Microsoft Uses Halo 2 to Catch Xbox Pirates
With Halo 2 racking up record sales and eager fans rushing to
Microsoft's Xbox Live online gaming service to compete with other
gamers from around the world, it should be an exciting time for Xbox
enthusiasts. However, for the thousands of Xbox users who have chosen
to modify, or "mod," their Xboxes with hardware devices that bypass
the machine's copy-protection features and let them pirate games, Halo
2 has another surprise in store: Those users are being summarily
kicked off Xbox Live without any warning.
The timing couldn't have been better from Microsoft's perspective.
The company knew that it had a hit on its hands with Halo 2, and
because it can use the Xbox Live service to detect the presence of mod
chips, Microsoft figured it would use the unprecedented surge of
customers to the service as a chance to weed out unsuspecting
evil-doers. Cameron Ferroni, general manager of the Xbox software
platform, told the Associated Press (AP) that the software giant isn't
interested in users of modded Xboxes, but it does reserve the right to
banish such people from its online service.
For legitimate users of Xbox Live--and Microsoft counts more than 1
million of them--the removal of modded Xboxes means that there will be
less chance of cheating because users of modded Xboxes can use those
chips to provide unfair advantages, such as making their onscreen
characters invulnerable or in possession of all the in-game power-ups.