Mere weeks after Microsoft announced a new crackdown on modified Xbox 360 consoles using its Xbox Live service, a new version of the system's DVD firmware has been released which bypasses the ban checks.
Few details are known regarding the hacked firmware, referred to in an included info file as "iXtreme firmware 1.0 for TS-H943 Xbox 360." According to this file, the firmware boots all Xbox and Xbox 360 originals, as well as all Stealth Xtreme Xbox backups. Most relevant to Xbox Live users, however, is the statement, "Defeats all current and some future Xbox Live detection attempts." The basis for the "some future" detection attempts is unknown.
Microsoft began its most recent crackdown against modified Xbox 360 systems on the Live service with its Spring Update, which worked by determining the legitimacy of DVD discs in the Xbox drive. The push to eliminate modified consoles from the Live service was spurred by the release of the Halo 3 beta, which was made available to gamers who purchased the Xbox game Crackdown. Pirated versions of Crackdown also included unauthorized access to the Halo 3 beta, making it much more widely available than Microsoft intended.
Referring to the Spring Update release in a statement on the Gamerscore blog, a Microsoft representative said, "We have stated in the past that customers can only enjoy access to the Xbox Live community through the use of a genuine, unmodified Xbox console, and we will continue to enforce this rule to ensure the integrity of our service, the protection of our partners and the benefits of our users."
Microsoft has not yet issued a comment regarding this new development.