Video Game Systems Modchip Hysteria

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 3, 2007
Updated • Jul 27, 2013

Modchips are evil and are the main reason that the game developers are making less money than they should. This is the number one argument against modchips brought forth by a phalanx of game developers, Industry lobbyists and government officials. The question remains if this holds true or if there are other motives behind using modchips on video game systems.

I think we can all agree that it is illegal to download iso images of games, burn them and play them on your video game system without paying the developer a cent for the efforts. The first "what if" comes into play when a game will never be released in a certain country.

We all know that Sony, Nintendo and Microsoft do not like game imports which leads to the question what someone should do who wants to play a game but cannot because it is not available and will probably never be released in the user's country. Imports are also often out of the question. Not only are they disliked by companies, but users may also face issues such as region codes that make it impossible to play those games even if they can be imported.

This still does not justify getting the game illegally but it does justify a reaction from customers. All companies want a global market but as soon as the customer wants to take advantage of it as well, they begin to regulate those markets.

Back to modchips:

Modchips can be used to unlock the regional code making games universally playable regardless of the region they have been limited to. This would mean that I can import a game for the Xbox 360 from Japan, the United States or Europe and play it on my Xbox. Please read this again. I would buy the game in a different region, pay more for it because it has to be shipped and play it on my system.

Does this sound better than downloading the game for free, burning it on a DVD or copying it to the hard drive and playing it this way?

Modchips also add functionality. Some add DVD playback options, some may reduce the speed of a disc drive to reduce its noise, and most offer the option to run homemade games and applications with them.

Let me tell you why I modded my Xbox with a modchip and a bigger hard drive. I knew that a software called XBMC existed which would turn the Xbox into a media station. This application which can only be installed if the XBOX had a modchip is giving me the opportunity to play DVDs without the expensive remote control, add movies in divx format to the hard drive and watch them on my television.

I purchased the games that I wanted to play and moved them to the hard drive which resulted in faster loading times and noise reduction because the DVD drive did not have to do anything. This resulted in a better gaming experience.

Modchips are not all evil, and while it is certainly fair to say that some users will use them to play downloaded games they have not paid for, others may use modchips for legal purposes only.


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  1. Martin said on August 3, 2007 at 8:52 pm

    Exactly my point Everton. If companies like Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony would listen to what we – the users – want they would make far better systems.

    You could gain so many great applications like XBMC for free and provide this program to everyone and not only a small community that uses modchips.

    They simply don’t get it..

  2. Everton said on August 3, 2007 at 8:44 pm

    I modded my Xboxs for exactly the same reason-to run XBMC. In fact, I only purchased my Xboxs to mod them. I can’t remember the last time I even played a game on my Xbox – probably two years.

    Apparently when Bill Gates was shown XBMC he was amazed and asked ‘how can we support this community’

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