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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 Axbattler on 5/20/2007 12:50:27 PM , Rating: 3
Honestly, I don't know how teens/adults manage to scratch their discs to "to hell" if/when they are handled with half decent care. Yea, I have seen discs that are scratched to hell, but they are usually just dumped in a stack of disc on top of the console/DVD player what-not.

I still have my original copy of Sam & Max Hit the Road, Command and Conquer and Warcraft II, and they are still in mint condition. That's not to say I never left a single print on any of my discs, or all my discs are scratch free. But the ones I took care of, all have minimum blemish.

I was going to call you on the "disc getting scratched in the drive", but having read this article (quick Google): http://www.llamma.com/xbox360/news/Xbox-360-Game-D... I'll give you the benefit of doubt. But in my experience, that's more of an exception than the norm. That's not to say I am against backup, but I favour the suggestion earlier of simply paying for a cost of replacement instead.


RE: Tough love
By drebo on 5/25/2007 6:07:09 PM , Rating: 2
I've got to agree with you. I don't take care of my discs and I never have any problems getting them to play. In fact, the only ones that I have that no longer play are my Metallica S&M discs that were in my backpack when I got run over by a pickup truck some years ago. Needless to say, they're broken.

Other than that, I can still use all of my CDs and DVDs, even my original Warcraft 1 discs, which spent a number of years out of its case underneath a pile of other discs...all of which still work.


"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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