The next Xbox 360 firmware update will cause a small group of Xbox 360s to stop reading and playing retail game discs. Microsoft is aware of this issue, and the firmware update itself is mandatory. It’s all part of an anti-piracy plan that Microsoft is introducing to their hardware.
However, Microsoft has started working towards a resolution for those users affected poorly by the firmware update. If your hardware is unable to read and play retail games on discs, Microsoft will be offering up a replacement console. You’ll be receiving a black, 250 GB Xbox 360 S and a full year’s worth of Xbox LIVE Gold. Moreover, there’s a chance you may have preemptively been contacted by Microsoft to resolve this issue.
Eurogamer received a statement from Microsoft concerning the update and its console breaking problem:
Following a recent update to our system software, we have become aware of an issue that is preventing a very small number of Xbox 360 owners from playing retail game discs…This issue manifests itself a as a unique ‘disc unreadable’ or ‘disc unsupported’ error on the screen. We are also able to detect this issue over Xbox Live and are proactively reaching out to customers that may be impacted to replace their console.
While Microsoft says that the group impacted by this update is marginal, they do not give any inclination as to exactly how many consoles will lose their ability to play games. They also share no information concerning the model of 360s that will be affected. This may be restricted to consoles manufactured during a specific point in the hardware’s history, which would work towards limiting the number of units that Microsoft will have to replace.
If the firmware update causes any other interesting problems, we’ll be all over the news. Those first affected by the issue were part of the Spring Update beta testing group.