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Xbox 360 Game Piracy Spreading In China 91

simoniker writes "Xbox 360 game piracy appears to be spreading notably in China, with at least one Shanghai-based vendor offering Xbox 360 titles such as Hitman: Blood Money for around 30 Chinese yuan ($3.50). This comes after hackers managed to flash changes to the BIOS on the Xbox 360's Optical Disc Drive earlier this year, which allowed non-authenticated (copied) games to be played. Microsoft's John Porcaro commented at the time: 'The core security system has not been broken. However, on some Xbox 360 consoles the authentication protocol between the optical disc drive and the console may be attacked.'"
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Xbox 360 Game Piracy Spreading In China

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  • by jandrese ( 485 ) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:19PM (#15793001) Homepage Journal
    This means the 360 might start picking up popularity in Asia, especially in China and Taiwan.
  • by Rob T Firefly ( 844560 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:20PM (#15793014) Homepage Journal
    Hitman: Blood Money for around 30 Chinese yuan ($3.50).
    That's about what I'd pay for that game.
  • really? It definitely beats $49.99-$79.99 CDN
    *hops flight to china*
  • Sun rises and sets! (translation: duh.....)
  • Hmm. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Future Man 3000 ( 706329 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:33PM (#15793129) Homepage

    "The core security system has not been broken. However, on some Xbox 360 consoles the authentication protocol between the optical disc drive and the console may be attacked."

    Cheers for the core security system! Jeers for the authentication protocol!

  • And to think that Microsoft decided not to launch the Xbox 360 in Brazil because of the high piracy rates! What they probably don't know is that most of the pirate products selling there comes from China ! Not to mention a lot of hacking techniques that comes from china on how to hack their systems found freely available on the internet.


    Bucanneers 1 x Microsoft 0
  • by blueZhift ( 652272 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @02:43PM (#15793234) Homepage Journal
    Hmmm, one poster jokes that cracked 360 games might actually help Xbox 360 marketshare in China and Taiwan. It's a just a joke now, but what if this actually turned out to be the case? And then what if it spread to Korea and Japan? Much has been written about the effect of piracy on console and software sales, some of it implying that piracy helps more than hurts. So with the next generation of console wars promising to be closer than ever, will any of the desperate combatants be tempted to leave the lights on and the backdoor cracked open a bit? No one would publicly admit to this, but it does make one wonder... Right now Sony seems to be doing backflips to keep homebrew and pirated games off of the PSP. But in a tight war with Microsoft and Nintendo, will they be tempted to lighten up a bit on the PS3?
    • The market model for the xbox360 is to loose money selling the console, make it back selling games. MS gets a cut from each game.

      Well so far with MS loses in the billions over gameing they have a lot of games to sell.

      It might make the 360 more popular, however people buying the system because you can buy pirated games probably will then buy pirated games. Its unlikely they'll switch to the more expensive legit games.
      • I'm not sure why this idea has so much traction, but I've read many articles that state the contrary. It's true that when a console launches, it usually loses money for the first few months, because the startup costs for the fabrication are high. However, as I've read, usually within 6 months or so when production is in full swing, they start making a small profit on the hardware. The longer the hardware is manufactured, the less expensive it is to produce, both because the initial startup costs are paid of
        • I believe that applies to Nintendo and Sony products. I'm not sure it applied to the original X-Box or to the new 360 yet. Microsoft's X-Box division has only had 1 or 2 profitable quarters since the launch of the division. Sure a lot of their expense is marketing and R&D, but I think you'll also find the profit margins on their console are much lower (if there at all) compared to competing game systems.
          • I believe that applies to Nintendo and Sony products. I'm not sure it applied to the original X-Box or to the new 360 yet.

            And hence the reason why they continue to lose literally billions of dollars on the Xbox and Xbox 360.

            Sony and Nintendo understand how the game industry works. MS doesn't. They haven't learned this very basic fact; that it's not just about selling razor blades, it's about selling razor blades and razors. To be profitable in this business, you have to be profitable at both ends.

            It was
          • AFAIK the Xbox still is losing money per sale, but I think it's more like $10 now than the $50+ earlier on. Part of the problem is that the graphics chips were pretty much made all at once and aren't being made any more AFAIK.
        • Just FYI, the loss of the Xbox Division isn't a management problem because it's expected and has been planned for. Go back to when Microsoft was first planning the console, and they talked about how they weren't expecting to make a profit the entire first generation and possibly not the second.
        • The idea has so much traction because it's true [businessweek.com]. From the link:

          An up-close look at the components and other materials used in the high-end version of the Xbox 360, which contains a hard drive, found that the materials inside the unit cost Microsoft $470 before assembly. The console sells at retail for $399, meaning a loss of $71 per unit -- and that is just the start.

