Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Microsoft Banning Modded Xboxen

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the cry-me-a-river dept.

XBox (Games) 176

An anonymous reader writes "Since the release of Halo 2 (ed: and just before), Microsoft has been banning modified Xboxes from Xbox Live. Some have even been banned with their mod-chips turned off. Previously many users had been able to use Xbox Live provided they disabled their mod-chip. There are a few theories floating around as to how MS is doing this: from scanning the hard-drive for non-MS material to being able to check if the DVD-drive/Hard-disk serial number is from stock or not."

cancel ×

176 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

xboxen? how about using correct words (5, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779672)

you afraid ms bans slashdot too if you refer to xboxes?

and anyways, surely it would have been known for you as a xbox owner, especially owner of a modded one, that the software can scan the hd(and itself, which it should do for the net play anyways, on which they will pin the reason for this to be).

yeah, it kinda sucks that you can't get the most out of your xbox (use it for emulators, xvid playing AND gaming on xbox live, you pretty much knew you would in reality have to choose between the two) - BUT YOU KNEW THAT when you put down the cash for the system anyways.

obvious solutions? don't modify anything on the harddisk by yourself. pretty darn hard for the box to guess by which bios it was last booted with..

Re:xboxen? how about using correct words (1, Offtopic)

f()rK()_Bomb (612162) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779828)

what kinda of a geek are you? that plural has been popular in computer circles since the 60's. never of VAXen or UNIX boxen?

Re:xboxen? how about using correct words (1)

th3space (531154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779947)

I would've said 'blame the number', but it's barely higher than mine, and lower than yours...odd how certain colloquialisms escape the notice of some.

Re:xboxen? how about using correct words (2, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780018)

like 'virii' is good use of words? it isn't.
try to write "I booted 20 boxen because of virii that took over" to some essay. It's used, the slashdot topic is proof of that, but so is OMG LOLLOOOLLOLOL and other crap. moreover, like 'virii' it's mostly used by people who try to spin it into sounding geek professional(or "l337") or think they know latin when they don't(again, trying to sound 'cool' by choice of words).

it's used to make the text unreadable to laymen, or to seperate yourself as the writer from some other posse, who while not being leet would simply talk about boxes and viruses.

if you hate corporatespeak(tm), adding useless words and hard to understand, cool looking synonyms for words, why would you like to push a different form of the same kind of stupidness?

Re:xboxen? how about using correct words (1)

tverbeek (457094) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780505)

if you hate corporatespeak(tm), adding useless words and hard to understand, cool looking synonyms for words, why would you like to push a different form of the same kind of stupidness?

Because "*en" is fun.

I'm a pretty anal-retentive about language, fuming about gibberish such as "I should of..." and lazy kiddies who can't be bothered to use the Shift key despite its obvious benefits in readability. But I'm not bothered by folx playing around with alternate plural forms. It's a kind of intellectual creativity... OK, not that impressive and a bit juvenile, but so what?

Re:xboxen? how about using correct words (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781678)

well, it's not "alternate" . with the X already smacked on frotn.. it's xboxen is talking about xb-oxen. (many xb cattle).

I wouldn't mind it terribly in comments themselfs, but in the headlines it's like some magazine printing "dubya wins electionen"

What's with all the "Troll" Modifiers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780012)

I'm guessing some kiddie with Mod points woke up to find that Live finally detected and LART'd his modded XBox.

Grow the hell up and learn a lesson from this instead of modding everyone "Troll".

Re:What's with all the "Troll" Modifiers? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780212)

"Troll," on slashdot, refers neither to something living under a bridge preying on billy goats, nor to one who crafts an cunningly obvious invitation for people who don't know any better to go for "+1, erudite" and yet somehow end up at "-1, pedantic."

Here, "Troll" means, doesn't subscribe in total to the prevailing dogma.

I Guess No One Here Knows any German... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780688)

If you've ever studied German at all, you might be aware that the plural form of many words in that language is formed by adding the suffix "-en" to a word.

It seems obvious to me that using the plural form "Xboxen" is an example of playful imitation of this linguistic behaviour.

Re:I Guess No One Here Knows any German... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780777)

Or if 1 is an Ox and multiple are Oxen one is a box multiple should be boxen.

This should come as a surprise to no one. (5, Insightful)

still_sick (585332) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779675)

From the start, everyone here has been saying that since they owned the XBox machine, they can mod it however they want.

Great. Go nuts.

But it works both ways. Microsoft owns the Live Network - and if they say "No Modded XBoxes", that's what it means.

They are under no obligation to let you break their rules. Just because some people have gotten away with it up until now means nothing.

Re:This should come as a surprise to no one. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779711)

yea! shutup you sick troll!

Re:This should come as a surprise to no one. (4, Interesting)

Zonk (12082) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780104)

I agree completely.

You are entirely entitled to do whatever you want to what is indeed your property.

