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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 jadedeath on 5/20/2007 11:36:31 AM , Rating: -1
Don't be stupid.

Each game takes about a year to make {at very VERY least} so what do you think we should pay the developers and everyone involved in the company with? skittles?

I'd say that games are priced just about right, I mean these people have to eat, and if someone who's involved in making your absolute favorite game lives in a good home with a nice car, I won't bitch about it.

I won't ever be able to convince someone who never pulls their head out of their ass and takes a look around just how bright and happy the sun makes one feel, but I will tell you this, I really hope that you end up in a profession that ends up being downsized because of something like this that you can't prevent.


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.

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