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View Full Version : Microsoft 1 Mod-Chip distributors 0


Flay
10-03-02, 10:40 AM
http://news.com.com/2100-1040-960594.html

Microsoft zaps Xbox-hacking chipmaker

By David Becker
Staff Writer, CNET News.com
October 3, 2002, 5:05 AM PT

Microsoft appears to have shut down one of the world's largest distributors of "mod chips"--gray-market add-ons that allow Microsoft's Xbox and other video game consoles to play pirated games.
A representative in Microsoft's Australian subsidiary confirmed that the company has taken legal action against Hong Kong-based Lik Sang.

Lik Sang's Web site has been offline for nearly two weeks, with a notice on the site blaming a server outage.

Lik Sang representatives could not be reached for comment, and Microsoft attorneys were unavailable to explain the exact nature of the legal action.

Lik Sang was one of the top worldwide retailers of mod chips, devices that, once soldered to a game console's main circuit board, disable security components. The chips typically allow a game machine to play legally and illegally copied discs, run unauthorized software and play game discs intended for other geographic regions.

Hackers have latched on to mod chips as a conduit for running homemade software on the Xbox, leading to development of programs such as an Xbox version of the Linux operating system.

Lik Sang offered a variety of mod chips for the Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 2, along with game consoles with mod chips already installed by Lik Sang technicians. The company went into the manufacturing side of the mod chip business last August when it acquired OpenXbox, a mod chip design intended to allow upgrades.

Though mod chips have bothered the video game business for years, Microsoft has been particularly zealous in fighting them. The company reconfigured the Xbox's innards partly to deter hackers and has sought to hire a mod chip expert.

Lastblade
10-03-02, 10:44 AM
The land of Mod Chips, I mean Hong Kong, will strike back.... ;)

dek
10-03-02, 10:45 AM
:lol: Not going to stop anyone from making mods.

Josh H
10-03-02, 10:59 AM
:thumbsup: I'm all for any thing that slows down piracy. Mod chips should be cracked down even harder by MS, because X-box owners don't have the excuse of wanting to play import japanese games.

AgtFox
10-03-02, 11:18 AM
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
:thumbsup: I'm all for any thing that slows down piracy. Mod chips should be cracked down even harder by MS, because X-box owners don't have the excuse of wanting to play import japanese games.

I would say there are a few games that come out in Japan first. Tekki (Steel Battallion here in the US) came out there before it does here.

spankyj
10-03-02, 11:23 AM
But Nintendo owners do right? Come on man, use your brain. Your post has no relevance aside from creating argument. Mod Chips give the consumer options with their systems they wouldn't have otherwise had. Running Linux on a Microsoft system is a great example of a valid reason for them. I'd love to see that, as would others I'm sure. Flay, keep up the good reporting.

mljones99
10-03-02, 11:38 AM
I'm all for mod chips. all my systems are modded except my PS2 and it will be modded (or i'll just buy a japanese system) as I play alot fo import games, especially for the gamecube and dreamcast. I don't have an xbox yet but when I do get one, it will probably be modded so I can play any Japanese games that are exlusive or released earlier than the US.

Josh H
10-03-02, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by AgtFox
I would say there are a few games that come out in Japan first. Tekki (Steel Battallion here in the US) came out there before it does here.

True, but there's not many. Plus, the fact that the games come out here first weakens the excuse.

With the PS2 for example, theres a lot of games that never get ported over to the US, so mod chip users have a slighty more non-piracy reasoning for modding their console.

Basically the only non-piracy reasoning an X-box owner has for modding the X-box is to be able to play a few games a couple of months sooner. And that's not a very compelling reason to justify something that is used in the vast majority of cases for piracy.

Personally, I don't buy the PS2 excuse either. Modchips are always going to be used for piracy in the majority of cases. Most gamers couldn't care less about japanese only games they can't play, and tons of gamers like the idea of renting or borrowing a game and burning a copy.

Sure the people that actually just want to play imports lose out if there's a major crack down on mod chips, but I say tough. For one if the companies wanted you to be able to play imports, they wouldn't have intentionally made the systems not play them. If they want to play japanese games, the can buy a japanese system, or write letters/petitions to get game released over here.

IMO piracy is just too big of an issue to not try to crack down on modchips simply because a minority of people use them to play imports.

End off topic rant. :D

Josh H
10-03-02, 11:45 AM
Originally posted by spankyj
But Nintendo owners do right?


I'm not sure what the hell you're getting at. I'm 100% against mod chips in any shape or form on ANY console. The vast majority of people use them to illegally play pirated games. That does too much harm to be justified by the minority of people that use them play imports (which is something the console maker doesn't want you to do or they would have allowed the system to play them out of the box) or the even smaller minority of tech geeks that want to run linux on the X-box or turn it into a cheap computer.

kvrdave
10-03-02, 11:49 AM
I'm torn. I feel the same way Josh does about the pirating, but I have found a nice loophole in buying damaged discs and playing backups (legal since I own the disc).

