Xbox 360 bans rise to 1 million, banned consoles go up for sale

By Justin Mann on November 12, 2009, 6:04 PM
Microsoft has reportedly unleashed a second wave of bans, bringing the total count of banned Xbox 360s to around 1 million -- about five percent of some 20 million Live-connected consoles. There is also some uncertainty now as to whether or not the bans are permanent. It is safe to assume that they are, as Microsoft specifically targeted consoles as opposed to Gamertags. However, there is no guarantee Microsoft won't go even further and nail Gamertags associated with those banned consoles as well.

With one million 360s now unfit for online play, the former owners are now in a hurry to offload them. Banned consoles have already turned up for sale on sites like eBay and Craigslist, often bundled with a plethora of pirated games. The last part is quite interesting, as many people selling the banned units are being honest about the nature of the sale.

Microsoft isn't blind to this, and a company representative made a public statement reminding people that once a console is banned, it's banned no matter who owns it -- and the warranty doesn't transfer from owner to owner either. So, if you gamble on a used console, you're responsible for its condition.

This entire affair can be likened to Punkbuster using unique hardware identifiers to ban cheaters from multiple games or servers. What's your take? Although clearing game servers of cheaters and hackers seems like a very good thing, punishing people for modding consoles (whether or not they pirated a game) seems rather harsh.




User Comments: 114

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klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

i personally think its unfair to ban the system just ban the online account and make them pay for a new one because now used systems may never be able to play online which is not fair to the end user.

r3claimer r3claimer said:

I think a better way to approach this would be to make the users of modded consoles pay for the right to have their consoles unlocked, instead of making them buy a new console. I could see banning the console as a second offense nature, not so much for the first. However, if people know they can get away with it once with minor reprieve, they may never get caught while modding, and I can see Microsoft is trying to discourage people from even trying. Overall, I see this step as severe, but not necessarily uncalled for.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I guess it wont take that much time until someone figures out how to change... I don't know, the XBox MAC adress, or that something that is making it unique, and whoever does that will earn a loooot of money selling the method.

@R3claimer: Then people wouldn't have to buy a new one, and where is the proffit there? =P

ColdFusion1990 ColdFusion1990 said:

I'm glad Microsoft is doing well banning hackers and modders.. Although, I too, have cheated before on Counter Strike 1.6, just for laughs, and got banned on Steam. I'm glad I did too, because now I know better than not to do that sh*t.

I just hope those people getting banned knew what they were getting into, because an Xbox is a lot to lose. I just lost a semi-worthless Steam account.

r3claimer r3claimer said:

@R3claimer: Then people wouldn't have to buy a new one, and where is the proffit there? =P

Microsoft would be better off doing that for several reasons.

#1. People are less likely to buy a new console than they would be to just unlock the console, a fee that would be (hypothetically), substantially less than the price of a new system.

#2. Microsoft, whether they deserve it or not, are probably going to get some damaging feedback from those affected by the bans.

#3. The consoles aren't going to just disappear, as stated in the article, unsuspecting people are going to buy these consoles online without knowing the true status of the online capabilities, (not everyone reads tech news, many people won't be aware of the bans taking place.) What you have then is a bunch of pissed off customers wondering why they can't connect to the internet. Microsoft then has about 3 options. 1. they can ignore the customers and claim "buyers beware". 2. They can offer to replace the banned xbox's with other unrestricted refurbished xbox's. 3. They will have an alternate method to unlock the consoles. (And if the third occurs, then you can bet your a** somebody will find a way to unlock their console.)

Like I said though, Each course of action has its own problems, and their solution is convenience for themselves. Not exactly consumer friendly, but then, the consumers modding their consoles weren't being friendly either

As a side note, I'm skeptical that Microsoft will make much profit from new Xbox's being purchased. The reason I say this is because Hard Drives aren't the banned part of the console, consumers are free the cheaper 360 versions that don't turn much profit. Heck, consumers will probably look to buy used consoles priced even more cheaply (provided tha6t they can confirm an unbanned status)

K, I'm done. xD

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

As a legitimate xbox 360 owner, I think this is pretty hilarious. Using modded xboxes on xbox live? Seriously? How was anyone expecting that to be a permanent thing? I never chipped mine because I knew it would affect if it would play games online and all the best games on the xbox are online games imo. I rarely play a single player only game.

