This is getting a little ridiculous. It seems that Microsoft will ban you from Xbox Live for just about anything these days, including fan modifications.
Over at Maxconsole.net, Malloc posts an email he received from a man whose friend’s Xbox 360 was banned from Live for having a fan modification. Apparently voltage is easy to detect through Bios settings, so installing a huge fan is going to undoubtedly raise red flags.
When his friend contacted Microsoft customer support in regards to ban, they confirmed that he was indeed banned for using a custom fan, as opposed to the stock one.
“…Microsoft have started banning xbox 360′s with modded cooling. So if you’ve done the 12v mod your in risk of being banned for it…. How do I know this?? Because a friend of mine just had a nice chat with Microsoft About why he was banned and they explained it was because he had non-stock/modded fans.”
Given the 360’s tendency to overheat, this is sad news, especially considering that your only other option is to purchase a Nyko Intercooler, which reportedly drains too much power from the console and causes a general hardware failure.
I know that Microsoft extended the warranty on all consoles to three years, which is great and all, but it’s still entirely possible for your system to go kaput after the warranty is up. Banning users for trying to save their $350 console that’s prone to breaking is pretty much bullshit.
UPDATE: Chad Lakkis, our glorious leader here at Ripten, contacted Microsoft’s PR company earlier today regarding this claim. It is his understanding, based on the conversation he had with the individual at Edelman, that Microsoft is capable of scanning an individuals console and the company has indeed banned users from XBL for “modding” their Xbox 360.
While he was not able to obtain a quote regarding this specific incident involving a fan, he did obtain the following statement:
“As part of our ongoing efforts to keep Xbox LIVE safe and secure for the more than 8 million members of our community, it is our policy to ban modified consoles from the Xbox LIVE service. We have found that a small percentage of gamers are playing with modded boxes which would potentially compromise the gameplay experience for other gamers on the service. We believe that even one modded console on the system is one too many. That said, if one of our customers feels like his or her console was wrongly banned from the service, he or she can contact 1-880-4my-xbox.”
I have to say, I’m really glad that Microsoft has a dispute system in play now. They’ve had more than a few wrongful bans, so it’s good of them to acknowledge that and give those unfortunate souls a way to clear things up.
It’s important to note that this incident is simply one guy’s side of the story, and I apologize if I didn’t make that clear. Another thing I want to make sure people know is that this isn’t simply snapping a fan onto your console, this involves opening it up and tinkering around with its guts via this method or something similar.
Now I’m not saying that I think that the fan banning is justified – if it’s even true – but in Microsoft’s defense, they’re being perfectly straight with us. If you mod your console in any way, shape, or form, they reserve the right to ban you. And it sounds like they do have a way to remotely scan it, so don’t try to be sneaky.
I’ll let you know when we get a response about the whole fan situation.