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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: Tough love
By christojojo on 5/18/2007 1:08:21 PM , Rating: 3
I agree my youngest, now 11, used to pull apart VHS tapes with scary regularity. (Yes, I used child protection locks and tried to hide them; but as most parents will tell you that only works with adults not determined 3yr olds.) He ruined countless dvds, before, he grew up enough to understand that you have to take care of things. I would have loved some sort of "fair use" exchange, like replacement for a small cost. I am willing to pay for the cost of manufacture not the paying double for single use.


RE: Tough love
By Christopher1 on 5/20/2007 7:16:05 AM , Rating: 3
That's what I am waiting for as well: for the game manufacturers to offer replacement at a REASONABLE cost.

Now, Sony and their game developers used to do that, there was a little addendum at the back of the game books included with the game that told you how to get a new copy of a game if your old one got super-scratched and was unreadable.

For the PS2 and PS3 however, that addendum is lacking, and it's a scary sight.

I take care of my disks, burned myself and not, like they are made of GOLD when I buy one, and they STILL get covered with scratches sooner or later!
My parents said that about DVD's they hardly ever played (maybe 10 times in total) that have gotten so scratched they are unwatchable.

They need to make DVD's and CD's more scratch resistant.


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