Xbox 360 owners can once again load their copy of Halo: Reach the second they turn the console on. As long as their copy is on the level, that is.
Microsoft may have used a recent mandatory update to correct a fairly minor bug with the Xbox 360 dashboard to confound and frustrate software pirates. Reports suggest that following the update, burned copies of certain games will no longer work on the console.
The stated reason for the update was to restore the "Boot to Disc" feature, which allowed users to load the inserted game disc immediately after switching the console on. The feature was accidentally disabled in the November dashboard update, and while the option still showed in the menu, it wouldn't actually work. But following the update, some users found that their burned copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops, and Halo: Reach had stopped working, whereas the official discs worked just fine.
The effect of the update is a little too specific to be a happy coincidence for Microsoft. It's not that hard to imagine that it might use the opportunity to use tighten up security a little, and it certainly wouldn't be the first time that a platform holder has done so.