NEWS - Sunday, May 5, 2002

Xbox Piracy Begins

Hong Kong Game retailers, Lik Sang, have released word that those crazy pirate groups have indeed began releasing Xbox ISO files. 42 XBox ISO's to be exact. The group called "Project X" began releasing the titles onto the internet on May 4th. According to the .nfo files, the games work on developer Xboxes only, but not on standard Xbox consoles. Here's a cut and paste from an .nfo file.
"We tested this game on a developer XBOX, and it works. Since there is no mod chip yet, we have no idea if this release will work on retail XBOXes when/if a mod comes out. However, now that there is a release, a modchip developer will be inclined to get our releases to work, so we think a future mod will work with this release." If a game is small enough to be burned to a CD, you can burn it to either a CD or DVD, at your option, using the same ISO file. The Xbox does not use media checks like the PS2. When burning to a CD, if your CD burning program has an option, choose "MODE1/2048", exactly as if you were burning a PC CD-ROM. We recommend PrimoDVD for burning Xbox for both CD and DVD, but all CD writing software besides Clone CD should work fine. From our experience, the retail Xbox can only read DVD-RWs and CD-RWs, so if you want to be sure that these will work with a future mod, we recommend burning them to Rewritable discs. We have heard reports of the retail Xbox reading some types of DVD-R discs, but we have been unable to verify this.
Sites such as have added Xbox releases to their categories. As stated in the .nfo files, the Project X group hopes that the release of the files will prompt mod-chip makers such as NEO, makers of the first mod-chip for the PS2, to investigate into further cracking the Xbox. PS2 owners who use the NEO mod-chip not only use the addon as a way to play pirated games, but the chip adds functionality to the PS2 in the form of DIVX and VCD play back that support the pirating of movies as well as removing the region protection on DVD titles. The big question however would be how this would affect the sales of the Xbox and the sales of Xbox titles. With the releases ranging in transfer sizes of 52 disks (files) at 50mb a pop, not too many people have that type of bandwidth to waste on a title and with the current cost of DVD burners and the cost of the DVDR-W media it's almost more cost effective to go rent the titles you want to play or buy the ones you wish to keep. Also consider the fact that Xbox Developer boxes are only available to developers, and debug units are even harder to obtain (or so it seems in our case!), I personally don't see the pirating of Xbox titles becoming mainstream. Ask me that question a year from now when the costs of media and hardware are lower and the broadband pipe opens up across the world, and I may have a different opinion. Here's a list of the titles currently available on the net.
All Star Baseball 2003 | Air Force Delta Storm | NHL Hitz 20-02 | RalliSport Challenge | Kabuki Warriors | Crash Bandicoot The Wrath of Cortex | Gauntlet Dark Legacy | Test Drive Offroad Wide Open | Simpsons Road Rage | MX 2002 Featuring Ricky Carmichael | Nightcaster | Project Gotham Racing | Mad Dash Racing | Bloodwake | Blood Omen 2 | Max Payne | Batman Vengeance | NBA Inside Drive 2002 | Burnout | Spider Man | Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2x | NHL 2002 | Dead or Alive 3 | Jet Set Radio Future | NBA Live 2002 | Silent Hill 2 Restless Dreams | Azurik Rise of Perathia | UFC Tap Out | Gun Valkyrie | Tony Hawk Pro Skater 3 | NASCAR Thunder 2002 | Fuzion Frenzy | Oddworld Munchs Oddysee | WWF Raw | SSX Tricky | Cel Damage | Halo | Amped Freestyle Snowboarding | Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 | Arctic Thunder | Shrek | 4x4 Evo 2
What do you think? Do you think that Piracy of Xbox titles will hurt the sales of the Xbox? Comment on this article below.

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