So people get them chipped, download the newest games instead of buying them (its not like they arent cheap pre-owned but you have to wait for the price to drop) and play them online using xbox live.

And Microsoft then bans them all. The day modern warfare 2 comes out. That is pure class. As someone who has bought every Xbox 360 game he has wanted to play and has felt good putting some money back into the industry I think its priceless that they chose this week to carry out the bans.

Yes its a shame they didnt ban the accounts as well but they didn't want to drive the players away so they left them with their illegally gained achievements and years spent on live. Personally I would reduce them all to zero achievement points and delete the accounts but there must be a legal issue with any dlc thats been downloaded on the account that means they cant do that but banning the console if it has been illegally messed around with is alright by me. I dont want to play against people with hacked versions of games and hacked consoles etc. One of the best things about online console play is that everyone has the same joypad and everyone has the same visual settings etc. Its a fair playing field. Fairer now. Anyone saying they are considering getting a ps3 because of their console getting locked out completely missed the point and should probably do exactly. Better that way.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yet another great reason to own a PS3. If Microsoft would put out a quality product to begin with, and quit charging for online play, they wouldn't have the rrod or modders. Piss on Microsoft.

Guest said:

VERY LAME i got banned for being rude,and acused of cheating. i dont cheat and everyone swears and tounts eachother. piss on micro soft and xbox. i spent alot of $ on xbox and i have to be controlled by them?

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

That's a good one r3claimer, having negative feedback from xbox modders hahaha!

To argue your points...

#1 They will, after all... how many games you actually play all the time online, 10? Maybe 3, at most, one FPS, a racing one, a strategic, MAYBE. I don't play more than 1 single player at a time. So that is not that expensive.

#2 It's just laughable.

#3 The console itself is cheap, or a lot cheaper than a while ago and still there are lots of discounts and sales. I would have 2, a modded console to test-drive the games to see if they are good and have nice online replayability, and a normal one to just play online. Since I'm not a huge fan of online gaming (Although some games are really adictive) I wouldn't mind to buy a cheap banned xbox (They WILL be real cheap in a little while). And, you don't have to be a hardcore gamer to own a console to just laugh a bit with more controls and a couple of friends.

Don't asume that everyone plays or think like you. About consumers... again, if you mod it you can't complain AT ALL, it was not meant to be played with "backups" (Yeah right, say copy it's NOT a backup).

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

yes microsoft is a big bully and aalways has been i tihnk banning the consoles is BS and they need to correct that fast before they have a huge riot on there hands.

Guest said:

I am one of the victims of this recent online ban and the big question still stands... what happends to the unsuspecting people that buy my modified console? =P I have no reason to believe that microsoft will find a legitimate way to unlock these banned consoles after unsuspecting people purchase them. My plan is to find a nice cheap used unmodified xbox without a hard drive and sell my modified console replacing consoles with my hard drive. the permanent ban was a very bad mistake on your part, there were many other potential solutions to this problem besides the PERMANENT ban... so i wish you good luck microsoft, you're going to need it.

Guest said:

im just waiting on someone going public about a console they purchased used from a reputable store that ends up being banned. MS will have a big problem explaining that one. " I bought my console used at gamestop yesterday, and now it is telling me that I cannot get on live. and before you go into the 30 day return policy, many of the banned consoles have been detected before and are just now being banned. Banning is Microsoft's right, the ycan withhold any part of their service they feel like, but there will be some situations where this is a problem.

Guest said:

Microsoft don't deserve my money..Hope they will burn for this !!!

