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12.07.09

Xbox 360 Still in the Gutter as Innocent Customers Get Banned, BBC Deal Falls Through

Posted in Europe, Hardware, Microsoft at 5:37 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Scratched Xbox disc
Disc that has been scratched by the Xbox 360
console (source: Wikipedia, GFDL-licensed)

Summary: Many buyers of Xbox 360 find themselves banned from Live despite the fact they did nothing wrong; Xbox Live suffers another new setback

PREVIOUS posts about Microsoft’s banning of its own customers [1, 2, 3, 4] were just the tip of the iceberg as far as Xbox failures are concerned. We showed that sales of Xbox 360 dropped around the very same time and based on this new report from Ars Technica, not much has changed.

Wii, PS3 crow over Thanksgiving success, Microsoft silent

Thanksgiving week is a boon for retailers, both on- and offline, and the big three are starting to share their sales data on their respective consoles. Nintendo is strong, the PS3 did very well, and the Xbox 360… isn’t giving us anything to talk about.

Even in the United States, Xbox 360 fell to a bottom position as Japanese consoles grew in popularity and gained appeal. This is relevant to us because Xbox is a big hole in Microsoft’s budget, having already amassed about $6 billion in losses. Microsoft’s CFO has just decided to quit.

Microsoft’s en masse Xbox bans recently led to lawsuits and a class action is likely on its way, too. Based on this second report from Ars Technica, a lot of innocent people got banned.

Microsoft: difference between cheat, exploit? None. Banned!

Microsoft has begun issuing temporary bans to players taking advantage of an exploit in Modern Warfare 2, while Infinity Ward works on a patch to fix the issue. While the servers may be kept slightly cleaner for the efforts, the amount of control Microsoft holds over owners of their consoles, and the arbitrary way they are able to wield it, is troubling.

TechDirt asks, “does it make sense to ban players from Xbox Live just for using a glitch?”

In DailyTech it says:

Banfest: Microsoft Now Banning Players Over COD:MW2 Glitch

[...]

Console maker Microsoft claims bans are necessary to keep the gameplay fair, but should it ban gamers for the mistake of programmers?

On top of all this, there is trouble at the BBC [1, 2, 3], which won’t add iPlayer to Xbox Live.

Unfortunately, it appears the BBC wasn’t in the position to make its iPlayer a premium level service, and now the two giants have reached a disagreement. The result is that the official iPlayer launch on Xbox LIVE has been delayed until further notice.

It is rather surprising that there is a disagreement because the BBC and Microsoft UK share some of the same staff. It is actually similar to the NHS, which is influenced heavily by the Microsoft ecosystem [1, 2, 3, 4]. The BBC indicates that the trouble caused to the NHS (in part by Microsoft software) may finally come to an end.

The government is to scale back its £12bn NHS IT system in what the Tories are calling a “massive U-turn”.

Chancellor Alistair Darling said he would be delaying parts of the scheme in Wednesday’s pre-Budget Report as it was “not essential to the frontline”.

When will they learn to just never get involved with companies like Microsoft? The London Stock Exchange learned it the hard way [1, 2, 3].

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