However, if you sign up for Xbox Live you're signing a service contract that states somewhere in there that modded machines aren't allowed. MS is perfectly within their rights to make that requirement a part of the deal. In fact, I appreciate it. Knowing that a modded cheater isn't going to be gaming with me is a reassurance.

I get a little frustrated when people decide that just because they bought one piece of a puzzle, they own the whole damn puzzle too.

Buying an Xbox doesn't mean you get to decide how they run the Live service. Buying Diablo 2 doesn't give you the right to run your own Battle.net server. Read the fine print before you sign on the dotted line.

Re:This should come as a surprise to no one. (2, Insightful)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780255)

You are correct, it doesn't give me the right to run a battle.net server, since I already have the right to run whatever kind of server I like on my hardware, using my bandwidth. If you don't like it, don't ping it.

Re:This should come as a surprise to no one. (4, Insightful)

Cecil (37810) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780309)

Buying an Xbox doesn't mean you get to decide how they run the Live service. Buying Diablo 2 doesn't give you the right to run your own Battle.net server.

The former is valid, the Live service is Microsoft's property. The latter is not valid, the Battle.net server (bnetd) was *not* Blizzard's property.

If someone wanted to create a "Mod-chip okay!" XBox Live service, I think that should be perfectly fine. Likewise, if someone wants to create a "Cheaters welcome!" (or "Not welcome!" depending on your view of how Blizzard handles cheaters) version of Battle.net, more power to them as far as I'm concerned.

But it doesn't always have to be about cheating or mod-chipping or piracy, maybe I want to run a gaming network where stats for all sorts of different games, including Battle.net games, all get compiled into the same rankings. Or maybe I want to modify the rules somewhat. It shouldn't be illegal. I don't care if it is or isn't under current copyright law and licensing agreements and other stupidity, it shouldn't be.

Re:This should come as a surprise to no one. (4, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780466)

I actually prefer it this way. That way we know there is no 'hardware trick' that allows cheating in, say, Madden. So when I get my butt stomped, I realize I'm just really bad at the game, and can't blame cheating ;-)

FP (-1, Offtopic)

WetCat (558132) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779677)

First post!
Actually, it's a Bad Thing!

I can't comment on how they're detecting mods... (1, Interesting)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779692)

What I *CAN* comment on is that if I wanted to ban a device from accessing my network, I would block it at layer 2.

That said, spoof a different mac address. Go into your local Blockbuster, or wherever, rent an xbox for an hour. Take it home, plug it in, get it's mac address.

Then go to your router or other broadband sharing device and spoof the mac address of that machine. On ya go.

Now we just have to determine HOW the hacks are being detected....

Reply to my own post... (3, Interesting)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779776)

I know many of you readers (amazingly) aren't terribly familiar with Linux, so I'll explain this the easiest way I can.

Could someone here with an XBox with an XBox live account, and a broadband sharing device run ethereal on their LAN, begin a capture on the XBox's IP address, then turn on the XBox and log into live, then post the caputure?

With the slashdot hive-mind as it's so called, we can have an open hacking discussion. I'm not saying it would be obvious, but who knows...perhaps we can see something? I don't own one yet or I'd be doing this myself.

The serial number is banned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779932)

It bans the Xbox's serial number, and as far as I know, there is not a way to spoof that

Re:Reply to my own post... (1, Insightful)

Deorus (811828) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780054)

What I don't understand is how Microsoft would see one's MAC address provided that Ethernet is not routable...

The rest of your idea seems pretty nice. It would help if someone perhaps created a journal or something for that purpose (as this article will be off the main page by tomorrow). I believe that with enough information even someone without an Xbox could make an ipfilter module for that purpose.

Anyway the problem might be a little harder to solve, especially if the connection is encrypted and the private key differs from one unit to another, but that would be a bigger and even more addictive challenge.

Re:Reply to my own post... (1)

sonicattack (554038) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781700)

What I don't understand is how Microsoft would see one's MAC address provided that Ethernet is not routable...

The software running on the X-BOX should be able to read the MAC address of the card, and send it to anyone willing to have it (Microsoft).

If it isn't encrypted, it should be possible to detect packets containing it, and change the address in transit.

DO NOT OBEY PARENT. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780580)

I mean, come on - don't fall for this one unless you want somebody to steal your Xbox Live account.

Yes, it's likely to be an encrypted session, but encryption only exists until it's broken...

Re:I can't comment on how they're detecting mods.. (1)

JofCoRe (315438) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779887)

Or they simply deactivate your xbox live account... then it doesn't matter if you spoof MAC address or use a different xbox, you're still screwed...

(I don't know if this is how they do it or not, but I sort of remember reading that they deactivated accounts for people logging in w/modchips..)

