XBox 360 - First Games Dumped

XBox 360 - First Games Dumped

Just a few weeks after its launch, hackers claim to have made the first significant step in cracking the XBox 360s protection and running copied games.

A Dutch group, under the mysterious name of PI, claims to be the first team to have created "dumps" of XBox 360 games. "Dumping" involves the transfer of the contents of a game disc onto "file" or another disc. In XBox 360s case it was not possible to read those discs on a computer DVD drive as there is some level of protection.

The same team has released details of how the file system of XBox 360 game discs works and an open source tool for other hackers to examine the contents of those discs. The tool works much like an ISO-extractor and reads the files held within the DVD image of the game.

There is no way of running these dumps for the time being and that is the reason many claim that the announcement is not as significant as it may seem at first. The file system used for X360 games is, in many ways, similar to that used on the original XBox with some, moderate, enhancements. XBox 360s real weapon, according to Microsoft, is the protection used to stop unauthorized code from running on the console. MS claims to have learnt from the mistakes made on the original console and its weak protection and has even hinted that it expects hackers will need a very long time to be able to bypass XBox 360s enhanced security features.

PI itself, suggests that the dumps were not made for pleasure but as a chance to open up the fight against X360s encryption to all hackers. The team claims that by releasing dumped games and its tool it expects that more people will tackle the problem, shortening the time it takes to crack the new console's protection.

For the time being Microsoft should not be too worried about what hackers are doing, the company has much more pressing matters at hand with its Japan launch not going as planned, shortages in the U.S. and the launch title lineup disappointing many gamers.