214w ago - Update: Microsoft's MajorNelson has now officially confirmed the bans.
This Halloween it appears Microsoft has pulled a TRICK with no TREAT on modified XBox 360 console owners... specifically, mass bans have been initiated against them.
IGN (linked above) have confirmed this news, to quote: "We have taken action against a small percentage of consoles that have been modified to play pirated game discs," a Microsoft spokesperson told IGN.
"In line with our commitment to combat piracy and support safer and more secure gameplay for the more than 20 million members of our Xbox LIVE community, we are suspending these modded consoles from Xbox LIVE."
Though Microsoft wouldn't confirm specifically when these bannings took place, a quick look over on its official forums suggest it's been going on over the course of this past week.
Plenty of users have created threads on the technical feedback forum reporting of having their Xbox 360 console banned.
Stay tuned for more PS3 Hacks and PS3 CFW news, follow us on Twitter and be sure to drop by the PS3 Hacks and PS3 Custom Firmware Forums for the latest PlayStation 3 scene updates and homebrew releases!
Seriously I dont see that "value" of playing games you probably will never buy. I mean downloading games you dont like just to get the value of out of the machine is pretty lame. Buying games that you like is not that expensive, and you play them from start to finish unlike having tons of backups you will only play 5 minutes and then ditch away.
If you are a serious console gamer you could also get a gamefly membership I hear they are pretty cheap and play all you want. Gaming can be 60 bucks if you like buying the games you like, I warranty you that 1 game a month will be a huge collection down the road with tons of multiplayer action, plus single player, trophys and unlockables. Sure some people might say 60 a month is expensive, but I pay more for my cel phone plan than that and besides most of us are grown ups with 60 dlls to spare.
From looking at the people that have been banned, they have very little in common. What I suspect is that M$ has been able to detect modified firmware for some time. My theory is that each year, they ban a random sampling of about 30% of the modded consoles. The complete randomness of it keeps pirates running through hoops trying to verify everything, not play before release dates, having the firmware do extensive checks that make new games not work, etc. when perhaps those things don't even matter.
The timing is around the holidays each year to inflate holiday numbers, and the banning itself is a move to show publishers that M$ is doing something about piracy. Why doesn't M$ just ban everyone then? The answer is that this cycle of partial bannings makes them a lot of money. I know of people who have 3+ 360s from getting hit with the ban waves.
If M$ banned everyone instantly, these people wouldn't keep buying new systems. Additionally, M$ makes a ton of money off the modders as even if they pirate every single disc based game. They will still buy Live Arcade games, DLC, and pay $50 a year for the Xbox Live service. If the modders knew for a fact that they would get banned, they wouldn't buy anything, but if uncertain, they take the risk.