Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Data Storage Media XBox (Games) Games

Xbox 360 Update Will Lock Out Unauthorized Storage 435

Posted by timothy
from the don't-embrace-this-time dept.
itwbennett writes "The other shoe has dropped on the upcoming preview program for the next Xbox 360 update and it's going to cost you. In a post on the Major Nelson blog, Xbox's Larry Hryb reveals that this next update will lock-out unauthorized storage devices. As blogger Peter Smith reminds us, 'the Xbox 360 comes in two (currently) SKUs, one with a hard drive, and one without. The drive-less Xbox 360 Arcade unit is cheap ($199) but to realistically use it, you'll need to buy a "Memory Unit" (basically a proprietary USB stick) or an Xbox hard drive.... A 512 MB Microsoft branded Memory Unit goes for $29.99 at BestBuy.com. A 2 GB third party Memory Unit from Datel goes for $39.99, and the Datel unit is expandable using microSD cards....If you bought the Datel and it's full of data, between now and the launch of the new update you're going to have to run out and buy 4 of the Microsoft units at $29.99 each, or more likely, pick up the $99.99 60GB Live Starter Pack for Xbox 360.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Xbox 360 Update Will Lock Out Unauthorized Storage

Comments Filter:
  • by biryokumaru (822262) * <biryokumaru@gmail.com> on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:22PM (#29799445)
    They could always just upgrade to a real [google.com] gaming system.
  • by sopssa (1498795) * <sopssa@email.com> on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:29PM (#29799555) Journal

    Exactly. Consoles have always been a locked down device versus the openness of PC. I dont know why people are surprised when this kind of stuff happens.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:33PM (#29799639)

    Yeah, that kind of stuff never happens on PCs.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SecuROM [wikipedia.org]

  • Audacious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:33PM (#29799641) Journal
    I find Microsoft's willingness to squeeze for storage interesting in two respects: One, it suggests a very high level of optimism about their position in the market. Two, it suggests that they don't much care about, or aren't making much money from, downloadable offerings for the Xbox(or that they view those offerings as being extremely compelling and likely to drive consumer behavior).

    If they weren't confident of their position, and were actively trying to drive down the perceived cost of their product, storage would be a natural target. Just let people use bog-standard flash drives for game storage, and the market will continually release cheaper ones faster than any one company could even do design revisions. Same basic idea with basic HDDs. The fact that Microsoft isn't doing that suggests that they are very confident in their price point.

    As for downloads, if Microsoft were making good money on those, they would want users to have huge hard drives, rather than limping along on a nasty little 512meg card. Again, they don't seem to be thus motivated.
  • Anti-competitive (Score:5, Insightful)

    by syousef (465911) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:34PM (#29799661) Journal

    Locking out the competitor's product should be illegal. If you can't compete because your product is overpriced, you shouldn't be propped up. Yes that may mean that people have to pay the true cost of a console or printer or other device, as it isn't subsidised by content/ink etc. It's called honesty. Manufacturers should try it some time.

  • by ZuchinniOne (1617763) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:35PM (#29799667)

    Stuff like this is why I still haven't bought an X-Box, PS3, or Wii ... I'm so sick of this proprietary crap. I'm just waiting for an open source gaming system ... oh yeah ... I've got a PC :)

  • I'm so sick of this proprietary crap.

    So you go for the game with no LAN play that you have to connect to proprietary Blizzard Servers? At least consoles give you little to no expectation of openness.

  • Re:oh Microsoft... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:39PM (#29799731)

    Wait, are we talking about the xbox360 here?

    The console is laughably easy to hack. All you have to do is plug in the DVD drive SATA to your computer, flash the firmware using a special program and you're done.

    Compared to previous consoles going back to the PS1 where you have to solder in another circuit board the 360 is crazy easy.

    Now the hard drive upgrade is slightly more difficult if you want to save all your old data.. If you're just getting a brand new console and upgrading from 20-120GB though again, frigging easy.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:43PM (#29799793)

    Meanwhile the Feds looked at Microsoft's Monopoly and decided it all soft, fluffy and harmless.

    What monopoly? I walk into the living room and see a Wii. Are you sure Microsoft has a monopoly on video games?