Guest said:

It would actually benefit Microsoft more to suspend or ban the xbox live account. If the console is banned and you mostly play one player games then so what. And if you are a multiplayer then why not now just make the jump to the PS3 since they have reduced the cost of them and you pick up a blue ray player as well. That's what I plan to do. You can ell this decision was probably made by an IT techie and not someone in sales as the sales person would of banned the live account and would of made a person buy it again as well as impose a fee on top off the new account. I can't believe Bill Gates didn't think of that.

Guest said:

i was banned a week ago and to tell you the truth its about time microsoft it took you 3 years to catch me retard i have over 35 original games that i have bought and over 100 copied games so i think i have saved alot of money if you lowered the prices on games instead of being a bunch of gready c*nts i wouldnt of modded my system but anyway i have saved money i will be modding my other xbox360 and buying a ps3 ,one more thing hackers are not all cheaters when about 60% of none hackers on xbox live all have bought the rapid fire controller for the 360 for call of duty i say ban all those cheaters too its only fair microsoft

Guest said:

microsoft how much you gonna charge in lets say 3 years time for games just asking as the new call of duty modern warfare 2 is £55 the normal version £70 the limited edition and £120 the veteran edition with the stupid infra green crap glasses and you say us in hacking the system we are stealing i say everybody should do it as you are ripping us all off in games anyway xbox 360 system £300 of crap red lights every where crap your the one who ripped us off i have had 4 systems which 2 are no longer working because of the red lights you should just be happy we are actualy playing on live after the crap you sold us not banning us for modding the system screw you microsoft hope you burn in hell

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I'm getting the biggest kick out of reading all these childish rants (particularly from the "Guests" about how MS has done them SO wrong by cutting them off from using Live for pirated games.

All I can is sucks to be you guys. Go buy the damn games next time and you won't have to worry about it, eh?

freedomthinker said:

Holy crap , 1 million . Man MS is really serious about this .

Guest said:

I find the self-righteous "legitimate" 360 owners funny when they act like because they buy they're games, that somehow makes a crap game good...Besides, out of the over 100 copied games I have, there are only a few I play online anyway.......I bought a legitimate copy of MW2 and was just banned today....But guess what, I could care less.....For one thing, I've saved literally thousands of dollars in games alone, and I went right out and bought a like new condition used/refurb 360 arcade w/HDMI port for 130bucks, and guess what.......I was right back online playing MW2 in less than an hour, with my old gamertag.... What about my banned console you ask? It will now continue to serve duty playing all those games that I wouldn't buy anyway, and I can continue playing the newest games as they come out... And with that, I dont mind spending the coin on a game I really want to play multiplayer, as I will already know whether or not its worth it!!!!!

Guest said:

I think the fact that MS doesn't ban gamertags proves that XBL is where MS makes the majority of its money.....If they ban the gametags as well, they essentially give the person more reason to NOT return to the service or get another xbox...While the PS3's online service is nowhere near what XBL is, it is steadily improving, and most importantly, its FREE.. The second issue is that many xbox's have more than one gamertag associated with them and even though the person modded the machine, they are still entitled to whatever points, and subscription that they have legitimately paid for, or a person may have unknowingly purchased a modded machine used, so there are probably some legal reasons as to why they are not banning gamertags in mass as well.. They do ban gamertags, but more for offensive language and cheating and such, as a violation of conduct........

Guest said:

This will and has already opened up a real book of worms - who cares f**k microsoft lets keep it pirated. Microsoft have become one of the most disliked companies on the face of the planet they are driven by consumer demand this has been shown in the latest game releases where ****** in EUROPE are paying up to US$85 for the latest games - ridiculous - go ahead and ban me you Microsoft pricks - everything I use is pirated and will stay that way. Where there is a will there is a way - it will not be long before a site will be able to host these consoles. Why does my xbox still work?

klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

yeah one thing that did piss me off was that modern warfare 2 cost me $65 for the pc version wtf is gaming coming to?

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

"I find the self-righteous "legitimate" 360 owners funny when they act like because they buy they're games, that somehow makes a crap game good...Besides, out of the over 100 copied games I have, there are only a few I play online anyway.......I bought a legitimate copy of MW2 and was just banned today...."