Either way, life will go on for me.

Lastblade
10-03-02, 12:10 PM
I find it very funny that Sony made it very difficult for US PS2's to play Japanese ORIGINAL games, but copied cds very easy.

I don't get that at all. It is almost as if Sony is turning a blind eye to piracy. And don't kid yourself, in places where piracy is RAMPANT (Hong Kong for example), PS/PS2 probably outsold GC/Xbox by a factor of tens of thousands to one. I am not kidding. I have talked to people in HK and they have never even heard of an xbox... and GC? LOL, they don't care.

The reason is that they can get cheap/copied games on PS2 for like 4 for $10. Maybe less. So yah, maybe Sony sold 500 billion consoles worldwide, alot of them don't generate a dime in software profit.

Groucho
10-03-02, 12:13 PM
It's pretty funny when I see posts on the newsgroups like: "I won't buy an Xbox until I can play backups on them. Are you listening, Microsoft?" Uh, yeah, Microsoft really wants to take a loss and sell a console to somebody who will never buy software for it.

Outlaw
10-03-02, 03:27 PM
Though i'm against piracy, its too bad that lik-sang is down, i have heard they were a pretty good import store. I never bought any mod chips from them but they sold some good 3rd party stuff like dance mats, maraccas, tons of imported stuff. Also pre-installed afterburner GBA's and lots of odds and ends kind of things. Still, I'd agree that 95% of people who get mod-chips get them to play bootlegs. Ever since that enigmah modchip was released, X-Box piracy has gone through the roof, which hurts people who want to play legit imported copies. but its a good move to stop people who want to play illegal boots.

Darknight
10-03-02, 04:00 PM
While I'm against piracy as an ethical practice, I'm not one to think that it hurts the industry to the degree that everyone is crying foul. People pirate because they can, not as a replacement. It's cool to some to think that they're playing the game for free when in reality, if a method of piracy never existed, they probably wouldn't play it at all. I don't see how you can claim a loss when you never would have got the money to begin with. Sure I know and understand all the arguments, but this multi-billion loss a year is crazy and unrealistic.

I for one do support mod chips for their legal purposes, and there are some for all systems usually. Having a PS2 modded lets you play imports and legit betas if you have access to them. Having a modified XBox lets you do all sorts of things that are legal. Playing games off the hard drive, using Linux, playing media files, emulating games you own all on one box for easy access, imports, legit betas, and so forth.

Just because mod chips can be used for illegal purposes, I don't think it's right to come down on those who support them for legal usage. The mod chip itself is legal unless using code that was ripped off from the company. It's their usage that should be looked at, not the chip itself. Given how first party companies look at importing anyways, I'd say nothing changes for people who use the chip for legit reasons. It doesn't make it any more difficult or hurtful to those who use them for legal reasons.

Gallant Pig
10-03-02, 04:41 PM
Couldn't they make a "legit" mod chip that doesn't let you play back ups but does let you play imports?

Aghama
10-03-02, 05:14 PM
I don't care if 99.9% of the people with mod chips use them to pirate games, the mod chips should not be illegal.

darkside
10-03-02, 05:20 PM
GameCube has a boot disc that lets you play imports and it doesn't work with burns (of course I don't know that anyone is making there own GC mini-DVDs). There is no need for a mod chip.

How many Xbox games are territory locked anyway?

Like it or don't like, but MS is right about this issue. If playing imports is so important to you, buy a Japanese Xbox.

Piracy sucks and just creates higher prices for those of us that don't cheat.

Josh H
10-03-02, 07:53 PM
Originally posted by Darknight
. People pirate because they can, not as a replacement. It's cool to some to think that they're playing the game for free when in reality, if a method of piracy never existed, they probably wouldn't play it at all.

I just don't think that's true at all. Most people that pirate, likely do it to save money. Sure some people are going to just burn games they wouldn't have bought, but many do it exclusively. They just buy a system, mod it and then burn all the games they want instead of buying them.

It's like the lame MP3 argument you here that "people just download mp3's of songs they wouldn't pay for." That's balooney. It's true in some cases, but not in the majority.

The majority are just people that would rather get something for free than pay for it.

Josh H
10-03-02, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by darkside

Like it or don't like, but MS is right about this issue. If playing imports is so important to you, buy a Japanese Xbox.

Piracy sucks and just creates higher prices for those of us that don't cheat.

Exactly, I couldn't have said it better myself.

zig
10-03-02, 07:56 PM
I don't care about the xbox mod chips, but I'm pissed the site got closed down, because they sold a lot of cool console-related stuff you can't really get anywhere else.

