Limited numbersMicrosoft has gone ahead with its plan to ban from the Xbox Live service those users that have modified their gaming consoles and are using it in order to run pirated videogames. The move comes as more and more developers, as revealed by a survey from TIGA, are saying that they are afraid of the impact piracy can have on their businesses and are actually looking for new ideas, like digital distribution and free-to-play models, in order to combat it.
A representative of Microsoft told Gamesindustry.biz that “We have taken action against a small percentage of consoles have been modified to play pirated game discs. 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.” Why anyone is using a modded console actually registered to access Xbox Live is another question.
The software giant has refused to actually say how many consoles were banned but some are speculating that the number is close to 600,000 accounts, which is significant. Getting banned from using Xbox Live means that players will not be able to actually engage in multiplayer matches or socialize with their friends who are also playing on the Microsoft home console. The recent ban might be connected with the release of Modern Warfare 2, a game that is an obvious target for pirates because of its blockbuster nature.
Another company that has recently stepped up its anti modding measures is Nintendo. The popular DS handheld is easily modded with the R4 chip, which is widely available. The Japanese console manufacturer is aiming to make the mod chip illegal in a number of territories and it is also pressuring manufacturers and distributors with legal action.