Re:I can't comment on how they're detecting mods.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779974)

But, Xbox Live isn't speaking directly to you on the same LAN. When your Xbox says "How do I get to x.x.x.x", the router says "I can, and I am at MAC X". Your MAC never leaves the router, since the router will advertise its own MAC to the next device up, and then forward the results back to you.

With a basic routing premise in mind, it won't matter what your MAC address is--unless you are not specifically relating to layers and routing in general, and rather, a specific hardware ID that MS is using to identify devices. In that case, you'd have to modify the MAC in the game itself, as it would be part of a hardware inventory, rather than a protocol stack.

Re:I can't comment on how they're detecting mods.. (5, Informative)

llevity (776014) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780084)

It doesn't ban based on the mac address. It bans based on a unique number stored in the Xbox's EEPROM. Based on that, you can get someone else who never plans to play on Xbox live to use a utility to get the data out of their EEPROM, send it to you, and you can reflash your xbox with this. This will get you back on Live. Unfortunately, unless you figure out how they banned you in the first place, they'll just ban this new EEPROM. It was a useful trick when the only way to get banned was to forget to switch off your modchip prior to hopping on Live, but no longer.

Re:I can't comment on how they're detecting mods.. (1)

MrLint (519792) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780714)

not to make light, but the overall solution would have to be reverse engineer this and then wedge something in between to respond only with good responses. With that done i'll go hook up my perpetual motion machine:)

Re:I can't comment on how they're detecting mods.. (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780093)

IP is a Layer 3 protocol. Your (Layer 2) ethernet address isn't transmitted to servers over the internet. Many IP enabled devices don't even use ethernet and thus have no mac address.

Regardless, these machines aren't blocked from connecting to the network. They're allowed to connect, checked and then disconnected.

Re:I can't comment on how they're detecting mods.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10781297)

Nice try....

IP and MAC addresses work hand in hand REGARDLESS of the media... Ethernet, Token Ring... they all use MAC addresses. IP wouldn't work with out it! The MAC address is used by ARP (Address Resolution Protocol) to resolve the IP address.

Re:I can't comment on how they're detecting mods.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10781391)

And doesn't get beyond the local network, dumbass. Unless your xbox is on the same subnet as the xbox live servers, then your MAC address has shitall to do with it.

Re:I can't comment on how they're detecting mods.. (3, Interesting)

JofCoRe (315438) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780095)

Ok, so disregard my previous post aboot the account getting deactivated.

Apparently, when they want to ban someone from xbox live, they ban the Xbox's EEPROM id, which is the unique identifier for each xbox.

I get the idea from this thread [xbox-scene.com] and this thread [xbox-scene.com] that there's a way to flash your EEPROM so that you can get back on, but I don't know how you'd do that. (I use Xlink Kai [teamxlink.com] for my online gaming :)

That's obnoxious... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779696)

Isn't pirating games the only worthwile part about owning an Xbox?

Actually, no. (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779731)

Installing Linux on it and using it as a VERY useful entertainment device is. It's cheap, and it can even interface with your tivo to allow you to play back your recordings from another room.

Or you could just install MythTV.
or run emulators.

I want an XBox, and I'll probably NEVER buy a game for it. THAT is what Microsoft hates. People who buy the loss-leader hardware and never buy the software.

what MS hates (1)

MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780063)

THAT is what Microsoft hates. People who buy the loss-leader hardware and never buy the software.

Actually no. They probably most hate people who buy competitor's hardware, rivaled only by hating people who buy no hardware.

For every XBox that sells, "loss leader" or not, they get to go back to marketing with "we sold x million (plus one now) units" and build their image. There is actually a part positive effect for XBox even when a GameCube or PS2 sells, because they go back with "look at the video game console industry -- booming!", but this is at least partly if not completely cancelled out by the fact that the competitor gets the sale and market share.

People who buy no hardware even can be "spun" into a positive effect -- "look there is still a market to be tapped".

Re:what MS hates (1)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781178)

I don't think, as a corporation, Microsoft really particularly HATES anything.

I'm sure that Microsoft likes it when you buy their stuff, though.

Grand-parent post is really bizarre.

What a corporation hates (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781649)

I don't think, as a corporation, Microsoft really particularly HATES anything.

Microsoft, as a corporation, represents its shareholders. Therefore it hates anything that makes the stock price go down, other than perhaps a dividend. Anything that eats heavily into Microsoft's revenue, such as a major retailer dumping Windows for Linux, or consumers shunning Xbox2 for PS3, or people buying Nintendo DS games instead of Pocket PC games, would eat into Microsoft's revenue, might drive down the stock price.

I must be new here. (1, Insightful)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779699)

Boxen?

Re:I must be new here. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779811)

Don't j00 sp3ak 31337?

Re:I must be new here. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779814)

You have not been infected with the right 'memes'

Re:I must be new here. (2, Funny)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779936)

It's XBoxii.

Re:I must be new here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780892)

It's XBoxuses.