KingSmoth
10-03-02, 07:58 PM
That sucks - I'm all for mod chips. I'm going to be taking my PSX to a local game shop soon to get a mod chip installed, so that I can play my imported Resident Evil Director's Cut 2-disc, and eventually Snatcher and Dracula X. Sorry, but I'm not going to buy another console just so I can play those three games.
Also, I will NOT be using it for piracy. I own over 30 PSX games, and have more on my list that I will eventually buy.

Gallant Pig
10-03-02, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by Aghama
I don't care if 99.9% of the people with mod chips use them to pirate games, the mod chips should not be illegal.


Question: if the consoles dropped regional coding of games and even DVDs, would you still be against the banning of mod chips? Xbox doesn't have a keyboard for Linux, and the PS2 lets you get Linux legally.

Darknight
10-03-02, 08:04 PM
Josh: You're wrong there, it's true for the most part that a majority of the games pirated would never have been purchased to begin with. People who pirate tend to pirate anything that they can, not just the things they would actually buy. Sure people do it to save money, but that's a drop in the bucket compared to the total figure that the industry is passing around as the total loss per year. Piracy DOES NOT cause higher prices on software like you're lead to believe. If that was the case, games would cost more than $49.99 and game prices would be going up per generation, not down. When you factor in inflation and heck even just the pure cost of a game, overall prices have come down. Before the $9.99 games, the average price for a PlayStation game was between $34.99 and $39.99 during the height of the system life. We're just now starting to see the savings passed on to the consumer in this generation as more and more games begin to retail at $39.99 instead of $49.99. This wouldn't be the case if piracy was causing game prices to be higher. When you break down the cost to develop a game, you'll see where all the money goes around. If piracy didn't exist, you can bet that the price of games still would be where they are at.

Piracy causing higher priced software is just as much BS as the figure thrown around to how much the industry loses ever year. These are all exagerated.

Darkside: All XBox games are territory locked. And MS does have a right to go after Lik-Sang, but mod chips are not illegal unless there is code contained in that chip that has been used illegally. The act of piracy gained by using the chip is illegal, not the chip itself. There is a significant distinction between the two. You as an owner of the system are free to do whatever you want with it including modifying it. There is nothing illegal about that.

Josh H
10-03-02, 08:17 PM
Originally posted by Darknight
Josh: You're wrong there, it's true for the most part that a majority of the games pirated would never have been purchased to begin with. People who pirate tend to pirate anything that they can, not just the things they would actually buy.

I never said people pirated only the games they would buy. They pirate the games they would buy and games they wouldn't. The companies are still getting screwed out of money for the games the piraters would have bought. And that alone is enough to crack down on mod chips. It doesn't matter if the majority of games people pirate are ones they wouldn't have bought. A significant amount of them are games they would have bought. After all people are more interested in playing good games than crappy ones.

It sucks that people who use the legitimately have to suffer, but that's life.

Originally posted by Gallant Pig

Question: if the consoles dropped regional coding of games and even DVDs, would you still be against the banning of mod chips?


I've always wondered why console makers didn't just drop the regional lock outs. This would render mod chips pretty much useless for anything other than playing imports, and they'd have no reason not to crack down on them.

The whole linux argument is just lame. How many people are big enough geeks to want to run linux on their video game system? Certainly not enough to make anyone think twice about cracking down on mod chips.

Darknight
10-03-02, 08:33 PM
Josh: Make up your mind, at what point does something make it worth it and something does it. First you say because piracy outweighs legit users it's bad, but now you say that the minority of piracy that includes games people would have bought otherwise outweights the majority of piracy which is stuff people wouldn't have bought regardless. If you can pull that the minority of piraters is the more important, then you certainly cannot dismiss the minority of legit users.

And again how do legitimate people suffer? As you said the majority of games that people would likely buy if they didn't pirate are the good games and typically those are the ones that sell really well and make a huge profit. Again how does it ultimately hurt legit users or even raise prices?

The reason territory lock outs exists are for a number of reasons. First to get an accurate depiction of what the market is made of. Then there is the bigger issue of license rights, and making sure the right parties get the money they deserve.

Also your comment about Linux doesn't hold water since obviously there is a market there that Sony has already capitalized on in the form of the Linux kit. So no, it's not completely lame. Mod chip users make up a really small percentage of the overall user base. So in reality you're talking about the minority no matter what you look at and the option of Linux is certainly a valid argument. If there wasn't an interest there, it wouldn't be done.

The problem you have is you equate to mod chip being illegal and bad when it's the act you should be worrying about. Piracy will happen one way or another. Anyone who thinks it can be gotten rid of is naive. However, let's not completely dismiss the legal use of mod chips and how some people can take advantage of those uses.

discostu1337
10-03-02, 08:35 PM
You people all say piracy raises prices....games gave been about $50 for years, not getting any higher are they?