Epic fail lol

I bought modern warfare 2 on the pc via steam. I only play a few games on the 360- fifa 2010 and some other occasional multiplayer games. I watch Sky player on mine - premiership football and other stuff. Then I guess that doesnt work if the console is banned either. Lol I could care less for your whining

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Modern warfare was £34.99 in uk on steam via pre order. It was 28quid if you bought it in a variety of supermarkets. Some places were offering a considerable discount on the 360 and ps3 versions and price matching.

What sucks is steam offering modern warfare 2 for 60 dollars and also 60 euros. There is no way a single euro = 1 dollar. Its gone back up to £39.99 incidentally.

Guest said:

"I find the self-righteous "legitimate" 360 owners funny when they act like because they buy they're games, that somehow makes a crap game good...Besides, out of the over 100 copied games I have, there are only a few I play online anyway.......I bought a legitimate copy of MW2 and was just banned today...."

Epic fail lol

I bought modern warfare 2 on the pc via steam. I only play a few games on the 360- fifa 2010 and some other occasional multiplayer games. I watch Sky player on mine - premiership football and other stuff. Then I guess that doesnt work if the console is banned either. Lol I could care less for your whining :)

Yukka,

Hmmm, maybe epic ***** would be the term for you?? Thats funny you say I was whining but you decided to not quote what I said right after I said I was banned huh? Ok so I'll say it again for you....I DONT CARE that I was banned, somehow I dont translate that into whining.. Oh and guess what I downloaded MW2 for the PC for FREE also...So take your steam and shove it!!!.......LMAO

isamuelson isamuelson said:

Wendig0 said:

Yet another great reason to own a PS3. If Microsoft would put out a quality product to begin with, and quit charging for online play, they wouldn't have the rrod or modders. Piss on Microsoft.

Wow. That really makes it okay, huh?

The main point is NOT because of paying for XB Live (which you can have for free if you choose not to go the Gold route), but to prevent people from cheating on games as well as running pirated games on the consoles.

Guest said:

Being an ex Microsoft employee I have witnessed first hand the sleazy practises they adopt. My friends and I are working on deciphering the traffic between the console and the live services in order to identify a way of "fiddling the packets" to make Microsoft think the request is coming from a machine with a different serial number. Its not going to be easy but we like a challenge.

Kibaruk Kibaruk, TechSpot Paladin, said:

OMG! I don't have the right english term at hand, but what a deuce all this guests are!

If you want the real deal, buy the real thing... you and your cheap "backups" and now beleiving you deserve something, grow up.

Guest said:

Wow. That really makes it okay, huh?

The main point is NOT because of paying for XB Live (which you can have for free if you choose not to go the Gold route), but to prevent people from cheating on games as well as running pirated games on the consoles.

UMmmmmm no...............MS has NOT prevented people from running pirated games on consoles, they have only prevented modded consoles from running on live....

You cant play multiplayer on XBL unless you are Gold, but you can play on PS3 for free regardless, so again your point is moot, because XBL is not truely "free" for multiplayer......

Guest said:

OMG! I don't have the right english term at hand, but what a deuce all this guests are!

If you want the real deal, buy the real thing... you and your cheap "backups" and now beleiving you deserve something, grow up.

Wow........You have to buy a REAL xbox in the first place right? Even if you mod it afterwards....And the cost of 25 of those cheap disc that we burn those "backups" on, is less than the full retail price of ONE game.......Hmmmm so let me see, burn 25 "backups" for the price of one retail game, I may not even like after buying it... How much money have I saved?? You do the math.... Ands whats worse, I don't even have to leave my house and go buy the game.....All I need is a fast internet connection, a blank disc, and a dual layer dvd burner and I'm playing the latest games for xbox in about an hour or two......LMAO. And if I'm banned? I go down to gamestop and buy another 360 for 130 bucks, the cost of TWO retail games, and I'm back on live....Now if that ain't grown, I don't know what is!! Just speaking as a "guest" that is....... :)

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

For all those saying that Microsoft should just charge more to allow the modded systems, or cancel the account and make them get a new one, you are all missing the point. This isn't about the money (at least in that sense), it's about getting modded systems off their Live servers. Period. Charging more for allowing modded units is just condoning modding of their consoles, which they categorically denounce.

