faceless writes “Xbox Live’s Major Nelson (aka Microsoft’s Larry Hyrb, Director of Programming for Xbox Live) announced on his blog that the newest Xbox 360 Dashboard update will block unauthorized 3rd party memory devices. These 3rd party items are big sellers because Microsoft charges $30 for a 512MB Memory card and $130 for a 120GB HDD. A 3rd Party 2GB Memory Card is $40 and is also expandable as it supports Micro SDHC cards. A 3rd party HDD is $70, and the Microsoft HDD’s are just 2.5″ drives in a proprietary enclosure.

Consumers having larger memory devices is good for Microsoft, since more space means people can buy more Xbox Live Arcade games and more Downloadable Content such as new map packs, levels and expansions for retail disk based games, as well as buying and renting Movies and TV Shows via the Xbox 360’s online marketplace. Another important factor is these devices have been sold for years. In the case of the hard drives, the Microsoft and 3rd party devices look identical, so many consumers may not even know that they have purchased an unauthorized device.

People on various videogame forums, such as NeoGAF are worried about the content they bought not working and not even being able to get online on their Xbox 360 console if their memory device is locked out by the update.”

Once again, this seems incredibly short-sighted by Microsoft. The idea of breaking legitimately purchased hardware that makes the core of Microsoft’s profit center (the games) more valuable, this only serves to piss off Microsoft customers and drive them away from Microsoft. Blocking out third party hardware — especially without a detailed explanation for why — goes against the basic right to do what you want with your own, legally purchased, hardware.

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