Microsoft confirmed today that it will not allow owners of modified Xbox 360 game consoles to a have access to the Xbox LIVE game community.
"One of the great things about LIVE and the unified community is that we work hard to create a level playing field for all gamers and have a no tolerance policy towards inappropriate behavior like hacking or cheating," announced Microsoft through its Games Global Marketing team blog.
"As part of our commitment to our members, we do not allow people that we have detected to have modified their console to connect to LIVE. This is an important part of our efforts to try and maintain a fair gaming environment for the large majority of gamers that play by the rules. As a result, some consumers that try to login to LIVE who we detect have illegally modified their console will get an error code (Status Code: Z: 8015 - 190D) when trying to connect to the service. These users will not have their account automatically banned from LIVE, but they will no longer be able to access the service from the console they modified," Microsoft added.
The first hacking attempts for the Xbox 360 game console had started last year, where the first modified firmware for the console's DVD-ROM drive appeared online. This allowed the play of backup games, even online at Xbox Live. However, Microsoft's latest software release for the Xbox 360 has the ability to detect those who were playing copied games.
According to online posts at the xbox-scene.com community forum, the ban affects modified Xbox 360 consoles that have modified DVD-ROM drives from both Hitachi-LG and Toshiba-Samsung, regardless of firmware version.
Below is available the screen notification an owner of a modified console gets when the Xbox Live connection fails (photo: Microsoft Games Global Marketing team blog).
"We have stated in the past that customers can only enjoy access to the Xbox LIVE community through the use of a genuine, unmodified, Xbox console and we will continue to enforce this rule to ensure the integrity of our service, the protection of our partners and the benefits of our users," reads Microsoft's announcement.