Can Microsoft Use DMCA to Kill Competing Xbox 360 Accessories?

Wired looks into the issue of Microsoft possibly cutting off third party devices.

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Cardenjs2587d ago (Edited 2587d ago )

If this is the case, then under the DMCA, Microsoft can incorporate a proprietary code into any of their accessories, thus preventing competition since a device will need that code to work.

Antitrust laws are a debatable matter when it comes to accessories to a gaming console, but some companies make a good amount of money selling cheep accessories.

I would like to see Datel win this one since Microsoft is taking more of a proprietary stance when it comes to hard drives and memory cards, worse than Sony was ever accused of with the Pro Stick Duo

reynod2586d ago

Haha but console gaming is supposed to be cheap.. oh wait. rofl.

Deadman_Senji2586d ago

@ reynod

Xbox isn't the only console on the market.

vishant1012586d ago

the pro stick duo is worse im serious sd cards where less then half price and sony was sell the pro stick duo at a very very high profit ratio they had no reason to make the pro stick duo unlike b ray which had better storage pro stick duo bought nothing to the table but at least with this third party memory devices are widely used to pirate games on the xbox

PR0X12586d ago

HDDVD was better than bluray imo as it had less DRM on all it's movies.

But it's sony... they will force there own crappy media onto people just like betamax,minidisc,umd,pro stick duo

all failed like hell.

Sitris2586d ago (Edited 2586d ago )

BetaMax is still being used for corporations around the world.....and what about their work on DVDs and Blu Rays? Oh yeah huge fails there.......

Rhythmattic2586d ago

I pretty sure PR0X1 meant to type a U instead of a V

radphil2586d ago


You DO realize that bluray was a multi-joint effort right?.....

PirateThom2586d ago (Edited 2586d ago )

Sony aren't the only ones making Memory Stick Pro Duo, Sandisk and Laxar also make them, there's also converts for Micro SD to MSPD. That's hardly worse than propritary peripherals.

As for Sony's formats (bar the questionable Memory Stick) Betamax, MiniDisc, UMD and Blu-ray all had notable advantages over their competitors. Betamax and Minidisc are still used to day, just not in a mainstream sence, but Minidisc is audiophiles digital recording method of choice. UMD had higher capacity than the DS cards. Blu-ray had higher capacity, more studio support and more options available.

Funny enough, HD DVD used a propritary Microsoft format, rather than Java.

gamingdroid2586d ago (Edited 2586d ago )

Blu-Ray wasn't even ready when Sony released the PS3, it was a half @ss spec.

HD-DVD was superior on almost all counts. The hardware was cheaper, disc manufacturing was considerably cheaper, hybrid disc that was both HD-DVD and regular DVD was available, region free through the specs and all HD-DVD player had to have a network port!

HD DVD even had a digital copy specced right into disc format! Blu-Ray has that in some movies and it expires!

fr0sty2586d ago

Gamingdroid, I work in the video/television production industry (I own my own production company) and have been for almost 14 years now. I am fully qualified to tell you that Blu-Ray from a technical standpoint, even at it's earliest spec, is better than HD-DVD. The extra 10GB's allows for much higher data rates. At 25mbps (half or less of the bitrate many professional HD formats use), you're only going to get about 1.5 hours of video on a HD-DVD disc. Start crunching down lower than that, and your crystal clear 1080p video starts to look a lot worse. Some codecs hold their own pretty well down to the 16mb range for 1080p, but if you want true full HD without much noise (even with fast motion video), you want to keep your bitrate above 20mbps.

Add to that the fact that you pretty much have to try to destroy the disc to damage it (hardshell coating on all discs), and the fact that all that extra space also allows you to fit in higher quality audio, more special featuers, 3D (double the size of the video basically), and a java based platform for interactive content, -and you've trumped HD-DVD.

That doesn't even touch on the fact that they have 100 and 200GB Blu-Ray discs in development that conform to current BD spec, which means they'll be readable in current machines with a firmware upgrade. The format has plenty of room to grow.

The spec change right after it's launch was unfortunate, but anyone with half a brain would have bought a PS3 to play their blu-rays back then anyway since all other players were $300-400 more back then and didn't do half as much.

And yes, Blu-Ray is a Sony interest, but not a Sony product. They are only one part of the multi-headed blu-ray consortium.

gamingdroid2586d ago (Edited 2586d ago )

Higher spec doesn't mean better for consumers. Do you know why MP3 is much more popular than lossless codecs? What about Betamax vs VHS? SACD is better than CD.

They all have one thing in common, they were all better quality audio or video, but the "lesser" format was more convenient and suitable for existing use. The upgrade wasn't worth it.

There is no question Blu-Ray with extra space is nice, but I don't want to give up consumer freedom for it. Case in point:

- Region free: Blu-Ray has region, and it is up to the publisher to decide. HD-DVD has no region standard.
- Digital Copy: Standard on all HD-DVD movies baked in. Blu-Ray implemented it later and has expiration dates. Some of the movies you get off the shelf now, won't allow you to download it anymore.
- Price: HD-DVD is cheaper to manufacture and sell. Blu-Ray requires significant factory upgrades and is more costly.
- Durability: HD-DVD is better than DVD due to better error correct, but Blu-Ray is undisputed leader here with their coating. Never been able to scratch a Blu-Ray disc.
- Network: HD-DVD standard in all players, ensure an upgrade path. Blu-Ray is not unless you bought a PS3.
- Compatibility: Hybrid HD-DVD disc, buy a movie now for your DVD player, play it on tomorrows HD-DVD. Blu-Ray you just get Blu-Ray.

The list could go on, and in almost all instances it short changes the consumer just for "slightly" perceived better video.

