Has Microsoft "Un-Banned" Outlawed Xbox 360 Consoles?

That's what internet chatter throughout the course of the evening would have you believe, with reports coming in that banned Xbox 360 consoles (and their associated Gamertags) can suddenly re-connect to Xbox Live.

Users of various forums, including xbox-scene, have over the last few hours found that modified consoles banned from Xbox Live are being allowed back on the service. Sort of.

While we've received confirmation that banned consoles are now able to reconnect to Xbox Live, we've yet to hear of anybody doing anything more than simply sign in (as in, play online or purchase content), so there's no word yet on whether these consoles are genuinely "un-banned" or whether they can now simply go one step further than they could previously go before being locked out.

Note that this applies to consoles that were banned for being modified. It does not apply for bans handed out to people being assholes over Xbox Live.

What's interesting here is the timing of the move, right in the middle of rival Sony's extended PSN outage. While some will no doubt point to this as the first signs of Microsoft's online security being compromised, it appears more likely it's part of the company's own internal testing, which is surely being kicked into overdrive in the wake of Sony's problems.

That or, you know. It's a trap.

We've contacted Microsoft for comment on just why these dead machines have been brought back from the grave, and will update if we hear back.


    That's interesting. Might give it a try, would be cool to purchase Limbo or something.

      Fairly sure that users without access to Live for whatever reason will be able to buy Limbo on "triple pack" disc with 2 other games (Limbo, Trials HD and Splosion man). Although the article I read only mentioned USA, Japan and Europe releases so you might need to import it if in Australia.

    Very interesting, though it would be kind of cool if hackers had gotten access to the xbox live system and this was their first target, it would probably be more likely either intentional testing by Microsoft or a simple bug, that will be fixed and everyone re-banned.

      My theory. In the US there is a new beta program where everyone got a free copy of reach. What they didn't advise was that this disc will become the new standard and that if modified, this disc will flash your firmware back to stock.

      What I suspect is that M$ have figured out a way to remotely flash firmware via live so they are inviting all these consoles back online so they can test this out. I doubt they will wait long but they know the console IDs so not a big deal to ban them again afterwards.

      It may also be restricted to north America because I had someone test earlier tonight with no luck.

      If I'm right this is a good fix for live to be able to do this via disc or online.

      Only issue is that it also means hackers can exploit this for flashing custom FW also.

      The battle continues. ( while I watch from the sidelines these days)

    Did not work for an AUS xbox that was banned in one of the ban waves for having modded FW. What is also interesting is that this had since been flashed back to stock firmware before reconnecting to XBL...

    oh well, better luck next time pirates!

    No as the PSN is down Microsoft and Mobilizing their doom machine, where every xbox and pc running windows will form up to wreck havok!!!

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