          Other items packaged with the console -- including the power supply, cables, and controllers -- add another $55 to Microsoft's cost, pushing

          • There's something wrong tough about the amount of money lost by Microsoft over this whole endeavor. I mean, they were about 4 billion in the hole before the 360 shipped (let's say 3.5, I think they just hit 4). And they sold about 30 million Xboxes. So that's 3.5 billion / 30 million, that's 116.67$ per console lost.

            The thing I don't get is : with all the games and peripherals they sold, there was still a 116.67$ lost per console. What the hell? I know R&D and marketting costs money, but still. There's
            • It's pretty simple. They lose money on selling individual game console boxes (the system, a controller, wires, whatever is packed with it) so that the entry cost doesn't seem that high to the consumer. However, they make a huge amount of money off of seperately packaged controllers, memory cards (example: Sony's PS2 memory card still costs ~$25 for 8MB even though 8MB of flash memory costs next to nothing these days), extra AV wires (huge markup, it cost only a few dollars to make a $25 AV cable), and of co
              • I totally agree with you and that's the problem. If they are making a lot of money on games and hardware, how come the average loss per console is STILL over a hundred dollars? That was what I was trying to say in my post. Are they selling the console at such a big loss, like 300$?
                • I think there's a misinterpretation of the facts. The article I was citing said that the lost per console system sold (not an "average" lost) was $126. This means for every console sold MS is giving you those assembled parts at a cost that is $126 cheaper than what it cost them. I've never seen any figures stating MS's "average lost per console" that includes sales from games, peripherals, etc. How would you calculate something like that? I suppose if the XBox division post a lost of X dollars you could div
                  • That's why I can using numbers from the pre-360 launch. I know the loss has been inflated somewhat from the R&D done on the 360 during the original Xbox life span, but 3.5billion losses / 30 million consoles sold means that these 30 million people or so who bought the original Xbox bought games and peripherals and Microsoft managed to STILL lose about 116$ per console.
                    • Um, ok? Let's say your numbers were true, since we have no idea were they came from. 3.5 Billion shouldn't be that much of a hit for 30 million consoles. If the average XBox360 gamer just buys 2 games and a controller(at the cheap price of $50 each and controller for $25) Microsoft has already made their money back. Of course, I'm leaving a few details out but since we're talking arm chair economics here, but who's counting? There's no mystery here. Video gaming is worth billions of dollars a year. It's wor
      • You forget however now Microsoft gets to go to the game developers and say "look, we have 2X more consoles than ever before".

        And in case you don't think Microsoft believes in piracy, look at that 1999 or so trip that Gates took to China. It was widely reported in the chinese/hongkong papers that he said something along the lines of "if you have to pirate software, pirate microsoft software".
      • Exactly- 30RMB looks much more attractive than the 400+RMB ($50+) that legit games cost. Heck, when I bought my Nintendo DS lite, the salesman said to just buy a flash cartridge for half the price of a game and download ROMs off the internet (yay for living in China)! Of course, there are multitudes of places to download ROMs here in China, but those are in Chinese which may lead some people to believe that it is near-impossible to get ROMs for DS games (I certainly can't find any sites in English that offe
    • You forget... Nearly ALL money that Microsoft makes is off of the software. So if pirated games drive up console sales, Microsoft only loses more money if these purchasers don't buying anything legitimate. The only offset is peripherals, but those sales are marginal compared to the money made off of title sales.
    • But, M$ is making a loss on the sale of its console expecting to make up for the loss in the huge gain in the sale of the software.
      So they manufacture and lose more money on the consoles without selling any more software, it's a lose lose situation for them.
      Marketshare doesnt help if they don't get any more money from it.
    • I think that's true for 3rd world countries... heck in the Philippines, no one would buy a console if there were _NO_ pirated DVDs. Okay some might buy legit games but 90% of gamers buy pirated copies. No one in their right mind would spend $45 for a DVD game. $45 dollar in the Philippines is BIG money. If there were no accessible pirated games in the Philippines, no one would buy those consoles maybe except for the truly rich kids which is less than 1% of the population. So yeah, for 3rd world countries, i
    • ---snip---
      Hmmm, one poster jokes that cracked 360 games might actually help Xbox 360 marketshare in China and Taiwan. It's a just a joke now, but what if this actually turned out to be the case?
      ---/snip---

      What made the Windows PC so popular? Guess?

  • Do What Sony Did (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by TheZorch ( 925979 )
    Its isn't likely this would ever happen. In fact its far more likely Satan would be handing out parkas in Hell before this were to happen.