The Cow
10-03-02, 08:40 PM
Mod chip that allows me to play any region DVDs on my PS2 = :up:

jw2299
10-03-02, 08:40 PM
I'm not trying to argue with anyone here.

I'm of the opinon that when I pay $99, $199, or even $299 for a machine and take it home, it then belongs to me. After that I can do anything I damn_well want with it, including installing a mod chip if I so desire.

Just my opinion, don't know or care to know about any legal or piracy issues.

Gallant Pig
10-03-02, 08:50 PM
Originally posted by The Cow
Mod chip that allows me to play any region DVDs on my PS2 = :up:

Isn't there a region X disc you can insert and does the same thing?

The Cow
10-03-02, 08:56 PM
Originally posted by Gallant Pig
Isn't there a region X disc you can insert and does the same thing?

Not that I know of... There are many modchips, but I haven't seen a boot-type disc that allows this... yet....

EDIT: You are correct and Amazon in the UK sells them :up:. Nice.

Gallant Pig
10-03-02, 09:18 PM
So what happens when DVDRs become prevelant and PS2 releases a new version incompatible with your mod chip? Can you just take it out?

Darknight
10-03-02, 09:19 PM
Sure, why wouldn't you be able to just take out the chip?

Aghama
10-03-02, 09:25 PM
Originally posted by Gallant Pig
Question: if the consoles dropped regional coding of games and even DVDs, would you still be against the banning of mod chips? Xbox doesn't have a keyboard for Linux, and the PS2 lets you get Linux legally. Yep, I have a Malata so I already have my region free fix. There is nothing at all wrong with console companies trying to make the hardware hackproof, by releasing new versions and what not. But outlawing the mod chips is bogus in my mind. You buy the hardware, you should be able to do anything you want to it.

Gallant Pig
10-03-02, 09:40 PM
The only thing I would want to use a Mod chip for is to play VCDs when I burn home movies from the DV camcorder, but I'm not even sure it does this. I'll probably just get a DVDR and burn the home videos on onto those instead.

Kumar J
10-03-02, 09:47 PM
I would like to get the best price that I can for a game, if I can get DOA cheaper in Japan I would wanna buy it, if not the US.So with no mod chip, I am stuck into buying from US only.Beside Region Free dvd playback is very important for me.To buy 6 different dvd player just to play each region of dvd is not a good idea.
I would like to see VCD's in a X-box.All dvd player can play a VCD and X-box has the capabilities to play dvd's but not vcd's?
Piracy is very big and I do not support it.
Like jw2299 said when I buy it I have every right to do whatever I want with my console, I am just going to lose my warranty only!

V-ism
10-03-02, 09:55 PM
Lik-Sang rules!! I hope they really aren't shut down. I also agree on not making mod chips illegal. You should be able to do what you wish with what you purchase. I was going to buy the xbox mod chip the week lik-sang went down. I wanted to be able to make it play other region dvds, vcds, mp3s, divx and other video files, and other stuff like that :).

ipkevin
10-03-02, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Basically the only non-piracy reasoning an X-box owner has for modding the X-box is to be able to play a few games a couple of months sooner.


Says you. When I heard about the mod chip, only one thing came to mind: Multi-region DVD player. Specifically, an inexpensive yet high quality multi-region DVD player with perfect simultaneous PAL-to-NTSC conversion and anamophic downconversion. Plus, it lets you play games! That is HUGE.

The funky homebrew stuff was a later realization for me, but have become a big attraction as well. Media players, homebrew games, game add-ons, etc. All cool.

I can see how piracy would be the main attraction of a PS2 mod chip, though. Multiregion that can't handle PAL->NTSC is a lot less attractive and of course, all of the homebrew and addon stuff isn't easily applicable if at all.

Outlaw
10-03-02, 11:48 PM
Originally posted by discostu1337
You people all say piracy raises prices....games gave been about $50 for years, not getting any higher are they?
I have heard that a lot of new PC games that have come out are now $60+ new. But you are right, console games seemed fixed. :)
Originally posted by Gallent Pig

Couldn't they make a "legit" mod chip that doesn't let you play back ups but does let you play imports?
My Gamecube has a switch in the back that switches between US and Japanese games :thumbsup:. Its a pretty sweet mod and doesn't promote piracy. Plus when you switch to japanese mode the red LED on the gamecube lights up as blue :cool:.

mljones99
10-04-02, 12:05 AM
Originally posted by Outlaw
I have heard that a lot of new PC games that have come out are now $60+ new. But you are right, console games seemed fixed. :)

My Gamecube has a switch in the back that switches between US and Japanese games :thumbsup:. Its a pretty sweet mod and doesn't promote piracy. Plus when you switch to japanese mode the red LED on the gamecube lights up as blue :cool:.