Re:I must be new here. (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781475)

No. The Xboxii is the successor to the Xbox, just as the PS2 is the successor to the PlayStation.

1) Go to the Science section (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780308)

See the story on the wasp posers getting beat up.

"Boxen," is sort of like that. It's a claim to membership in a community where membership used to be granted entirely based on ones technical acumen. Only there usually aren't many consequences beyond karma. And after a certain point, there are more posers than actual experts, so posts questioning the use of colloquial jargon, get modded as "Trolls."

"Xboxen" Is Acceptable Usage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780790)

This plural form of the word is well understood and accepted within the geek community.

Eventually it might become accepted into the mainstream, and you might start seeing it in your typical college dictionary.

(That's assuming Xboxes are around long enough for this to occur.)

xbox connect (4, Informative)

Strokke (772031) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779745)

Although I am a faithful user of xbox live, there is an alternative for people who get banned.

http://www.xbconnect.com/ [xbconnect.com]

Xbox connect is supposedly improving constantly and adding a lot of features to make it more new user friendly. My friend has a modded xbox and says that it works fine. I think it lacks the useful interface options and stat tracking of xbox live....however if you do get banned (and I know theres a big percentage of users on this site who have modded xboxs), give it a try

Another alternative (4, Insightful)

Rick the Red (307103) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779876)

At only $180 for a new Xbox, less for a used one, there's another alternative: buy a second, unmodified Xbox for exclusive use on Xbox Live. If you can afford Xbox Live and a mod chip, then you should be able to afford a second Xbox.

Re:xbox connect (1)

JofCoRe (315438) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779956)

There's also Xlink Kai Evo VII [teamxlink.com] .

And they have a linux client/daemon, and a client in XBMC. Apparently, you can run the linux client/daemon on your Linksys WRT54G (if you have one of course, which I don't... ), control it from XBMC, and have online gaming w/out a computer involved. At least that's what seems to be implied in this post to xbox-scene: XBMC and Kai [xbox-scene.com]

Used Kai many times before, seems to work quite well most of the time :)

same with socom2 on ps2 (4, Informative)

apostrophesemicolon (816454) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779766)

afaik, Sony PS2 uses the DNAS (Dynamic Network Authentication System) to scan whether the game CD is authentic sony product and then checks if the PS2 have been modded..
the result is (at least for me, using Messiah2) is real difficulty in logging in with modchip turned off..

the meaning of the word XBOXEN (3, Informative)

apostrophesemicolon (816454) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779842)

Source: Urban Dictionary [urbandictionary.com]

xboxen

n. pl. The plural form of xbox.

Re:the meaning of the word XBOXEN (1, Informative)

drewmca (611245) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780096)

The urban dictionary is wrong. xbox is a special kind of box, and the plural for box is "boxes", not "boxen". The use of the word "xboxen" is an irritating attempt by people to be clever. If Microsoft released a new form of hay cart transportation based on the ox, and called it the xb-ox, then its plural would be xboxen.

Re:the meaning of the word XBOXEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780503)

No, YOU are wrong. Like any good dictionary, the urban dictionary isn't prescriptive. It doesn't tell you how to use language, it simply reports common, verifiable uses of the language AS IT IS CURRENTLY USED.

Languages naturally evolve and change. Attempts to keep them from doing so are futile and short-sighted. If enough English-speaking people agree that the word "Xboxen" is plural for "Xbox", then then the word "Xboxen" becomes an acceptable plural for the word "Xbox".

Re:the meaning of the word XBOXEN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780534)

You are wrong in your assumption that an Xbox is a special kind of box. "Xbox" is actually a proper noun that refers to a type of video game console. The fact that it appears to be similar to the word "box" is purely coincidental, and does not necessarily mean that it must be declined the same way.

Re:the meaning of the word XBOXEN (1)

ShecoDu (447850) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780304)

box--->boxen = box--->boxes
virus->virii = virus->viruses
there will always be conflict about those... I understand them both and I'm ok with them.. some people want you to use THEIR plural, I don't really care. :)

Re:the meaning of the word XBOXEN (2, Funny)

Flunitrazepam (664690) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781286)

Source: Common Sense

Urbandictionary.com

n. A piece of shit website pretending to be a dictionary.

It's Halo 2 (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779853)

Halo 2 is what's doing the checking and reporting to MS. They aren't checking themselves. So if you have a modded box that's still playable on Live, stay away from Halo 2 and you should be fine. Unless they include this checking with every new game, that is...

Re:It's Halo 2 (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10779879)

Halo 2 is what's doing the checking and reporting to MS. They aren't checking themselves. So if you have a modded box that's still playable on Live, stay away from Halo 2 and you should be fine. Unless they include this checking with every new game, that is...

If you have a X-box what else are you playing besides Halo?