  • Re:Audacious. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ILikeRed (141848) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:45PM (#29799831) Journal
    Well stated, but I think when you also combine this news with the recent story that MSFT is looking to double the price of an XBOX Live subscription to $100/year or more [pcworld.com], then it paints a picture that MSFT is getting desperate to squeeze a profit out of their gaming devision for fear of losing the whole thing if they don't soon. Makes me really wonder about their financial picture in general that they seem to not be able to invest in this area with a long term growth vision anymore, even when they are currently losing to the Wii.
  • Re:Absolutely not. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rickz0rz (831049) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:46PM (#29799845) Journal
    Pfft... slippery slope. In this case, the company (Datel) already CREATED a working solution. It's not about about hand-holding or anything like that, right now. It's about MS locking out Datel's product because it's 4x the storage (expandable to like.. 64x with a micro SDHC card) and only $10 more. Microsoft is doing it because they love money.
  • Re:Audacious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by NeutronCowboy (896098) on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:50PM (#29799891)

    Indeed. A 512 MB card shouldn't cost more than $5 right now, while a 2G card should be under $20. They're nickel and diming their customers in the wrong places. If I could buy a nice 100 GB hard disk for $50, I would not only spring for that, but also download far more content - which in turn would drive up my perceived value of the system.

    Instead, I'm getting the impression that I'm being fleeced every time I want to do something useful. Maybe that PS3 isn't such a bad idea after all.

  • Re:oh Microsoft... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:52PM (#29799931)

    Wait, are we talking about the xbox360 here?

    The console is laughably easy to hack. All you have to do is plug in the DVD drive SATA to your computer*,

    Provided that you have a supported sata chipset,

    flash the firmware using a special program

    After you troll around IRC and "the scene" to get everything you need

    and you're done.

    Compared to previous consoles going back to the PS1 where you have to solder in another circuit board

    Dreamcast had boot cds
    Playstation 2 could be hacked with a gameshark style disc and a usb key
    Playstation 1 had disk swapping as well
    Original Xbox had Mechwarrior, 007, and other memory card hacks. Load up a hacked memory card game and you've rooted
    Wii has its memory card hack
    The Nintendo ds is trivial if you have a mod-card and memory card reader
    The PSP is easily 'sploited by numerous methods.
    The gameboy advance also is exposed to flash cards.

    the 360 is crazy easy.

    Now the hard drive upgrade is slightly more difficult if you want to save all your old data.. If you're just getting a brand new console and upgrading from 20-120GB though again, frigging easy.

    Provided that you have a drive that is flashable, and that doesn't require a special firmware tool.

  • Re:oh Microsoft... (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:53PM (#29799939)
    No, it's easy to run warez. It's difficult to run your own code. There was an exploit to allow this on almost all xbox 360's, but microsoft patched it so you missed the window unless you were vigilant.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @04:58PM (#29799989)

    Not monopoly, anti-competitive. I see a lawsuit here. Typically stepping on your competition like this gets you in some trouble.

  • by PhunkySchtuff (208108) <kai@nOspaM.automatica.com.au> on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:00PM (#29800011) Homepage

    This will kill them in the battle against the PS3. Sony make it so easy, for a start every PS3 comes with a hard drive, so games developers can assume that there is bulk persistent storage there and take advantage of it. You can also use USB mass storage devices. You can also upgrade the internal hard drive with undoing just a couple of screws, and it's all supported.

    Sony have an easy way for you to back up your PS3 to an external USB hard drive, you then insert any laptop hard drive (I went with a 7.2k one and some things are noticeably faster) and you then restore your system onto the new hard drive. All without paying Sony an extra cent.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:05PM (#29800083)

    This is the wave of the future with all devices.

    You don't need to upgrade it yourself, let Microsoft give you storage, for a "small monthly fee".

    Next will be, you don't need to "own" a PC, or software, rent it, for a couple of "small monthly fees"

    Let someone else manage your data, for a small monthly fee.
    Let someone else update your programs, for a small monthly fee.
    Let someone else manage the hardware, for a small monthly fee.

    You will pay your "small monthly fees" and you will get NO WARRANTY, NO FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, NO RECOURSE, NO REFUNDS, and NO SECURITY.