Now, as for how the money thing really rolls out, here's something to consider. Say a great online play title comes out, and it becomes a great target for pirate copiers. Now there are tons of that game floating around, and if people are playing that game using Live, they are now taxing the MS servers with absolutely no financial return to MS. Part of the licensing revenues from game sales go towards running and maintaining the Live servers. That's how they have the basic level of Live that is free. The gold membership money adds to that pool for maintenance and operation. So if a ton of pirates are using Live, but not contributing at all to the operational costs, why the hell would MS ever NOT want those slimers off their networks? They are freeloaders, and it is Microsoft's right to boot them. Just like a scumball loitering in a restaurant can be refused service and/or kicked off the premises by the owner of the restaurant, MS reserves the right to refuse service to ANYONE that breaks their rules.

It's pretty simple, really. You mod, you lose. But the ones on the receiving end of the punishment always feel a self-righteous entitlement to things they don't deserve, and throw a fit when they get caught and are forced to pay for their actions. You guys really want to make a stand? A good start would be ending the cowardly hiding behind Guest logins when you feel you have a righteous cause. Anonymous testimonials carry little to no weight.

Puiu Puiu said:

This is why i didn't buy a console, but i did it would be PS3. (and yes, it's because it has a BR drive and more free stuff - the exclusives are also to my liking, much more than the xbox ones).

But in the end PC's are my favorites.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I have a good job, I like playing games, I dont mind paying for them if it helps them to make more of them for me to enjoy.

Laugh as long or as hard as you want but if everyone was like you we wouldnt have anything to play. No thanks mate.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

"I bought a legitimate copy of MW2 and was just banned today...."

and if thats not an epic fail I don't know what is. And if you weren't whining about it, what were you doing? Boasting about pirating games as if its your right to pirate?

Guest said:

i too have been hit by the latest ban wave, still trying to fgure out why, my console has never been modded, ive never used a cheat or anything on it, i did in the past on a now rrod console, although it was by mstake as i originally bought a second handconsole that i was unaware was modded and transfered the gamertag onto my new hard drive on my brand new console. Now microsoft tech support basically tell me im lying and no support is offered on a banned console, i will be seekin legal advice cos sometimes even superpowers are wrong, and bill gates' minions cant just decide that theyre right when i know theyre not. Im gonna find a nice PS3 and let them have my money seeing how my ps2 still works from the date of release and im now on xbox number 2, besides modern warfare 2 looks far better on ps3.

olibenu said:

any other telltale signs on a banned console apart from the refused 'net conn?

Guest said:

PS3 sales are going to sky rocket. Sony i hope you send MS a Christmas card for this kind gift they are giving you. I will never on a Xbox again because of this.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

If you modded you Xbox on purpose, your probably sh*t outta luck. Those people who unknowingly bought a Xbox that was banned might be able to get legal recourse by suing the seller if they didnt fully exclose that the console was banned. Check the lemon laws where you live.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

If every person who got their xbox banned and thought MS was in the wrong bought a PS3 and ****ed off of live, I wouldnt mind Sounds like they have improved my service

Guest said:

You get what you deserve. Hope you game pirates have fun shopping for a new xbox LOL

Guest said:

At least MS dosn't want to put you in jail for not having health insurance! now thats something to be unset about!

Modding give you an advantage over those who don't ! bann the Xbox and player!

Follow the rules and quit cheating

Guest said:

At least MS dosn't want to put you in jail for not having health insurance! now thats something to be upset about!

Modding give you an advantage over those who don't ! bann the Xbox and player!

Follow the rules and quit cheating

Guest said:

dead right we're better off without the modders maybe they should have their credit card details handed over to the authorities so they can get charged for all the copyright infringement.