Re:It's Halo 2 (1)

Sabotage (21481) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780296)

I never picked up Halo, but I play this game called "dashboard" all the time... Great game. That minigame where you get to set the clock is my favorite!

Re:It's Halo 2 (2)

Alizarin Erythrosin (457981) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780357)

I've never played Halo... I play my Xbox for Crimson Skies and Burnout 3. I just can't seem to play FPS games on consoles.

Re:It's Halo 2 (1)

Dani Filth (677047) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781042)

Not Doom 3

Re:It's Halo 2 (1)

Fred Or Alive (738779) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779971)

It would make sense to include the check in all software, presumably all they need to do is update the Xbox Live libraries that developers use (I assume most / all use the same basic libraries for stuff like gamertag authentication etc.)

A modded Xbox sort of appeals to me, but I don't want to lose my Xbox Live account, so if I keep my Xbox Live account, I'd probably get a second Xbox to mod (probably one of those nice Crystal ones that seem to have replaced the black model, at least in the UK).

Re:It's Halo 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10781787)

Try to get the old black ones. The crystal have a different fan and it sounds like a constant low hum. MUCH more annoying than the high whirr actually.

Bill Gates announced in a press conference that (-1, Troll)

Moby Cock (771358) | more than 9 years ago | (#10779903)

Resistance is FUTILE. You will be assimilated.

Xbox Tunneling software. (0, Redundant)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780021)

There is some tunneling software you can still use. Not too easy but works.

Re:Xbox Tunneling software. (1)

pilot1 (610480) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780829)

Links?

Parent is a little misleading (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10780102)

MS has actually been banning modded xboxes off of Live! since Live! started, if you were dumb enough to try to connect with the modchip turned on. The way to get around this with a modded xbox was to

1. Lock the harddrive, which made it report as an 8GB hard drive (stock) and

2. Disable the modchip.

Effectively, this makes the modded box look and act like an unmodded box, meaning, you cant use the extra HD space and you have to use a proper, legal, game disc.

However, with the release of Halo2, people who have been previously ok using this method are now being banned.

Spelling Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10781096)

It's Sound Blaster Live! and XBox Live.

A better solution (3, Informative)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780147)

It looks like Halo 2 checks the model # and serial # of the hard drive [xbox-scene.com] . Will someone tell me why Microsoft cares what hard drive you have in the system? Instead, why don't they check the serial # of Halo 2 game itself? That way, they are detecting piracy rather than modded X-boxes. Seems more fair to me.

Not that it matters. Now that we know what they check and how, it should be easy to disable the check or to spoof it.

(Next thing you know, they will have a camera checking to see if you have illegal stickers on the side of it. Error: XBOX Banned - GameCube detected in same room. :-) )

Re:A better solution (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780250)

do gamers need to insert a serial when installing halo2?

and why microsoft cares? to scare people into not modding their xboxes, and checking the harddisk provides an easy way to see if the xbox has been messed around with or not.

(using stock drive while on live is an obivious, ONLY, solution. why only? because you don't really know if they change their checks slightly.)

Re:A better solution (2, Interesting)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780889)

Let's assume for a moment that XBox games DO have serial codes (they don't.) Let's also assume that XBox customers would be ok entering these serial codes into the XBox with an awkward controller even when none of the other consoles require that (they wouldn't be.) Even if you make those assumptions which would be required for your idea to work... it still doesn't work.

The Live checks serve two purposes: 1) Reduce piracy, 2) Reduce or eliminate cheating. Your idea covers one of those, but doesn't touch on the second. Microsoft is playing it safe by banning all modded XBoxes, since Live has no way of knowing who modded it to just play mp3 files of a fileserver and who modded it to cheat with his copy of pirated HALO 2 in multiplayer. Better safe than sorry, right?

banned from xbox live!!! (2, Insightful)

sknja (196640) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780148)

who really cares. If you got your xbox modded then you shouldnt be paying for online play anyway.

There are may programs that allow you to have the same great online gaming experience for free.

Much like the original halo, free online gaming is just a step away. I thank everyone who took the time to write/develope the programs. They should be commeded for what they have done for the "openbox" community

Just before? (1)

Xentax (201517) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780157)

Halo2 patched my Dashboard/Live/whatever you want to call it, so I suspect that's where whatever new checking came from.

Just a WAG, but I'd bet more on scanning for non-Xbox content on the disk than checking for serial #s or the like, because the latter seems more likely to generate false negatives (banned because you had a warranty repair and they forgot to sign off the new serial #, or the like) than finding some kinda wacky content on the disk.

In general, I'm not sure what the big deal is, as others have said. Limiting access to a service (Live) to those who follow a set of conditions is a lot more ... acceptable ... to me, than trying to limit various Fair Use activities relating to the hardware or media itself which are implicitly granted by purchasing them. That's all merely MHO, of course.

Xentax

Target: foot. Fire! (2, Interesting)

Colitis (8283) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780537)

All this is doing is guaranteeing they won't get any money for Live from me, and Live support won't make me more likely to buy a particular game.

