Microsoft Bans Modified Consoles from Xbox Live

jammin - November 11, 2009 01:59PM in Gaming

Microsoft has confirmed that it has banned a "small percentage" of Xbox Live players who have been found to have modified consoles, either by adding mod chips although potentially even for using non-Xbox hard drives. It is thought that anywhere between 600,000 and 1 million users could be affected by the most recent round of bans, which seems to be part of an annual check for modified consoles that violate Xbox Live's terms of use. While Microsoft hasn't divulged how it identifies affected consoles (and why would they), it has said that all banned consoles have been verified to be in violation of the terms of use of the service. So, some of those who have rushed out to buy Modern Warfare 2 expecting to play online may be greeted with disappointment today. It is hard to see how these users have much legitimate cause for complaint, particularly those who admit to having saved large amounts of money by opting for pirated games.

Of course, being banned from Xbox Live doesn't render a console completely useless, and it will continue to work normally offline. But with a large part of many games being the online experience, those banned from the service will be missing out on a lot of the action, leaving them with the decision of whether to purchase a new console or not. It certainly isn't surprising to see MS cracking down on modified consoles, with game industry body the ELSPA (Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers' Association) claiming copying and other illegal activities cost the industry more than £750m (approx $1.2bn) every year.