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Microsoft Bans 1 Million Xbox 360 Pirates

by November 13, 2009
Youve been naughty

You've been naughty

Over 1 million Xbox Live players around the world lost their ability to access their online accounts when Microsoft dropped the bomb on suspected "pirates". Microsoft stated the banned consoles were modified to allow them to play bootleg games, many of which were downloaded from pirate sites and burned onto disc. Tech bloggers drew an immediate link to the release this week of blockbuster Xbox 360 game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2.

The software and gaming giant hasn't revealed how it discovered which consoles had been modified. Affected gamers who try to log on to the Xbox Live system for online gaming get the message:

"Your console has been banned from Xbox. Go whine to your mommy, loser pirate" (OK, we added that last part ourselves)

The consoles can still play any Xbox 360 game, but it cannot connect to others online or any Xbox Live networked feature.

This is going to inevitably result in a ton of activity on eBay, and users had better be very careful if they plan on picking up any used Xbox 360 boxes in the future. The ban is apparently coded to the console's hard drive, so users could conceivably start over with a new drive and Xbox Live account. The main point is that their user profiles will be lost as a result.

In a statement to tech magazine Information Week, Microsoft has said only a "fraction" of its 20 million users are affected, but the number of people reporting they had been knocked off the system was building through Wednesday.

About the author:
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Clint Deboer was terminated from Audioholics for misconduct on April 4th, 2014. He no longer represents Audioholics in any fashion.

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Recent Forum Posts:

Nemo128 posts on December 10, 2009 12:33
jared555, post: 647239
with the original xbox you could copy your games to the hard drive (great for people with kids who don't want to deal with the original disks getting destroyed).

360 can do this too, but you still need to have the disc in the drive. I know from experience (RE0 for Gamecube) that having your disc destroyed (cracked while removing from its case spindle which was too tight) and being told you need to pay $20 for a replacement can really suck when the damage wasn't your fault to begin with.
mazda3ride posts on December 03, 2009 12:40
Dam XBOX…
BigSkreen posts on November 16, 2009 17:19
I have to agree with Jared555. I modded my original Xbox. While it had a lot of advantages both to legal and nonlegal uses the thing became a media center. It became the hub of my movie watching. Now I don't agree with pirating - especially now that I can afford what I want - but I think a lot of what makes the 360 great came from modded original Xboxes.

The trick is to keep pirating under control while still using the mod community to beta test ideas and software. If a company can manage that then they have won the battle.
jared555 posts on November 14, 2009 11:55
davidtwotrees, post: 647196
Games………….I guess if you can't play the game by the rules then you don't get to play at all, right? Good for Microsoft. I'm totally against pirating and downloading for free. I would pay good money to see the looks on all those gamers faces when the bomb was dropped!

There are some legitimate (non cheating/piracy, not necessarily in compliance with microsoft's EULA) reasons for modding that are not just for piracy. Running different software like linux or a custom media center frontend, backups of games you own, not sure but I think with the original xbox you could copy your games to the hard drive (great for people with kids who don't want to deal with the original disks getting destroyed).

Plus you have a lot of homebrew games on the wii (and probably other systems).

Unfortunately the piracy overwhelms the legitimate uses.
davidtwotrees posts on November 14, 2009 09:00
Games………….I guess if you can't play the game by the rules then you don't get to play at all, right? Good for Microsoft. I'm totally against pirating and downloading for free. I would pay good money to see the looks on all those gamers faces when the bomb was dropped!
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