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.