Because I'm not going to give up Xbox Media Center, MAMEoX, UAE-X in favour of online games when I have a computer with games that I don't have to pay by the month to play online.

(and yes - I bought them)

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1, Flamebait)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780832)

I'm sure that your single lost sale will, single-handedly, convince Microsoft that this policy is a mistake and that they will immediately retract the code and let XBox Live be a free-for-all with whatever hardware hacks you can muster.

Criminy. You're not as important as you think you are.

I like this because it prevents cheating. Period. I don't care about people modding their XBox to, say, play MP3s from a streaming server, but there's no way for Microsoft to tell the difference between that and somebody cheating. So they play it safe. It happens to reduce piracy at the same time. Good for them, and for me.

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

Colitis (8283) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780885)

Criminy. You're not as important as you think you are..

You must have reading comprehension problems, because I didn't say anywhere that I was important.

But the unwritten point, which I'll state now, is that I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat. There will be others out there who were thinking about getting Live and Halo 2 etc etc who aren't going to bother now.

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (2, Insightful)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780982)

You must have reading comprehension problems, because I didn't say anywhere that I was important.

I was responding to the tone of what you wrote, not the words.

There will be others out there who were thinking about getting Live and Halo 2 etc etc who aren't going to bother now.

What, the Slashdot crowd where everyone owns a Gamecube and any XBox you might see is modded and full of Linux utilities?

Normal people don't *care* about news like this. Microsoft markets the XBox towards normal everyday people, not geeks who like to put Linux on their freakin' thermostats. Will they lose sales? Maybe a few hundred, admittedly... but you also have to realize that making XBox Live cheat-free *gains* sales as well. I got it so I could play Counter-Strike in an environment where I don't have to worry about all that crap you get in the PC version.

You don't like it, you won't buy it. Fine. But don't make it sound like some crusade or movement, and remember that there are a ton of people who appreciate what Microsoft is doing with Live.

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

Colitis (8283) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781311)

What, the Slashdot crowd where everyone owns a Gamecube and any XBox you might see is modded and full of Linux utilities?

Your circle of friends must be fairly narrow. I know several people who most definitely aren't geeks that have modded Xboxen. Haven't asked, but they probably haven't even heard of Slashdot.

Oh, and there are no Linux utilities on mine, either.

Microsoft markets the XBox towards normal everyday people, not geeks who like to put Linux on their freakin' thermostats.

What's normal people? My friend who installs alarms? The one who does landscaping? My 10 year old nephew? No Linux, no thermostats, but they all have modded Xboxen.

but you also have to realize that making XBox Live cheat-free *gains* sales as well.

That's a point that I hadn't considered, but I personally think a lot of the complaints about cheating are from those who simply aren't in the league of the people they're playing against.

You don't like it, you won't buy it. Fine.

You like it, you buy it. Fine.

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781452)

Your circle of friends must be fairly narrow. I know several people who most definitely aren't geeks that have modded Xboxen. Haven't asked, but they probably haven't even heard of Slashdot.

Good for you, but that has nothing to do with the point I brought up. I never said that Slashdot readers were the only people who modded XBox"en", I said, in a generalization, that anyway XBox owned by a Slashdot reader was probably already a lost cause for Microsoft.

Oh, and there are no Linux utilities on mine, either.

Ok, but you're missing the forest for the trees with that reply.

I personally think a lot of the complaints about cheating are from those who simply aren't in the league of the people they're playing against.

You still don't get it. With Live that problem is eliminated because you KNOW there is no cheating. That way nobody gets falsely accused, and booted, because they are better at the game then other people. Did it never occur to you that that is EXACTLY the advantage of Live that I'm talking about?

But look, the set of people who both mod XBox"en" and don't pirate video games is very very small. Small enough that Microsoft does not think it's worthwhile to cater to that group. Anybody who is in that group needs to just accept the fact that Microsoft doesn't really care about them. It's not as if this new code on Live is a reversal of policy; Microsoft has always endeavored to keep modified XBoxes off of Live.

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

Colitis (8283) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781499)

But look, the set of people who both mod XBox"en" and don't pirate video games is very very small. Small enough that Microsoft does not think it's worthwhile to cater to that group.

The thing I don't understand is the impression I've always had is that they can tell if a mod is installed but deactivated. I've read various comments about people being banned for going online with their mod activated, so I take that to mean that Microsoft *can* tell.

So as far Live goes, if there is no activated mod, why does it matter if the Xbox is modded? Since the mod is turned off, the game has to be legit, ergo no piracy and no cheating.

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781581)

So as far Live goes, if there is no activated mod, why does it matter if the Xbox is modded? Since the mod is turned off, the game has to be legit, ergo no piracy and no cheating.

