Microsoft Gives and Takes from XBox 360 Owners, But Mostly Takes

By November 12, 2009

Due to Microsoft's recent ban of modified Xbox 360s from Xbox Live, used consoles are now crowded in online auction forums and community classified listings. The systems were modified to play duplicated game discs, and last week Microsoft severed the connection to Xbox's online community, which includes online game playability, game downloads, Netflix streaming and much more. The ban of the "small percentage" of modded consoles on the network could amount to 600,000 or even a million players, depending on the source. With such a substantial population, it is less than surprising that sites like Craigslist and eBay are having a category shift from previous-generation consoles and b-list game lots to results such as "Xbox 360 banned from live with games - $100" or "Year Old Modded Xbox 360 w/ cables - $125."

Contemporary titles can cost over sixty dollars, so the temptation to pirate games is high. Modders are feeling the vengeance of Microsoft, now, since new titles' playability can heavily rely upon online gameplay. The next logical steps are to unload the modded Xbox, recoup as much of the loss as possible, and buy a new system. This may or not be done with complete transparency, so the used marketplace for this console is on high buyer-beware alert.

As long as the customer is aware of the compromised functionality of the system, it seems like now is a good time to get a cheap current-generation video game system. Most include illegal games thrown in to sweeten the deal.

So some Xbox 360 owners are losing, but for the rest a software update plans to make life sweeter for the rest: Next week, an update will feature Facebook, Twitter, and 1080p Zune Marketplace functionality. Owners of games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band will get a special music store to download content.

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