XBox 360 – no unlicensed peripherals

Is this a good thing or a bad thing: Micro$oft have said that they are putting some sort of security system into the XBox 360 (to be released later this year UK link) which means that only products that have been licensed directly by them will work on it. Anyone who wants to make a peripheral for the 360 will have to have it quality checked by M$ before it’s available to you. So… That seems good. Sort of.

The alternate reading of events is that this also means that M$ will be charging manufacturers to have a license to produce for their machine, meaning that the peripherals will likely cost more to cover M$’s costs and will probably be just as good/bad as they were before M$ examined the technology. This is without going into the litigation minefield of M$’s history of ‘getting inspiration’ from their competitors.

In the best possible world this will mean great add-ons for everyone, but, being cynical like I am, I suspect it just means more costs for the consumer for exactly the same devices.

As a thought: do you think that someone would be able to take M$ to court if a peripheral that they had approved wasn’t very good? After all, M$’s sign of approval should be a signifier that the item is a high-quality product and if it’s not then is that misleading to the consumer? I’d love to see someone try that!


2 thoughts on “XBox 360 – no unlicensed peripherals”

  1. By “M$”, is the intended meaning that Microsoft have a goal involving the acquisition of capital? Because, you know… they’re a corporation.

  2. Yes, they are a corporation and as such their purpose is to generate revenue, I just don’t like it when a corporation attempts to conceal this by forcing smaller companies to bend to their will then telling consumers that it is in their interest.

    That’s the point of this piece really, do you think that this is genuinely with the intention of looking after the end user? I’m not sure. I suspect there is an element of that in there, but for the most part I find that I distrust that, and strongly suspect that they are only interested in the revenue and not very interested in the consumers at all.

    I don’t resent them making money, but I do resent them lying about their motives. If they said ‘yep, we’re going to be charging companies to license peripherals because we want to make some more money’ then I’d at least have some respect for them. The thing that strikes me is that the emphasis in the M$ statements seems to be on compatability issues, not quality control. In essence, they want to make sure that it doesn’t crash your game, a check that any manufacturer worth their salt can easily do by themselves, so the extra cost that is being passed on to the user really doesn’t have any benefit for them. They may well give out a license for an awful peripheral as long as it doesn’t crash your system.

    ‘Congratulations! We have certified this cheese as Xbox 360 friendly! Use it as instructed and it will not cause a crash of your system!’

    In essence: M$ say that these extra costs are for the user but it’s likely there will be no benefit for them. That’s lying to make money. I’ve got no problem with them honestly making money, but lying irritates me, especially when done by a global corporation that should be setting an example to the business community and the consumers.

    Yes, I’m idealistic, I know, but I think that if people like M$ ever want to have their users treating their products with respect (for example, not ripping off the OS all the time) then they need to start giving people that respect too.

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