Guest said:

good we're better off without you lol

Guest said:

It is OK. People who bought XBox 360's in the first place will just pony up more money and buy another one. No harm done.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

isamuelson said:

Wendig0 said:

Yet another great reason to own a PS3. If Microsoft would put out a quality product to begin with, and quit charging for online play, they wouldn't have the rrod or modders. Piss on Microsoft.

Wow. That really makes it okay, huh?

The main point is NOT because of paying for XB Live (which you can have for free if you choose not to go the Gold route), but to prevent people from cheating on games as well as running pirated games on the consoles.

And yet all Sony has to do to prevent cheating on games is patch them. Seems to work just fine. A lot of the people I know on Sony's servers that glitch actually report the glitches to Sony, rather than actually cheating in them. Those that cheat on a regular basis, only get banned for a single game title, forcing them to create a new account, rather than banning the console from future online play. Microsoft's tactics are too harsh for a system that rarely works correctly to begin with.

Guest said:

to sum up Microsoft's thinking,

ban 1 million consoles = 1 million more console sales.

they feel the ps3 coming up on their tail fast and are trying to get every last ounce of sales out of their consoles so they can boast the numbers to investors.

right now MS has 33 million consoles sold and Sony has 26 million. if you take into account the people who bought a second console when their first went RROD Sony could have more FUNCTIONAL consoles out there than Microsoft. They are feeling the pressure and are grabbing at anything they can who cares about the backlash and the probable hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting customers who buy banned consoles as long as people keep dumping money into the Microsoft Marketing Machine they don't care.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Correction...

to sum up Microsoft's thinking,

ban 1 million modded consoles = 1 million potential pirating consoles off their network

They will lose far more money than they will gain from this move, and they knew it from the time they started. More people will leave in disgust and grab a PS3 than will go out and buy another Xbox. But, you see, Microsoft could care less, the ones leaving are the ones they don't want - mods have a much higher potential to affect profit margins and overall revenues than the loss of some customers. What those of you who keep saying this was done to sell more consoles fail to realize is that MS makes a pittance on each unit, it's the licensing fees that make the money. Even if they only get a fraction of the console sales, they will get a nice huge chunk when the slimeballs who were pirating their games and had to get rid of the modded console now have to actually *gasp* BUY the game if they want to play it.

The ones who are the most ticked in this situation (with nobody to blame but themselves) are the ones who are upset because their free ride just had a huge consequential price tag dropped on them. Those who are mad because they got banned without knowing they had a modded system, keep in mind that ranting and raving at Microsoft as being stupid and not caring about them is misplaced - the culprit in this was the person who sold you the invalid unit, please direct your venom accordingly.

Guest said:

Good Luck with all this interest in a solution it won't be long before those greedy Bastads at Microsoft are playing catch up again... In the meantime I'll be using my PS3 ..Long live the revolution!

Guest said:

Ok first and formost i will admit to having a modded xbox, and that my console was banned, this is how my story starts, i went out on the 1st day that the 360 was released and bought my console and in general was very happy with it, until about 7 or 8 months later i had a hardware failiure, had intact warranty so it was ok, another 3 months later another fault, 5 months later same problem and then joy no problems.

Then 1 day i got the famous rrod so i call up m$ and get told that i am 20 odd days over my 3 year warranty, but they can fix it for £65 and £30 delivery, now at the time a core was only £139 so do the math, so i decieded to take mine apart and fix it myself which i did for the cost of £1.07.

Now i must admit i felt rather slighted by m$ for trying so much for bad hardware they had applied to the console in the 1st place, once i had already taken my machine apart i got my friend to flash the machine, and got some games, although i can honestly admit that 90% of the games i got were games that i had honestly bought before but had traded in.

Now i have been banned, but although M$ tried ripping me off before it is my fault and my fault alone that i got banned, at the end of the day i have to take it on the chin, i knew i was violating terms and conditions, but then i did that when i fixed my own xbox.

Long and short is that i will go out and buy a new console as i love online gaming, (by the way i have a ps3 and apart from their service being free nothing else compares), and i love M$'s machine.

I have learned my lesson and other people out there that have been banned should do the same, quit bitching, you knew what you were doing and knew the risks.

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