Same here basically. In JPN mode mine lights up green and in US mode it is supposed to light up blue but I think one of the connections came undone because it doens't light up at all in US mode now, but does in JPN. Just been to lazy to fix it (plus I can't find my gamebit)

Keyser Soze
10-04-02, 12:57 AM
I'm all foe modchips... but have stopped using them.

Nowadays I just buy <B>'debug units'</B>, which play everything.

-k
###

Darknight
10-04-02, 01:58 AM
Debug XBox won't let you swap your HDD nor play multi-region DVDs. Debug PS2 won't let you play multi-region DVDs and in some cases, DVDs.

Keyser Soze
10-04-02, 02:03 AM
Originally posted by Darknight
Debug XBox won't let you swap your HDD nor play multi-region DVDs. Debug PS2 won't let you play multi-region DVDs and in some cases, DVDs.

And that's why I own region free dvd players. ;)

BTW... email me re: xbox debugs, I have a question for you.

-k
###

Trigger
10-04-02, 02:57 AM
Software piracy is suck. Microsoft is going after the wrong people though - Lik Sang is just a distributor, not the manufacturer. Stop it at the source, yo.

As for MP3s - The only MP3s I ever downloaded were songs that I would never buy in a million years. Everything I wanted to buy, I bought. I don't listen to music they play on the radio that's put out by major record labels though. Record sales never dropped once during the whole MP3/Napster thing - in fact, they went up. This would indicate that MP3s had a positive effect on record sales. People download songs they don't like enough to buy or that they just haven't heard before and then they grow to like em more and they go buy the CD. It's alot different with games... people download games and play em and finish them and never buy. Games are 50 bucks and CDs are 10 - 15. Big difference.

Flay
10-04-02, 08:15 AM
Originally posted by Trigger
Software piracy is suck. Microsoft is going after the wrong people though - Lik Sang is just a distributor, not the manufacturer. Stop it at the source, yo.

You must have missed this part of the article.

Lik Sang offered a variety of mod chips for the Xbox and Sony's PlayStation 2, along with game consoles with mod chips already installed by Lik Sang technicians. The company went into the manufacturing side of the mod chip business last August when it acquired OpenXbox, a mod chip design intended to allow upgrades.

duy37
10-04-02, 10:02 AM
The video game industry is a $10 billion dollar industry. more than movies. Of course people, mostly teens, are going to pay for one movie and movie-hop and watch 2 or 3. The argument for "i wouldnt have paid for it anyways" seems very valid.

I won't deny it, I never owned a video game console in my life until Dreamcast. Although I knew people were getting free games with their modchip for the PSX, I was only a casual gamer then. I brought a Dreamcast when I heard that you can download games for it. my friends are hardcore gamers and already had a Dreamcast with several games. Those games were the games that I played alot and the other games i downloaded i just popped it in play for a couple of hours, decided the game sucked and never played again. So then, Blockbuster would of have lost my business. same goes for Ps2. Xbox i dont plan to get at all. I currently only own 1 real DC game (Shenmue, which i never finished) and i own 3 real ps2 games - GTA3, Gran Turismo and Madden 2003. all the other games I that i pirate, I almost never play them simply because i don't have time or the game sucked. For me, a casual gamer who's happy to just go over to a friend's place to play, if modchips/highspeed internet/cdburner didn't exist I wouldn't own any video game console/accessories/or software.

for the MP3 argument, its a little different i can see why people would not pay for it, why should they when one they can listen to the radio for free, young people are more likely to be low on spending money so why spend it on CDs when you can d/l it for free.


one way to combat the piracy is to issue a unique cd-key that must be entered for online play like they do for PC's.

duy37
10-04-02, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by Gallant Pig
The only thing I would want to use a Mod chip for is to play VCDs when I burn home movies from the DV camcorder, but I'm not even sure it does this. I'll probably just get a DVDR and burn the home videos on onto those instead.

its cheaper, or the same price, to buy an Apex DVD player since alot of DVD players play VCDs.

Josh H
10-04-02, 10:26 AM
Originally posted by Darknight
Josh: Make up your mind, at what point does something make it worth it and something does it. First you say because piracy outweighs legit users it's bad, but now you say that the minority of piracy that includes games people would have bought otherwise outweights the majority of piracy which is stuff people wouldn't have bought regardless.


I never said anything of the sort. The majority of piraters pirate games that the would have bought and ones that they wouldn't have bought. I'm guessing the number of games they burn that they might have bought if they couldn't pirate them is pretty high, maybe even larger than the number of games that they burn that they never would have considered burning. I mean aren't they more likely to burn games that they are interested in and want to play?

Anyway, I'm not wasting any more time arguing this.