    Most of the caps text is taken from the license agreement from most 'online only' software.

    Think it won't work? It already does.

    You don't "own" your cellphone, SIM card, or it's data. You simply rent it, for a "small monthly fee".

    Good luck selling any of it, getting a decent warranty, or being able to cancel your contract.

    Small Monthly Fees, get used to paying them , for everything.

  • by ottothecow (600101) <ottothecow@NosPam.gmail.com> on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:05PM (#29800085) Homepage
    [2] as far as I could determine it was the model with the latest, greatest chip set that had all known issues solved. Works great.

    I always thought one of the arguments for going console was that this was never going to be an issue?

  • by syousef (465911) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:05PM (#29800089) Journal

    Also, syousef, you could launch your own game platform company and open up you game console to 3rd party storage.

    Yes I'll just quit my job, risk my family income etc. No problem. Why didn't I think of that?

  • Well... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by snkboarder (1364487) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:06PM (#29800095)
    You all did it to yourselves. I tried to warn caution when Microsoft entered the console market, but all you people would do was hug them for Halo. They're like Wal-Mart, they move in, offer you low prices, then when the competition is smeared, they take you for everything you have. Maybe next time MegaCorp shows up and goes "I'll give you a good deal if your forsake the competition" you'll stop and go: "Hmmm...did this work out for me last time?"
  • by Applekid (993327) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:07PM (#29800113)

    "Monopoly" or "Market Share", the DMCA doesn't make distinctions about either before branding circumvention a criminal act.

  • Re:Absolutely not. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by PitaBred (632671) <slashdot@pitabre ... rg minus painter> on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:13PM (#29800201) Homepage
    I can't create a car that artificially locks out 3rd party replacement parts and upgrades... why should Microsoft be able to create a gaming box that does the same thing?
  • by tjhayes (517162) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:13PM (#29800205)

    This is, of course, assuming that locking out "unauthorized storage" does not also target in some crazy way locking out hard drives.

    You know the old saying about what happens when you ASSUME, right?

    Unless it's an official licensed XBOX device, by definition its an "unauthorized storage" device. Therefore these hard drives that you suggest buying from Newegg will also be locked out when this new update arrives.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:14PM (#29800221) Journal

    Point of Order: Apple blocked the Pre from falsifying its USB device address/ID to get that compatibility.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:16PM (#29800243)

    In reality, they arent forcing you to accept these changes. Your Xbox will function as intended offline and unplugged from the internet. Xbox Live is billed as a continuously changing and updating environment, and the cost to continue will be the firmware update.

    Just like when you update your home computer, the experience changes. Some updates can be undone, some cannot. If the benefit of the update outweighs the negative, you will most likely do the update.

    This is why PC gamers tout that the platform is better, since there isnt this sort of "lock in".

    To more pointedly answer your question, the change is happening to the Xbox, but it is not required to run the Xbox. Newly purchased games (at this point) will not require that firmware change. Xbox Live, which continually changes, will require this update for continued performance. You bought the Xbox, Xbox Live is just a service provided. You didnt buy Xbox Live.

  • Re:Audacious. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Pollardito (781263) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:27PM (#29800413)
    Making "good money" on an item is entirely relative. I'm sure they'd be perfectly happy to make more than they are by taking a bigger piece from this end too. It's just a question of when does gouging on storage costs cut too much into people's motivation for buying more storage, and apparently they've decided that this won't put them over that line. If anything the fact that they feel this won't hurt their download sales enough to be counterproductive must mean that they feel that people are really motivated to download.
  • by nschubach (922175) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:28PM (#29800415) Journal

    You're right about the OS for gaming (but the less honest guys can probably find a pirated XP Corporate Edition).

    That still doesn't solve the problem. You actually have to buy games on alternative OSes so that game developers target them more often. If you just pirate Windows, you are still enforcing the "Windows for Gaming Platform" because developers will continue to make games for Windows. Other people around the world will see this and continue to buy Windows, thus keeping the circle alive.

