YOU on that you'd think that being a liberal has anything to do with video game piracy. I hope you don't actually think that NO conservative person would ever lie, cheat or steal.

RE: microsoft is taking greed to the next level
By Spivonious on 5/18/2007 10:04:07 AM , Rating: 3
I think you took his statement out of context. Liberals generally support more government involvement through programs that reward people for being lazy. All it does is make those people even less able to help themselves. I've even heard of single mothers having more kids simply so they can get more money out of the taxpayers.

By Christopher1 on 5/20/2007 7:25:26 AM , Rating: 2
Reward people for being lazy? Uh..... no, we want them to be rewarded for the work they do at a REASONABLE rate, meaning if someone works 40 hours a week as a cart pusher at Wal-Mart they get the same pay as someone working as a doctor or close to it.

Frankly, the former job is MUCH harder than the latter job, the only difference is that the latter job involves the knowledge that "Oh, I might kill someone if I get something wrong!" That is NOT worth the nearly 60 dollars difference in hourly pay that doctors get over cart-pushers.

By bldckstark on 5/24/2007 12:18:10 PM , Rating: 2
Most people get paid for what they know, not what they do. You equate a cart pusher to a doctor? How important to the lives of those involved is the cart pusher? How about the doctor? If doctors were paid the same as cart pushers, how many would we have? Would you trust a cart pusher to rip open your rib cage and bypass your heart? The only people who think everyone should get the same pay are those who don't care to do the work to get higher pay. They want to sit on their asses, do nothing useful for society and then ask for handouts because they can't buy games.

The same thing I tell my kids - If you want nice stuff when you grow up, you have to work hard and plan accordingly. If you want nothing, then do nothing.

RE: microsoft is taking greed to the next level
By Rampage on 5/18/2007 12:38:27 PM , Rating: 2
I was agree with everything you said until I got to that statement. What kind of drugs are YOU on that you'd think that being a liberal has anything to do with video game piracy. I hope you don't actually think that NO conservative person would ever lie, cheat or steal.

Actually uallas5, he's right.
Go to anti-RIAA sites and talk to the people, find out where they lie politically. The majority are leftist liberals.

Both sides have good points, but I lean to the right, and for good reason.
Piracy does no good for developers, or frankly anyone but the kid who doesnt want to pay for something they don't need.

When you grow older, work hard for an education, get a good paying job, you can afford these games and will respect your neighbor who studied hard at the university to get a computer science degree to create this game for you.

The people who refuse to accept the system, chose to steal.
Of course both sides are guilty of this, but as I said go checkout anti-RIAA websites whose members advocate and defend IP theft.
Conservative Democrats and Republicans both agree that "if you don't buy your neighbors product, you can't expect him to buy yours".
Unless you are a liberal always fighting The Man, in which case you refuse to work with the system and get a great job.

I personally like things like Steam. You cut out the middleman, and the money goes nearly 100% to the actual developers. Whenever I want a game, I usually just pick one off of there. Its faster than wasting gas driving to the store, and you can still back up your games.

Someday soon, consoles will also be soley online distribution as well and the issue raised by this article will all be in the past.

So would-be thieves out there, your days are numbered. Steam is testament to that.

RE: microsoft is taking greed to the next level
By christojojo on 5/18/2007 1:55:21 PM , Rating: 2
I'm just wondering, since when has anybody guaranted somebody a job if they worked hard and got a degree?
Don't get me wrong I believe in hard work and a great education: I am a teacher (not English) after all (nothing like job security). But we all know of down sizing, outsourcing and every other economic twist that happens, hurt educated and uneducated people alike. I am neither "pro-", nor "anti" "The Man". I like some leaders Republican and Democrat. I dislike leaders when they lie more than necessary, both G.W.B. and B.C. fit into that last one. ("I did it" and "Oops, my bad", would have gone a long way in my book.)

I do not see anything wrong with Microsoft did here. I also, believe that the next stage for distribution IS the internet, but I still try to buy a hard copy. I do this because, like brick and mortar places, they can close without any recourse for the consumer.

As far as having babies for more aid is concerned, that's just lame. It does happen, not as much as people say but it does happen. I just think it is a lame statement to prevent piracy. Poor "baby-having" people cant afford an Xbox 360. They can't afford such things as food, bug free apartments, even such petty things as dental work. If the amount lost due to piracy is being calculated based on what a poor person has but could never afford that's just sad.

I see it now...

Steve Ballmer: We lost fifty three trillion gold pieces because a poor "baby having" person bought a pirated copy of "Sims Dogs of Mouse Eating DOOM Tournament 33" at a dollar instead of not buying it at $59.99.

Sorry for the rant. I'm a bit ornery today.

By Christopher1 on 5/20/2007 7:21:47 AM , Rating: 2
Not a rant, and that is quite true. The games are TRAGICALLY overpriced nowadays ($100 dollars for a game? AS IF!), and I for one am not going to buy them at those prices.

I have NO problems with pirating something when it is dramatically overpriced to the point that there should be an investigation done into the people making the product, and game manufacture is a case in point.

RE: microsoft is taking greed to the next level
By jadedeath on 5/20/07, Rating: -1
By Christopher1 on 5/21/2007 8:40:04 AM , Rating: 2
A year? Hardly. If you think that a game takes a year to make, you are SERIOUSLY deluded. I have a friend who WORKS for a game manufacturer, and he told me that "1 year" figure is a load of bull.

Most of the time is spent getting approval for everything under the sun, from the language that is used in the game to the graphics that are used in the game.

Putting the game together itself takes about 2 months, all together, and it's mainly done automatically by computers with little human oversight.

Now, if they want new graphics or a new character model (they very rarely do nowadays) THAT takes a few months to a year to make, but that is outsourced to an art studio who then sends the work back to the game company, and while they are doing that the game is basically finished, they just have to insert the textures and models into the game, easy with today's tech as 1, 2, 3.

Personally, I made a 3D shooter from scratch using the Doom 2 developers kit back in the day, and it took me exactly 2 weeks to make the thing working about 6 hours a day.

The biggest thing wasn't even the graphics, the new monsters I put in it, or the new weapons I figured out how to make.

No, it was simply figuring out how to place rooms and teleporters to make the levels as I wanted them to appear.

People keep on justifying the high costs of games with the high time of development. Sorry, but not buying it anymore. Why does Disney seem to be able to make games on the caliber of Rayman and be able to sell them for 20 dollars at most to start?

Something is wrong here, and the greed of developers and game companies is becoming more and more apparent.

By Rampage on 5/21/2007 12:41:01 PM , Rating: 2
Uh huh.
Greed isn't STEALING something, but rather "charging to much for something" that YOU want.
Ironic the shallow depth of your mental ability to comprehend morality and life.

"I want people to see my movies in the best formats possible. For [Paramount] to deny people who have Blu-ray sucks!" -- Movie Director Michael Bay
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