Piracy is a big problem, it's illegal, and it's enough that I personally don't care if they crack down and end up pissing off people that just want to play imports, all region DVDs, or run linux.

I think a lot of people in the U.S. just underestimate piracy because, although its bad here, it's no where near as big a problem as it is in asia, especially Hong Kong.

As for the other argument that game prices haven't risen, they also haven't fallen. They've been stuck at $50 since the move from cartridges to CDs with the Playstation. The only reason piracy hasn't caused prices to rise is the companies know they'll lose out on even more sales if they raise prices. However, it's likely that piracy is keeping publishers from dropping the price of games. If they're losing a bunch of money to piracy they're going to be less likely to further cut their profits by dropping games to say $40.

Aghama
10-04-02, 10:46 AM
If there were no piracy, software companies wouldn't be able to claim on their tax forms that they lost millions due to it. PC games can often be found for $35 or $40 when they're released, and pirating on the PC will always be many times more prevalent than on the consoles. Console games cost what they do because of supply/demand curves, not piracy.

Piracy is illegal, immoral, and a great scapegoat.

Darknight
10-04-02, 01:14 PM
Josh: You're leaving the argument because you're starting to lose it. When it comes to piracy, the ratio of games that would have been bought vs that wouldn't have been bought is extremely small. The average person only buys a couple games a year, usually no more than about ten during the lifetime of a system. Companies are complaining based on the total amount of piracy, not just the games people would have bought. When you factor in the how few the games would be based on what actually would have been bought, the number of piraters out there, etc, the hit isn't as big as you would think. Even when it comes to around the world. It's even less likely that a person in say Hong Kong would have bought the game than it is in the US. You have to factor in economic scale and so forth. Then you can look at places like Japan where piracy is at a minimum compared to other places and if anything game prices are actually higher there than they are here.

Game prices have fallen, and to say otherwise is wrong. Take an economics course, if you see prices remaining the same over a long period of time, you can say the price has fallen given the factor of inflation. Prices tend to raise with inflation. Games have not. In fact they've gone down even in simple price tag form. The 16 bit days had games at an average of $59.99. 32 bit days games went down for awhile to no more than $49.99 and then eventually the average price was $34.99 to $39.99. Prices only went up this generation due to higher initial development costs, but even then it's starting to fall back down to $39.99 since costs have been paid for. None of this would be true if prices have not fallen over the years. This whole argument about piracy raising prices is simply false. There's only to a certain point that they can drop a price though and it isn't piracy. Development is expensive. Learn about game development and what the breakdown of a game cost is before you blame the price on piracy. The entire price is accounted for. Heck, I'll do it for you. A $39.99 game costs about $30 to $32 wholesale. $7 of that is license fee to say Sony, so that brings you down to $23 to $25. Factor in development costs, profit, advertising and misc costs, and you can see the entire contents of a $39.99 games is easily accounted for. Even a $49.99 game has a wholesale cost of around $34.

It sucks that you want to piss on the legit users by saying, well if there are some bad seeds we should get rid of all of them. You're only saying this because you've made up your mind that mod chips can do nothing but bad so it doesn't effect you. How would you like it if you did something you liked that was perfectly legal and some guy was trying to push for it to be banned simply because of some bad seeds saying who cares, if you're doing it legally, people are doing wrong with it. Why not ban cars? People do illegal driving every day, some use it for robberies, kidnappings, if we got rid of cars, we could stop a lot of crime.

Outlaw
10-04-02, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by Darknight
How would you like it if you did something you liked that was perfectly legal and some guy was trying to push for it to be banned simply because of some bad seeds

mod chips have never been "perfectly legal," its more of a gray area type of product, the official companies don't support the use of them.

Josh H
10-04-02, 06:38 PM
Originally posted by Darknight
When it comes to piracy, the ratio of games that would have been bought vs that wouldn't have been bought is extremely small.

Do you have any facts to back that up? I didn't think so.

To be fair, neither do I, which is why I'm not bothering with the argument anymore. It's pointless to argue with no facts to back up either side.

Gallant Pig
10-04-02, 06:42 PM
Ask anyone who owned a DC who pirated games how many they *really* owned. They will say something like "I only buy games if it's worth it", in that case they are taking away from the rental market which also buys games. I remember when DC piracy was huge here, and people shamelessly discussed it here (exp: *cough* a certain someone from Australia..*cough* *cough*). They never bought any games for it, and the DC suffered. Maybe not enough to make it go under, but it sure didn't help.

Josh H
10-04-02, 06:47 PM
Good point Gallant. That's the other part of Darknights argument that's worthless. It doesn't matter if the pirated game is one the pirater wouldn't have bought. It's still illegal. You either buy, rent or borrow a game, or you don't play it. There's no legitimate reason to ever make a copy of any game. And no, backing up games you own isn't a good enough excuse. Just take care of them and keep them away from little brats and there's no need for a back up.

