You may have heard of Microsoft’s new Xbox 360 disc format and an upcoming firmware update to add support for it, but you may be one of those Xbox 360 owners whose system doesn't support it. The new XGD3 disc standard adds an additional 1GB of useable data to 360 DVDs, but a small number of Xbox 360 systems are having trouble supporting it.
According to Kotaku one beta tester owned such a system, and Microsoft rectified the situation by giving him a new system and a year's worth of Xbox Live Gold. Microsoft has not commented on the story, so this generosity could just be an isolated incident.
"Checking my e-mail earlier today I found a rather interesting message from Xbox Customer Support, saying that a software update is stopping some Xbox 360s from reading game discs," said beta tester Avery Penn.
"Saying they were able to detect this issue over Xbox Live, Microsoft went on to say that, after jumping through all the necessary hoops, they'd send me a brand new Xbox 360 S and a year's free Xbox Live. At this point, my jaw hit the floor."
Avery claims that his Xbox 360 (an Xbox 360 60GB Pro from 2009) was still playing discs at the time the email was sent.
Besides adding support for the new format, the firmware update adds a whole new layer of anti-piracy protection - much to the chagrin of pirates everywhere. It makes it a lot more difficult to use pirated software burned to a DVD, according to several sources. Other reports indicate that Microsoft is asking developers to help them in the fight against piracy, and is working on a number of new API's that make it harder to run stolen software on the platform.
It seems like Microsoft might be willing to spend the extra money it takes to help users get by any disc format compatibilities, because it isn't really about the disc format at all; it is about dealing with piracy.