    Microsoft should do what Sony did. Sony is making ALL games region free, meaning that import games will work in the PS3 without needing a Modchip or hacked BIOS. This does two things, it keeps people from mucking with the PS3's internal hardware and its pretty much kills any possible demand for pirated PS3 games, or at least minimizes it.
    • by powerlord ( 28156 )
      This does two things, it keeps people from mucking with the PS3's internal hardware and its pretty much kills any possible demand for pirated PS3 games, or at least minimizes it.


      It does one other thing: It removes a legal reason for Chip Modders to make chips. This may let them go after chip modders more aggresively, since they can claim that the only reason for a mod chip is to play pirated content.
      • It removes a legal reason for Chip Modders to make chips. This may let them go after chip modders more aggresively, since they can claim that the only reason for a mod chip is to play pirated content.


        What about to develop and use homebrew?

      • I thought that's what the DMCA was introduced for?
    • Sony is making ALL games region free, meaning that import games will work in the PS3 without needing a Modchip or hacked BIOS.

      They could have thought of that earlier. The PS2 swapping solution is infinitely more annoying than the one on the Gamecube and region free beats everything.

      it keeps people from mucking with the PS3's internal hardware and its pretty much kills any possible demand for pirated PS3 games, or at least minimizes it.

      Nonsense. We're talking about territories where the cost of one game is
  • Look around and realize, a lot of people buy consoles based on whether or not they can pirate the games for it. Look for the successful consoles and then check whether or not it was "easy" to pirate for it. Then check sales numbers and the advent of cracking tools, modchips and patched firmware, you just MIGHT see a pattern...

    • Look around and realize, a lot of people buy consoles based on whether or not they can pirate the games for it. Look for the successful consoles and then check whether or not it was "easy" to pirate for it. Then check sales numbers and the advent of cracking tools, modchips and patched firmware, you just MIGHT see a pattern...

      You have a chicken or egg dilemma.

      How much time and effort goes into cracking a console the first time? How much time refining it into a consumer-level solution? Isn't it equall

    • I have better, more accurate, proposition. Games that very popular, or good, tend to be pirated more. Consoles that have a lot of good games tend to be very popular. Piracy and popularity might be slightly corelated but one doesn't neccesarily causes the other. This is coming from someone who has purchased an XBox for the sole purpose of modchipping it for emulators and XBox Media Center and also owns a PS2 with an installed hard drive that game images run off of. The XBox [google.com] is much easier to pirate games fo
      • Hmm... might be a worthy undertaking to pull out my old statistician hat and harvest data about sales over time, both consoles and games, and the advent of modchips or other cracking devices/instructions.

        I have one lying around that pretty clearly tells there's a correlation between sales numbers for consoles and cracking ability. I'm curious, though, whether the sales of games is affected and if, in what direction. I wouldn't be surprised if mod chips actually meant that games sold better (because people b
  • Microsoft's John Porcaro commented at the time: 'The core security system has not been broken. However, on some Xbox 360 consoles the authentication protocol between the optical disc drive and the console may be attacked.'"

    Since breaking the 'authentication protocol' seems to have enabled piracy, MS's 'core security system' only prevents homebrew apps now. I would have thought that 'core security system' == 'stop pirates', since that's where all the money is. Go figure...

  • by matt328 ( 916281 ) on Thursday July 27, 2006 @03:54PM (#15793968)
    The core security system has not been broken.

    This core security system doesn't seem to do much if one can play pirated games without breaking it.
    • I think that "core system security" for MS here has a lot more to do with Live than whether someone can play a pirated game offline. The whole point of Live is so people can play without having to worry about people cheating (auto-aim bots, show-me-invisible-parts-of-the-map cheats, things like that). If people could play "modified" titles online, I think MS would consider that a core system security failure.

      I wonder if anyone has ever successfully executed un-certified code that didn't ship on a game disc
  • The one problem for those who crack their 360's is that as soon as microsoft want to screw you over hard enough they will release and update for the firmware via Xbox Live in order to try and check if you have messed around with it. Microsoft know this and it is one of the reasons why they push Xbox live and their developers to get everyone connected to it, not only can they upsell you on new games and increase the life of the games released, but they can try and combat pirates while they are at it.
    • They will surely put an end to this. Their idea WAS to have pirate disks doable at the release time of PS3. Later they will change the hardware and block the hole, once they are convinced that it did it's role against PS3.
    • They have new modchips out that allow you to dual boot firmware. One for backups, one for online. No update will fix that.
      -So the saga continues...
  • Computer games are only 8-10 yuan. See, Microsoft rips you off even when it comes to piracy.

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