And by cracking down on mod chips you aren't screwing over the majority because of a few "bad seeds." The bad seeds are the majority of mod chip users.

But that's the way things go. People will make up whatever excuses necessary to defend something they like.

dek
10-04-02, 07:11 PM
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
People will make up whatever excuses necessary to defend something they like.

Or something they dislike :rolleyes:

ipkevin
10-04-02, 09:43 PM
Well the point is that the situation IS different this time, whether you want to believe it or not. This is the first time where a mod chip is MUCH more than simply a route to piracy. To the point where those other features might be more attractive than even piracy for some people.

Incidentally, the ease of piracy on the DC was unprecedented in the console world. No mod chips or hardware needed at all. And the games were easy to trade online and distribute to friends. Nothing like it outside of PC games. The X-Box & PS2, with their need for chips and giant storage mediums are intrinsically much more difficult to pirate. Even more than the PS1 was in its time, and I seem to recall that system doing quite well despite piracy.

To summarize:
1) For the first time, there are very good reasons to own a mod chip besides piracy.
2) Piracy relatively difficult even for the average tech-savvy person. ie, it's not going to be a make or break issue like it may have been for the DC.

Whatever the case, it's pointless. You know someone else will release a mod chip eventually. Hell, this might anger hobbyists into releasing one just as a big FU to M$.

Aghama
10-04-02, 10:19 PM
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
That's the other part of Darknights argument that's worthless. It doesn't matter if the pirated game is one the pirater wouldn't have bought. It's still illegal. You either buy, rent or borrow a game, or you don't play it. There's no legitimate reason to ever make a copy of any game.This has nothing to do with Darknight's argument.

darkside
10-04-02, 11:55 PM
Originally posted by ipkevin
Even more than the PS1 was in its time, and I seem to recall that system doing quite well despite piracy.



Great. Just imagine how much better they would have done without piracy. Non of you pro mod chip arguements will change the fact that its illegal to modify the console and anything that helps piracy should be stopped, no matter what the benefits are.

Buy your mod chips if you want, but don't get mad at Microsoft for cracking down on them. They have a right and an obligation to stop piracy and modifying systems.

My biggest problem with this particular issue is people getting mad at Microsoft. There are doing nothing wrong by trying to stop people from putting mod chips in the Xbox.

ipkevin
10-05-02, 01:40 AM
Originally posted by darkside
Great. Just imagine how much better they would have done without piracy. Non of you pro mod chip arguements will change the fact that its illegal to modify the console and anything that helps piracy should be stopped, no matter what the benefits are.

Buy your mod chips if you want, but don't get mad at Microsoft for cracking down on them. They have a right and an obligation to stop piracy and modifying systems.

My biggest problem with this particular issue is people getting mad at Microsoft. There are doing nothing wrong by trying to stop people from putting mod chips in the Xbox.


1) It's illegal to modify a console? Source, please. And even if the ACT of modifying the console is illegal, that wouldn't make the chip itself illegal, now would it?

2) CD-burner technology has helped piracy more than any mod chip. A LOT of people use burners almost exclusively for piracy of one form or another. However, a lot of people use them for legitimate reasons, too. By your reasoning, Microsoft should nonetheless be allowed to swoop in and shut down all of the CD-burner manufacturers, right? Hell, why not prevent research into the technology altogether? Never mind that there are those who have legitimate uses for it and that the product itself is legal - Microsoft has a right to preserve its margins!

3) People DO have a right to get mad at Microsoft. Having the moral right to prevent piracy does NOT give them to moral right to employ any and all methods they see fit. That's what you have confused or oversimplified - (some) People are not angry at Microsoft for wanting to stop piracy. They're angry at what MS is doing to achieve that goal. Big difference. Here it's like MS can't figure out how to go after people who actually ARE engaged in illegal activities, so they say screw it and just put huge pressure on lawful 3rd parties that both pirates & legit users may use. That sucks and is worthy of scorn. MS can drain Lik Sang's resources via legal fees to the point where they have to go under, even if LS technically wins the court battle.

duy37
10-05-02, 01:43 AM
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Good point Gallant. That's the other part of Darknights argument that's worthless. It doesn't matter if the pirated game is one the pirater wouldn't have bought. It's still illegal. You either buy, rent or borrow a game, or you don't play it. There's no legitimate reason to ever make a copy of any game. And no, backing up games you own isn't a good enough excuse. Just take care of them and keep them away from little brats and there's no need for a back up.

And by cracking down on mod chips you aren't screwing over the majority because of a few "bad seeds." The bad seeds are the majority of mod chip users.

But that's the way things go. People will make up whatever excuses necessary to defend something they like.