  • by Dan667 (564390) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:30PM (#29800439)
    With the huge failure rate (I read one time it was close to %54 red ring of death for the xbox), and the constant vendor lock-in feature removal I am glad I have stayed with the PC. I know quite a few others that have given up on consoles and gone back to the PC (although some of them were because the gaming on a PC was better)
  • by Ceiynt (993620) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:35PM (#29800499)
    So, you use Xbox live, get the update, it cripples your ability to use the device offline, with no why to undo the change after the fact. Sounds like an issue to me.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:38PM (#29800533)

    Don't like it, then DONT BUY THE PRODUCTS. You fucking statist whiners need to just stfu already.

  • by jaavaaguru (261551) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:41PM (#29800573) Homepage

    If you think it's bad on consoles, you should consider how bad it is on PCs... most of the games require you to have Microsoft Windows installed. At least on consoles, you have the choice of Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo's offerings.

  • Re:Absolutely not. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by John Whitley (6067) on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:44PM (#29800623) Homepage

    Next thing you know, you'd have to hold your competitor's hand, work together on some product, watch your own share evaporate....

    I call B.S. We're talking about commodity storage hardware; there's no excuse. MS is going out of their way to shut off access to otherwise compatible and standards compliant storage options. Moreover, there's a long history of third party storage for various platforms, e.g. the various "multi-memory" cartridges for the PS1, etc. In this case, these are bog-standard memory cards and drives, not even the proprietary exotica that third-party PS1 memory makers had to contend with.

    As to the comments that "it's a locked down console platform", the digital camera market (esp. pro- and semi-pro dSLRs) is probably more mission-critical in terms of stability expectations than the console market. Yet the major digicam makers haven't done anything so daft as to lock themselves down to a few SKUs of memory cards.

  • Re:Audacious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 19, 2009 @05:48PM (#29800683)

    What they should be doing is selling storage for the inflated prices but including download credits for a good chunk of the purchase price of the storage. Charging $99.99 for the 60G product would seem more reasonable if it came with a ~$75 code that could be used to purchase downloads since it would lower the apparent cost of the physical object to $24.99 while not lowering MS's profit on the product by all that much.

    It would have the added benefit of getting people in the habit of purchasing downloads.

  • by EEPROMS (889169) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:20PM (#29801041)
    Ah yes that old excuse, use the API and feel the Apple love of iTunes, sorry you forgot to mention the alternate Apple API for iTunes is intentionally crippled to make any competing media device difficult to deal with from a users perspective.
  • by citizenr (871508) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:22PM (#29801067) Homepage
    Because its starting to affect PC gamers. Just look up what Infinity Ward did with Modern Warfare 2 - they "Xbox Live"'d it to hell and locked out ALL the things PC was good for (mods, stand alone servers).
  • Re:Unauthorized? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aphoxema (1088507) * on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:27PM (#29801113) Homepage Journal

    Just because a company can make a product that works with another companies device, the device manufacturer is under no obligation to support it.

    Not supporting it is fine and dandy, but using artificial means to restrict perfectly legal devices that have always worked before to make more money is abusive and consumers should be nothing less than insulted.

  • by BlueParrot (965239) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:40PM (#29801239)

    So you go for the game with no LAN play that you have to connect to proprietary Blizzard Servers? At least consoles give you little to no expectation of openness.

    While I think Blizzard's decisions are deplorable there's a world of difference for several reasons. In particular:

    a)Blizzard's actions mainly affect their own products. Them limiting their games in this way does not in any way prevent competition from other video game vendors. It won't interfere with you running a game made by Westwood, an open source game, or a game you wrote yourself on the same machine.

    b)In Blizzard's case they actually have some valid reasons to do it. While many of us ( myself included ) dislike the way blizzard go about this, trying to make it difficult for people to play their game without paying for it is not quite in the same league as limiting the functionality of hardware in order to make you buy more stuff. In one case they are limiting the functionality of a product to enforce their terms for you using THAT product. In the other case Microsoft is limiting the functionality in order to stop you using OTHER products. The two are not the same.

    To make a mandatory car analogy. What Blizzard is doing is akin to programing a car you rent from them to only run after checking that the monthly payment has been made. What Microsoft is doing is more akin to putting gates on the road that only open for vehicles Microsoft approve of.