How do you define cheating? What if I use a cheat utility on the game MechAssault and unlock all the advanced mechs before finishing the single player game? Would you consider that a cheat if you go online with those unlocked mechs that, under normal circumstances, you shouldn't be able to play in?

I can think of a bunch of cheats you can do by using a modchip to change a score, variable, or other piece of data on the hard drive and then going online to take advantage of it. What about games that have high score tournaments like Midway Arcade Treasures 2 and Ninja Gaiden? What would be the fun if someone set their score to 999,999,999,999 then went online and reported it to gain first place?

A mod in an XBox is a black box. You know that the behavior of the XBox has been changed, but you don't know how... in that situation, the correct response would be to take all of the XBoxes with unknowns offline, which is exactly what Microsoft is doing.

Of course, this is all beside the point since, when you sign up for XBox Live, you agree to not connect a modded XBox to it. And that's true regardless of whether any of my arguments are correct or not.

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

Colitis (8283) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781690)

How do you define cheating? What if I use a cheat utility on the game MechAssault and unlock all the advanced mechs before finishing the single player game? Would you consider that a cheat if you go online with those unlocked mechs that, under normal circumstances, you shouldn't be able to play in?

I don't know anything specifically about MechAssault, but if you're referring to messing with the saved game couldn't you do that anyway? Have a memory card with the save on, slap it into a modded Xbox, fiddle with it, then put it back into the Live-permitted one?

(work intervening. replies sporadic from now on)

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781708)

Games can mark data as non-transferrable. i.e. it stays on the local HD and you can't copy it to memory cards. Of course, a mod chip would be able to circumvent that...

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

spyrral (162842) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781082)

>>But the unwritten point, which I'll state now, is that I'm sure I'm not the only one in this boat. There will be others out there who were thinking about getting Live and Halo 2 etc etc who aren't going to bother now.

Hmm, and how people do you suppose that is? Do you think 1% of people mod their boxes? .01%? .001%?

I have a modded xbox, and I enjoy it very much, thank you. But I have no problem seeing Microsoft's point of view. Disallowing modded xboxen on Xbox Live means no cheaters. No cheaters means I can enjoy my Xbox Live account. Xbox Live terms of service specifically disallows modded xboxs. I knew the score going in, and so did you.

Re:Target: foot. Fire! (1)

Colitis (8283) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781375)

Hmm, and how people do you suppose that is? Do you think 1% of people mod their boxes? .01%? .001%?

I think it's a fair bit higher than 1%. As noted in another post, among the people I know (who you couldn't call geeks at all) the rate is approaching 100%. And as far as I can see, the Xbox Media Center is at least as big a drawcard as piracy, maybe bigger. If there are some actual figures (say, sales numbers for mod chips versus Xbox sales) that estimate the modding rate, I haven't seen them.

I have a modded xbox, and I enjoy it very much, thank you. But I have no problem seeing Microsoft's point of view.

Neither do I, and I think they're totally within their rights. As you note, it was clear a long time ago that Microsoft would ban modded Xboxen so long as they had the means to detect them. I'm not sure why the observation that this will have a negative effect on sales as well as the obvious positive ones is so worthy of debate.

What about keyboard/mouse? (0, Offtopic)

crowdozer (663344) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780567)

What is everyone's opinion about aftermarket hardware that allows a user to use keyboard/mouse in their console FPS online? Is it fair? Does it unbalance gameplay? Should it be allowed by XBOX Live? (Assuming it could be detected.) A buddy and I were just debating this. I am against them. Opinions?

What happens if I buy a used Xbox and it's banned? (5, Interesting)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780717)

Let's say I go to Gamestop and buy a used unit. If I buy into the Live service, and find out the box is banned, does Gamestop have to replace with another unit? This is assuming that it was used with a removeable mod, of course, and that it was removed before Gamestop accepted it, etc., or that its EEPROM was used to reflash another unit.

Also, what good is the Live service if I don't play multi-player games? Do they do any kind of software updates, etc., through the service?

Re:What happens if I buy a used Xbox and it's bann (1)

vhold (175219) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780898)

Does gamestop have to do anything... nope. I think for the sake of their own business though they would. They really need to include live testing before accepting xboxes to protect themselves and their customers.

As for other things you get besides multiplayer, there are several games I know of that have content updates through the live service. Also using the live service you can basically do internet telephony to other live owners through your friends list without a game I believe. Apparently its quite popular in some circles as it is insanely easy to get working.

