Tinker around with your Xbox 360, and you may get the shaft from Microsoft.

Microsoft isn’t messing around, and it doesn’t want you to be either – at least when it comes to its popular gaming console. The company is dropping the hammer on players who illegally mod their Xbox 360s to play pirated games, by banning them from accessing its Xbox Live online gaming and entertainment service. Xbox Live’s director of programming Larry Hyrb (aka Major Nelson) recently confirmed reports of console banning and offered a few comments to boot.

“In our continued effort to keep gameplay safe and secure for our community of more than 14 million members, Microsoft has taken action against a small percentage of Xbox 360 consoles that have been illegally modified in order to play pirated games,” he said in a post this week on his website.

Hear that folks? There are eyes everywhere, including inside your favorite gaming console.

Hyrb goes on to explain modding the console is a breach of the Xbox Live terms of use agreement. Doing so will void the system’s warranty and result in a ban from the online service, he said. Being able to get your Xbox 360 serviced if it breaks and being able to access the full features afforded by the Xbox Live service are two rather crucial elements needed to fully enjoy gaming on the console.

“The health of the video game business depends on customers paying for the genuine products and services they receive, both from manufacturers and the local companies that support them,” adds Hyrb. “We will continue to employ and bolster anti-piracy security measures to counter piracy in the gaming industry and improve security in the Xbox Live community.”

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