I'm guessing you never downloaded an MP3. or you don't own a CD-R that you use to "backup" your own CDs. The Internet just makes it easier for people to share. Sure you have Hong Kong people and pirators selling pirated games, but for the most part I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the average joe does not know much about modchips and how to go about downloading games. It's not like there's a Napster or Kazaa for this type of stuff.

Piracy is a problem, but then so are drugs. keep in mind that the video game industry is $10 BILLION DOLLARS. Alot of sales goes to parents who buy video games for their kids, these parents don't have time to be burning games when they have the money. 10 BILLION DOLLARS i don't know how much better they would do without piracy but i know that 10 billions is alot and even after adjusting for inflation this has to be a heck more then back in the days where they had Nintendo and Genesis.

Gallant Pig
10-05-02, 01:54 AM
Here it's like MS can't figure out how to go after people who actually ARE engaged in illegal activities, so they say screw it and just put huge pressure on lawful 3rd parties that both pirates & legit users may use.

Would you say it's wrong for MS to alter their hardware/software to make it incompatible to use the chip?

mytzplyx
10-05-02, 03:25 AM
Okay, here's what it comes down to:

1) There *are* more gamers doing it right than illegal gamers.

However:

2) Of those *with* mod chips, the majority *do* play illegal games.

But then:

3) Mod chips are *now* definitely used for more than just illegal game copying.

What it comes down to is, whether or not you're willing to punish the user by taking away the tool, where the tool can be used for good or evil. (I think good meaning region free dvd playing, real backups, etc...)

If you say yes, ask yourself this:

Do we take away all computers from consumers because some people download mp3s?

Do we do away with the right to bear arms because of those who choose to shoot someone with it?

Do we take away kitchen knives because, hey, they are dangerous and people have killed with sharp objects before?


If you say no, ask yourself this:

How else can game companies prevent piracy from happening? After all, its not easy governing human nature.

Gallant Pig
10-05-02, 04:09 AM
Do we take away all computers from consumers because some people download mp3s?

Do we do away with the right to bear arms because of those who choose to shoot someone with it?

Do we take away kitchen knives because, hey, they are dangerous and people have killed with sharp objects before?

I'm sorry but these are really weak strawman arguments. A mod chip doesn't slice bread or hunt animals or do word processing and programming. A mod chip does what the console maker didn't intend for the console to do. The RIAA has strongly cracked down on MP3s by going after the PTP companies like Napster.

BTW: the original article was just a bunch of smoke and mirrors with only some sort of confirmation by an <i>Australian?</i> representative of MS... CNet knows very little of what happened and is happening, just that Liksang is down for some reason. Lik Sang representatives could not be reached for comment, and Microsoft attorneys were unavailable to explain the exact nature of the legal action..

I'd like to hear all the facts of the case before we become judge, jury, and executioner.

Aghama
10-05-02, 07:00 AM
Originally posted by Gallant Pig
A mod chip does what the console maker didn't intend for the console to do. And that should be illegal?

Josh H
10-05-02, 09:30 AM
Originally posted by duy37
I'm guessing you never downloaded an MP3. or you don't own a CD-R that you use to "backup" your own CDs.

I only have a handful of MP3s, and they are all either live songs that aren't available on CD.

And I don't own a CD burner.

Josh H
10-05-02, 09:34 AM
Originally posted by mytzplyx

Do we take away all computers from consumers because some people download mp3s?


This one doesn't work because it's highly likely that the majority of computer owners do not use them to download and/or burn copyrighted songs.

The majority of people with Mod Chips do own illegal games.

Originally posted by mytzplyx

Do we do away with the right to bear arms because of those who choose to shoot someone with it?


Yep, I'm a strong supporter of stringent gun control.

Originally posted by mytzplyx

Do we take away kitchen knives because, hey, they are dangerous and people have killed with sharp objects before?


Again, this one doesn't apply. Most people that use kitchen knives don't kill or attack people with them, when most people with mod chips use them to play pirated games.

Josh H
10-05-02, 09:37 AM
Originally posted by Aghama
And that should be illegal?

I would say yes because their main function is to play illegally pirated games, which is illegal. The fact that the other functions of mod chips just let the console do things the manufacturer didn't intend, simply weakens any legal justification for there existence.

mytzplyx
10-05-02, 01:04 PM
Originally posted by Josh Hinkle


Yep, I'm a strong supporter of stringent gun control.




I liiiiiiiike guns.

Gallant Pig
10-05-02, 02:45 PM
Originally posted by Aghama
And that should be illegal?

Again, I'd like to hear all the facts and what MS is basing their case on.

khai
10-05-02, 02:49 PM
I was about to get their GBA afterburner modded housing too. Dammit. I hope someone else picks this product up..