"The spec change right after it's launch was unfortunate, but anyone with half a brain would have bought a PS3 to play their blu-rays back then anyway since all other players were $300-400 more back then and didn't do half as much."

I take issue with this, anyone with knowledge of the industry and/or technology would know this. Consumers most likely not, because obviously manufacturers were able to sell non-PS3 Blu-Ray players. They got screwed.

HD-DVD vs Blu-Ray boiled down to consumer friendliness or high specced video. I choose the former and history has shown that consumers given a choice, would also choose the former.

"And yes, Blu-Ray is a Sony interest, but not a Sony product. They are only one part of the multi-headed blu-ray consortium."

I don't care who's interest or product it is as it shouldn't matter in this instance.

dcbronco2586d ago (Edited 2586d ago )


We've been hearing about those 100gb disc for 5 years now. HD-DVD was the better choice because it was cheap for everyone. Sony jacked up the price for control. It was never about specs for advancement, it was about specs so that they could charge consumers more money.

Uncompressed sound was needed for the smallest of consumers that actually have the equipment and ears to hear the difference. Many still can't tell the difference between a 720, 1080i and 1080p feed. The majority of cable boxes don't even give you a 1080p feed(I haven't checked recently but it still might be none). Blu-ray was a scam to inflate the pockets of the studios and manufacturers.

HD-DVD was best for the consumer until digital downloads became the norm.

I'm also not sure MS wants to kill all 3rd party peripherals, just unlicensed ones. Nothing wrong with that. It's no different from studios wanting a royalty for every copy of a movie.

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gamingdroid2586d ago (Edited 2586d ago )

The DMCA is just BS law created in the interest of major corporations to abuse at will.

Although I believe in a company's ability to profit from their product (as I can always go somewhere else), I would like to see MS loose because I'm against the DMCA and there is no reason why others can't inter operate with MS accessories.

It boils down again to freedom of software. There is no other product that has as many "special" rights given to companies as software that severely restrict consumer access. Forget backing up your data, it would violate DMCA!

Regarding Sony? They are the biggest offender of proprietary format!

PirateThom2586d ago (Edited 2586d ago )

Sony are nowhere near the biggest offender of anything proprietary. Just because they want to licence their own tech does not make it proprietary, they're not restricting use of anything.

Armyntt2586d ago

Imagine if Apple made a console like what has been rumored for years. They would be much much much worse.

NotSoSilentBob2586d ago

the 599$ price of the PS3 would look like a drop in the ocean.

Armyntt2586d ago

There would only be proprietary controllers and Apple would create a format for the games just so they wouldnt have to pay any patent fees. If u think Live was expensive at 7 bucks a month or whatever it is now, Apple would charge prolly twice that.

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2586d ago
justlikeme2586d ago

Lets not forget about the vita memory cards they are gonna force us to buy.... why not just use ms duo cards??? I still have my 16GB from my psp......

NiKK_4192586d ago

To make sure that it works, because a lot of people already have micro sd cards, but most of them are slow and of low quality. You can put games on these, so I don't want the games running slow

fr0sty2586d ago

Remember, having a lot of space does not mean you can just cram a game on it and it'll run ok. You can have an olympic sized swimming pool (all the game data), but if you're using a drinking straw to drain (load) it, you're not going to get very far unless you have a lot of time to waste.

justlikeme2586d ago

disagrees??? for what? So are the people who are disagreeing think we will be able to use our ms duo's??
N4G needs to show who disagrees; that way, people who disagree are not hiding from the anonymous disagrees that we see today.

Jazz41082586d ago

And don't forget abou the ever popular psp go.with this and the hacking and ms having record sales, this has not been a good year for sony. Sony may be be hurting but there fans are happy thanks to sonys first party studios. I really want to see sony and ms do well and especially sony as they are trying with keeping it real for the hardcore gamers and freen online but I don't think the company can afford to continue this path or to repeat the same mistakes as the ps3and the go have cost sony dearly. They will have to make big changes with the ps4 and make it less of and advancement then most expect from sony as there shareholder are not going to take more lossses on a new console anytime soon and they can only live off the ps2 profitss for so long and with tvs being cut so thin on margins its a rough economy for everyone. I just hope it turns around soon as both sony and ms have made very costly mistakes this generation while the wii wiped there ass with them both.

ZombieAssassin2586d ago

The MAIN reason Ps3's cost Sony so much was the blu-ray tech (which I'm sure share holders are glad they pushed now as Ps3's pretty much helped win the format war), I still see the Ps4 being a huge step forward tech wise but this time they won't be putting so much into a new format since Blu-ray tech is about 80% cheaper than it was in '06.

Armyntt2586d ago

I agree 100% Zombie. BUT my question in this discussion is was it worth it? I think downloading and streaming content became much more prevalent faster than anyone thought. I personally like having a physical copy but with netflix everywhere, really netflix is EVERYWHERE. You cant buy an electronic device without it on there.

ZombieAssassin2586d ago

Well I'd say it was worth it as it has had a faster adoption rate than DVD and it's a huge plus for gamers in the long run because they can fit more content on a Blu-ray than DVD and they even have prototypes for 200gb BR discs.

I do agree though with things like NETFLIX buying movies and TV shows have to be slowing down but I do still know people who rush out to buy their favorite movies/tv shows the minute they are released even though they have NETFLIX/Hulu+, I don't think we'll ever see a complete digital/streaming age anytime in the next 20 years but I do see services like NETFLIX taking away a good chunk of sales. I just recently started using NETFLIX and I have to say the only movies I'll be buying from now on are the ones I feel I have to own and older ones that have been re-mastered in HD with bonus content on the disc.