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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 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.

"We’re Apple. We don’t wear suits. We don’t even own suits." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs
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