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Monday October 19, 2009 @06:45PM (#29801319)

    And what of the remainder of the XBOX Live Gold subscription? As this gets sprung upon unanticipating subscribers, can they then opt out of their Live contract and thus regain access to their unauthorized storage, or is upgrading giving Microsoft a permanent foothold in your hardware free to exert any terms they want, including bricking the hardware if you don't take it on-line for remote auditing often enough?

  • Re:Audacious. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DdJ (10790) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:08PM (#29801589) Homepage Journal

    I find Microsoft's willingness to squeeze for storage interesting in two respects: One, it suggests a very high level of optimism about their position in the market. Two, it suggests that they don't much care about, or aren't making much money from, downloadable offerings for the Xbox(or that they view those offerings as being extremely compelling and likely to drive consumer behavior).

    See, I think the exact opposite.

    I think they see downloadable offerings as almost their entire future, and I think this activity is not centered around squeezing people for storage, but about maintaining control over storage options, to make sure every storage option has DRM support deep in their bones.

    Microsoft does want everyone to have humungous hard drives. They just want to make sure that those hard drives are theirs, so they can build DRM into the storage at multiple levels, to prevent piracy of the downloaded content. Otherwise the level of piracy might approach that on the PC, and, well, better to go out of business than to tolerate that.

  • by Totenglocke (1291680) on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:19PM (#29801703)

    Really? How about you provide a list of quality games to buy "on alternative OS's". I'm betting it'll be a real short list. The fact is that the market share for anything other than Windows isn't big enough for most companies to give a crap about. Could they make it run on every OS? Sure, but the PHB doesn't want to take the extra time to do that for a increase in potential customers of a whopping 5-10%. Windows WILL be the OS for gaming until Linux and OS X gain enough market share for major companies to find it worth their time - also, unless companies band together and pay MS to release DirectX for other OS's, you won't find most game companies willing to program for Linux or OS X. Yes, there are a few companies that make games for Mac (Blizzard), but they typically don't come out until a significantly long time after the original release. Besides the small market share, I believe Apple helps limit the number of games available due to their advertising - have you ever seen (in recent times at least) an Apple ad where they promote gaming? Not that I've ever seen. They promote pictures and videos and Garage Band.....but no gaming........so what motivation is there for a casual gamer to buy a Mac?

    This pretty much sums up gaming on a Mac - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxPXFptzQRY [youtube.com]

  • Re:PS3.. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Monday October 19, 2009 @07:33PM (#29801843) Journal

    Xbox 360 allows you to use any standard handsfree headset and any standard USB drive for storing media. They only restrict the game accessible media.

    I try to avoid these discussions, but I can't resist:

    You mean with an Xbox 360 you can rip a CD to the hard drive using the built-in optical reader, dump the resultant MP3s into a bog-standard USB flash device, and then plug that into your car stereo and play the music?

    No? Bummer. The PS3 does that just fine.

    Or, perhaps you mean that with an Xbox, you can back up your save games to any old USB drive.

    No? Such a shame. The PS3 does that just fine, too.

    Not to be snide, but I always got a kick out of my brother-in-law removing the hard drive from his 360 so he could take his save games to a friend's house. And then I started to feel pretty sad for him as I watched him try, at length, to offload a couple of MP3s, only to end with failure.

    So, in my experience, the Xbox 360 is like a black hole when it comes to data -- once it's in there, there's no escape.

    That sure is "open".

  • Re:Audacious. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Grieviant (1598761) * on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:24AM (#29804093)

    Yup. Not only that, but they've been making bank on shoddy wired controllers for a couple years now. It's fairly well known (by people who would actually notice) that the official Microsoft wired controller has an alarmingly high defect rate, the main problem being "slow turn" with the analog sticks. Basically, even if the stick is pushed all the way over in a certain direction, the reticle transitions very slowly on screen, thus rendering the controller severely impaired for FPS play. I'm talking out-of-the-box failures in many cases, not just typical wear and tear over time. The problem has been noticed most widely in Halo 3 (possibly exacerbated by the "aim acceleration" Bungie uses in its aiming system), but it's also been documented for other shooters.

    The problem has been known about for years, but, unlike with the 360 mainboard revisions, MS has done nothing to address it. They continue to sell the identical piece of defective hardware, and I've heard of people spending several hundred dollars on controllers alone because wired is the only option for LAN play at most tournaments. Companies like MyCustomXbox have parlayed this into a business opportunity for themselves by selling "no-slow" wired controllers with an apparent hardware fix.

