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Microsoft seeking royalties for third-party peripherals for Xbox 360

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 11 Aug 2005 8:38 User comments (19)

Microsoft seeking royalties for third-party peripherals for Xbox 360 Software giant Microsoft is looking to take a cut out of the market for third-party peripherals for it's Xbox 360 gaming console. The Xbox 360 has a new security system embedded in the console that will block the use of any unlicensed devices with the console. This means that all controllers, steering wheels etc... released for the Xbox 360 will have to be authorised by Microsoft. This information comes from a new contract between Microsoft and peripheral maker Mad Catz.
You may remember that Microsoft put a "seal of approval" on certain third-party hardware for the Xbox console. This system, Microsoft claimed, was put in place to help customers get the best possible experience with the console. This new security system is like an extension of that method. It is normal for a console manufacturer to demand royalties for units of software sold for the device, but not for hardware.

Interestingly, the Mad Catz contract seems to only permit the manufacturing of wired controllers for the Xbox 360 and not other add-ons such as wireless controllers, memory units or add-on hard drives. It's unclear whether Microsoft will allow third-parties to create a wider variety of peripherals, or if the company will only allow first-party accessories.

Source:
GamesIndustry.biz

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19 user comments

111.8.2005 9:03
Doggy_Bot
Inactive

It seems ok with me! The Xbox 360 controller is just fine! We dont need steering wheels!

211.8.2005 9:21

As if they're not already making enough money. I hope Dell doesn't start charging me to install a new hard drive or more memory in my computer when I don't buy it from them...

311.8.2005 9:52

"I hope Dell doesn't start charging me to install a new hard drive or more memory in my computer when I don't buy it from them..." If that happens they will loose buisness and everyone will buy/build their own pc's which are generally cheaper anyway! "block the use of any unlicensed devices with the console" Does this mean mod chips will be useless or do devices mean only external parts like controllers?

411.8.2005 9:57

No it simply means there will now be a mod chip that allows non-microsoft peripherals to be used

511.8.2005 10:28

Quote:
No it simply means there will now be a mod chip that allows non-microsoft peripherals to be used
It depends on what this security is, I doubt its embedded in the BIOS which is what a modchip changes. I hope someone breaks this so we can use USB keyboards/video capture devices.

611.8.2005 12:39

Wait a sec....where would you plug the controllers in to? The memory unit?

711.8.2005 14:42
diabolos
Inactive

One of the USB ports.

811.8.2005 16:12
duketown
Inactive

Microsoft can't seem to get it. Now that they've made a Xbox that has no need for a mod chip, they start with this type of security... Now we have to break that just to use our own controllers. Don't they get it? ALl we wanted was a better Xbox, which until now they created. "To get the best possible experience"? give me a break. It's about money, nothing else. I'll wait to see who breaks this "security" the quickest. LOL

911.8.2005 20:38

silly microsoft, your really asking for it now. shoulda went with the ps3.

1011.8.2005 22:52

That is so lame. Microsoft is going to have a monopoly on accessories or the 3rd parties won't be able to under sell microsoft products and they will be more expensive. And if Microsoft is really trying to give the best experience possible, why did they sign up with Mad Catz who makes the worst products ever, their controllers break so fast and so easy, anything they make is a piece of crap and Microsoft is going to let them be the first to start making "the best possible" products for them....that is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Mad Catz makes a horrible product. I hope Microsoft actually somehow takes back the contract and doesn't let them sell products because Mad Catz just rips people off by selling crappy products that always break.

1112.8.2005 1:25

Thank god there are people out there smart enough not wanting employment from Microsoft....what a hobby defeating them??? how much more satisfying

1212.8.2005 8:44

No doubt this "security" can be easily circumvented. But nobody is going to do it, at least not in the U.S., and probably not in Europe either. If a third party peripheral maker markets and sells a peripheral that is not licensed, Microsoft will just sue them into bankruptcy. They know it, so they won't even try. IMHO, bad move by Microsoft. A wide variety of 3rd party peripherals adds to the appeal of a console, and will help their sales. I hope folks DO turn to the PS3 in protest of this new marketing strategy!

1312.8.2005 11:25
runner121
Inactive

Its still very early in the game.Im willing to believe there will be some "interesting events" in the next twelve months.

1413.8.2005 10:18

Microsoft want to do this sort of thing with windows but with software rather than hardware.

1513.8.2005 21:25
runner121
Inactive

I would just like to see one of these new Xbox anyways.aside from the pictures that one fellow posted.

1614.8.2005 5:38

This battle was fought and lost by game console makers long ago. The precedent has been established for years via court of law to allow third-party devices to be marketed for gaming consoles. What's next? Is IBM, who is often credited with creating the PC prototype, going to dictate that only mice, keyboards, memory sticks, etc., that are officially sanctioned by IBM (sorry about that, Logitech)can be marketed for our PCs. It appears that, once again, Billy G. and company are excercising their God-given right to be ludicrous.

1714.8.2005 10:49

Quote:
This battle was fought and lost by game console makers long ago. The precedent has been established for years via court of law to allow third-party devices to be marketed for gaming consoles. What's next? Is IBM, who is often credited with creating the PC prototype, going to dictate that only mice, keyboards, memory sticks, etc., that are officially sanctioned by IBM (sorry about that, Logitech)can be marketed for our PCs. It appears that, once again, Billy G. and company are excercising their God-given right to be ludicrous.
Freshguy has a good point. In the ruling involving lexmark, a third party tried to make ink cartridges that were exactly the same as lexmarks for lexmarks printers, lexmark tried to sue and lost in court. So any third party should be able to make whatever they like for the xbox 360. I am pretty sure it would be legal for a third party to hack apart the xbox 360 to figure out how to make their devices work for it, and then they could legal sell their 3rd party equipment. I hope one of the companies that makes 3rd party devices is reading this so they think about not paying microsoft and just hacking the xbox 360 and figuring out how to get their devices to work without microsoft's consent.

188.10.2005 10:35

But I Think a Big Company like microsoft would win in courst against a smaller company like mad cats for say

198.10.2005 18:59
f00dl3
Inactive

I remember AT&T was participating in practices similar to this. I think there was a law (the Carterphone Decision) passed that overturned the ability for AT&T to control what devices were on the PSTN network back in the early '80s. Wonder if Microsoft can find a way to avoid having a "Carterconsole Decision" popping up in the future.

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