Wonderful news! (2, Insightful)

Shufly (808040) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780846)

I think this is great news for all Xbox Live gamers. Personally, I was sold on the idea of Xbox Live because of the broadband only enviroment, and the thought that gaming on a closed system meant there would be less cheating, plus with everyone playing on the same platform there would be no more bitching about having a crappy video card or slow CPU, it leveled the playing field. Of course as someone who pays $50 a year for the service, it upsets me when I get into a game where someone is using cheats when the whole point of paying for the service to me is to have Microsoft step in and remove cheaters and hackers from the service. They are keeping up their end of the bargin, and for that I am thankful. Mind you, I played Counter-Strike for 3 years on and off and was an admin on my own server for half that time, and I could not play a single public game without someone wall-hacking or using an aim-bot. It was especially annoying because I was very fair, and being friends with and having a few professional gamers who played on our server, I knew that just cause someone had 50 kills and 3 deaths that they could just be really good, so I would have to quit out of CS, jump onto our HLTV server and watch the offender in first person until I was absolutly sure he was cheating. This wasted many, many hours of my time, and was the major factor in me getting onto Xbox Live. I think it is cool that you can do so many unintended things by modding an Xbox, but I love that they are kept away from playing on Live and screwing up everyone else's fun.

boggling (2, Insightful)

XO (250276) | more than 9 years ago | (#10780966)

Apparently, the submitter hasn't been paying attention to anything.

ALL modded XBoxes are not allowed on Live. They NEVER have been allowed on Live.

So, they've improved the detection to tell if your box has been modded. It's really a completely Non-story.

This is the most non-story tripe I've seen on slashdot in a long time, and I've seen a LOT of non-story stuff.

Re:boggling (2, Insightful)

startled (144833) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781417)

So, they've improved the detection to tell if your box has been modded. It's really a completely Non-story.

Actually, tips from the board will likely keep me from getting banned. The story's useful to me, anyway. So, it was news for at least one nerd.

Monopoly? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781562)

OK, I respect Microsoft's decision, but what is the competing service that permits Xbox consoles that have been modded and then unmodded, say by a previous owner of the console?

Errr...Profit! (1)

blueZhift (652272) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781205)

Heh! Complaints about paying for Xbox Live and the right to mod aside, I suspect that the easiest way around the problem is to buy another unmodded (nonmodded??) Xbox! I'm sure Microsoft won't mind at all. ;) Now I know the people here on /. don't want to put any more money in MS's coffers, but remember, MS loses money on every Xbox sold. So if you really hate MS, buy more Xboxes!

This makes sense...mostly (2, Insightful)

SkankinMonkey (528381) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781211)

If you want to use their service, use it per their terms. If you don't want to use it, do whatever you want to your XBOX, it's yours after all. Can you really blame Microsoft for not wanting to allow people to use potentially pirated games on their service? They have to make money too. I'm not a huge fan of Microsoft, but what they're doing here makes complete sense. And yes, I realize that modding your XBOX has legitimate uses, but in the long run, most users do this to play games they haven't bought yet, and not to develop the next version of XLinux or whatever programs they put out.

If not Xbox Live then what? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781595)

If you want to use their service, use it per their terms.

I don't want to use Microsoft's service, for the same reason I may use, say, Yahoo! instead of MSN.com. What other service is available to replace Xbox Live?

So stupid - bad business (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10781246)

What's it going to take to make the chuckle-heads in Microsoft management realize that open systems are a GOOD thing?

The most popular online game, Counterstrike, wouldn't even exist if it weren't for Valve's encouragement of enthusiasts modding their intellectual property and PUBLICLY DISTRIBUTING THE RESULTS!

Re:So stupid - bad business (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781544)

I agree all the best maps are made by the players and not the developers.

Software Hardware.... (2, Interesting)

orion41us (707362) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781333)

First off, I do not have an x-box - and most likly never will - I'll stick with PC...


Nevertheless anyone should be able to mod an x-box and use this on the Live network - why not? It's the software that should not be modified/patched/etc... Lock down the directX drivers and Game files - once thease are locked down you'll not see cheets/hacks/ect... who cares if someone modded the x-box to double as a toaster?

Re:Software Hardware.... (1)

sqlrob (173498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781560)

And how are you sure those are locked down with a modded box?

There's no easy way to tell that it can be trusted, so the simple solution is to not trust it.

"Modded Xboxen"? Wtf? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10781487)

It sould be "modulus xboxii".

Hard drive swap.. (1)

some2 (563218) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781501)

For those modders out there.. Anyone ever test setting up an external switch box to allow for semi-manual switching between the original XBOX HD and the new XBOX HD? I dont' recall ever having to deactivate the original, so if i disabled the mod chip and had the original hard drive in, and never had my EEPROM banned... I should be golden, right? Could just run a slightly longer (16" or so) IDE cable out of the xbox, then have an external switch to disable the built-in hard drive. Fire up the good HD and play live, then turn it all off, disconnect the ext. hard drive, switch on the int. hard drive, and play modded games/etc. Possible?

I've got to ask (1)

scribblej (195445) | more than 9 years ago | (#10781736)

If Microsoft brings an intellectual property suit against me for modding my Xbox someday -- will they also defend me in the same suit, now that I have complete MS-sponsored indemnification from IP suits based on their products?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>