    Their strategy for making up the loses due to selling the console below cost + the RRoD fiasco is becoming apparent - sell crappy, mandatory peripherals at inflated prices.

  • Re:Audacious. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DavidTC (10147) <{slas45dxsvadiv. ... } {neverbox.com}> on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:36AM (#29804145) Homepage

    If they want everyone to have humungous hard drives, why the hell aren't they providing them at some sort of reasonable cost? (Or at all!)

    It's shit like this that makes me unlikely to ever own a console. Yeah, I have to deal with all sorts of stupid hardware things in Windows.

    Like why the hell is Fallout 3's radio music stuttering? No, I've already googled it and found the reason, I just can't seem to fix the stupid problem...apparently, Vista's mp3 decoder is crap or something, and I'm sure there's a really good reason that Bethesda decided to use whatever decoder the OS provided instead of using ogg or something. My best explanation: They are stupid.

    But, despite that sort of crap, guess what? I can install a new hard drive whenever I want. At normal price. I can run XBMC without any sort of modchip. I can use whatever controllers I want, and they sell USB controllers that mimic all consoles so if I actually wanted one of those, I could get one. (And, in fact, I have a pseudo-PS2 one.)

    I can run trainers need be, I can easily install user-created mods in games that support them (The reason I realized Fallout was behaving badly with the music is that I installed a mod that added 100 thematically correct songs to the GNR playlist.), I can install no-cd cracks and not worry about possibly damaging CDs. I can upgrade the damn game, which admittedly is needed more on PC than console, but better it exists and is used more often than it not exist and be needed just once!

    Give me an open-but-possibly-sometimes-incompatible platform over a closed-software, closed-hardware one any day.

    And, as a plus, it also means I have a damn computer, which I need anyway.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @01:20AM (#29804357)

    Exactly. Consoles have always been a locked down device versus the openness of PC. I dont know why people are surprised when this kind of stuff happens.

    They are surprised because they had a certain functionality/compatibility (possibly a reason for getting the console in the first place (easy upgrades)) taken away from them. This would be akin to a dealership selling you the turbo charge edition of a car and then hiring a mechanic to come to your house and take away the turbo thing. Sorry I fail at car analogies.

  • by keraneuology (760918) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @07:52AM (#29806031) Journal
    No more than Lexmark had a monopoly on laser printers: the question is whether or not you are allowed to force a specific brand of products/consumables. The courts are very clear - it was illegal for AT&T to force their customers to use only AT&T phones. It would be illegal for Ford to require you to use only Shell gasoline under penalty of warranty cancellation. It would be illegal for Petsmart to sell you a kitten only on the condition that you never buy food from any other source or for Dell to sell you a computer and specify that you may only use Sony brand CD/DVD blanks. Microsoft does not have a monopoly among game players, but they are about to have a monopoly within XBox users.
  • by virtual_mps (62997) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:22AM (#29806183)

    Making warranties dependent on manufacturer add-ons is a completely different point of law (Magnusson-Moss Act), and I don't see that it is at issue here. The case for a Sherman Act violation is not clear cut given the lack of an actual monopoly, and the fact that it's not a simple case of banning functionally equivalent parts for no reason other than to boost profits. (The possibility of third-part licensed parts exists, and they're clearly targeting devices which can also be put into computers to modify the stored data--which arguably benefits the community overall.) This isn't to say that they'd necessarily win, but it is not as simple as you're making it out to be.

  • by DrNASA (849379) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @12:05PM (#29809495)
    Wrong - this may kill them in the homebrew or modding market, but MS was fairly efficient in limiting those activities to begin with on the 360.

    The only important differentiators for single system buyers is the games available. Do they have the game(s) I want to play (and online with friends)

    Storage is not a big deal and most new buyers wont even notice because the products will shortly fall of the shelf - which raises a more interesting question - will this actually end up happening or will Wal-Mart and the like leverage their ample weight against MS and cry foul because of now unsellable inventory?

Aren't you glad you're not getting all the government you pay for now?

Working...