“Updated Xbox 360 disc format” is likely piracy fix

Tuesday, 29th March 2011 19:32 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Microsoft has opened registrations for an Xbox 360 System Update Preview program in the US to prepare for an “updated Xbox 360 disc format,” which is believed to be an anti-piracy measure.

The firm is looking for US-based participants for a public preview to help the firm prepare for an updated Xbox 360 disc format which will help the firm “improve” its products.

The update is believed to be from XGD2 (Xbox Game Disc 2) to XGD3. Various Xbox 360 piracy forums are claiming the new format will add an extra portion of memory to disc – apparently it’s approximately 1Gb.

This has implications for 360 pirates – the discs aren’t commercially available, meaning the update may make it more difficult to download an image and just copy it onto a normal dual-layered DVD (thanks, Blerk).

Free Reach

As part of the preview program, folks will receive a copy of Halo: Reach along with other possible rewards.

To get in on this, you must visit the Microsoft Connect site and sign in with the Windows Live ID that is connected to your Xbox Live Gamertag. Once you complete the survey that is presented to you, the Connect site will provide program related updates and you will receive a mail once the selection process is completed.

Here’s more information from Major Nelson:

  • We’re looking for multiple thousands of participants, so your chances of making it in are good.
  • This opportunity is open to Xbox LIVE Members in US region only.
  • To avoid any problems, read the survey carefully and double check all the information you provide.
  • While both Xbox LIVE Gold and Silver members can sign up, priority will be given to Gold members in the selection process.
  • Due to disc distribution limitations, this beta it will be limited to residents of the United States only.

We mailed Microsoft for more information and a representative for the firm said: “Unfortunately, beyond what was included in Major’s post we don’t have any additional details to share at this time.”

Nelson has since told IGN that this has nothing to do with Blu-ray (thanks, Dr.Ghettoblaster).



  1. Stardog

    In the US…

    #1 4 years ago
  2. Stephany Nunneley

    That’s what it says yes. Unfortunately.

    #2 4 years ago
  3. Hunam

    Disc format? I take it they’ve got something cooking to give the devs a bit more space?

    #3 4 years ago
  4. OrbitMonkey

    ^ There moving onto blue-ray ;)

    #4 4 years ago
  5. Razor

    Security thing, probably.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. onlineatron

    5+ years of the format and you haven’t dropped the ‘e’ from your spelling yet?


    Anyway, this will be an increased DVD size thing surely? Nothing to do with Blu-ray.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Gama_888

    can someone explain what this means? im a bit confused by it.
    is it like the playstation rewards thing that sony had running but there’ll use it to test out new disk formats? :-/

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Patrick Garratt

    Someone’s just told me on IM to put up a massive Blu-ray logo as lead, covered with a big red question mark.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. Hunam

    It’ll be magic day in fun land before a DVD drive can magically read a BD via a firmware update.

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Patrick Garratt

    That was a joke, by the way.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Razor

    Pat shit-stiring again :P

    Well, there you go ^_^

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Patrick Garratt


    *flashes giant Blu-ray symbol*

    #12 4 years ago
  13. Callum

    Didn’t ‘scientists’ all ready invent a holographic DVD that can store upwards of 500 gigabytes? I think it needed a special laser however, to read info from several different angles…perhaps this is a downgraded version ?

    #13 4 years ago
  14. spiderLAW

    Probably just a new type of DVD

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Mike


    #15 4 years ago
  16. earlyrock

    If its not Betamax, they can get nobbed.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. ManuOtaku

    I dont think this is a Blue ray, i think it will be the new tech holographics discs (HVD), that holds 100 dvd in 1 dvd (500 GB), the cost for this tech will be cheap, according with the experts, in 2011 or 2012, G.E is leading the charge with this tech, so i think this were microsoft is heading this will lead to the blue ray death as a format IMO.
    P.D this disc can save CD, DVD and Blue Ray formats, and the information is store on the surface and on the bottom of the HVD

    #17 4 years ago
  18. Aimless

    Presumably this is merely to test a new way for Microsoft to store data on the existing format.

    I don’t profess to know all the specifics — can’t say it’s an area of huge interest to me — but I believe that due to the way 360 games are pressed each disk has a maximum usable capacity of 6.9GB whilst the actual potential of a standard dual-layer DVD is closer to 8.5-8.7GB. When you factor in compression freeing up more functional space might curb the current trend of 2-disk 360 games, cutting costs all round.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Probably just a survey for their next system in development

    Re-read article title – scratch that.

    #19 4 years ago
  20. Hunam

    @17 I don’t think you can quite kill Blu Ray tbh. Not now anyway. Regardless of the tech specs of HVD or even if a console uses it, people have just begun to invest in a new format and it’ll take more than just more space to unseat BD because people simply don’t want to change formats every 9 minutes.

    #20 4 years ago
  21. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Be advised before you start, must have 360 box present to do this as it asks for serial and console numbers.

    #21 4 years ago
  22. Erthazus

    Oh you idiots.

    Microsoft is just preparing for the 1st APRIL you fools!

    #22 4 years ago
  23. Gekidami

    Unless MS are about to launch a new console, it wont be Blu-ray.

    #23 4 years ago
  24. Enkeixpress

    wtf, US Only…?

    Fuck You Microsoft.

    #24 4 years ago
  25. pukem0n

    its propably this AP25 crap thing against pirates plus NO new features ^^
    maybe a new twitter app or something ~.~

    #25 4 years ago
  26. Stephany Nunneley

    I’ve added MS’s response in there. For what it’s worth.

    #26 4 years ago
  27. xino

    no point adding a new format disc, how long is the life cycle for 360 got left?
    it’s going to 5years now. It’s not too soon for them releasing a new xbox.

    The dvd space is proving a problem however introducing a new format that would last for a few years until next xbox arrive would be a waste of money.

    #27 4 years ago
  28. Psychotext

    Probably just security related. That, or they’ve found a new way of compressing data onto DVDs.

    #28 4 years ago
  29. Blerk

    Interesting. I agree pretty much with the general consensus here, it’s likely to just a new way of formatting the existing DVDs in order to squeeze a bit more onto them. Quite why they limited it to 6.9gb anyway, I have no idea – the original Xbox could fit more on a DVD than that!

    And of course, a revised disc format would mean that every existing console could play the new discs without anything more than a dash update. Although I’m not quite sure how they’d handle people who aren’t connected to the internets.

    #29 4 years ago
  30. triggerhappy686

    “..the original Xbox could fit more on a DVD than that!”

    Really?? Thats interesting.

    #30 4 years ago
  31. Blerk

    I’m pretty sure I didn’t dream that.

    Regardless, a standard-format DVD9 on your computer can hold 8.5gb, iirc. If they even increased it to that amount it’s an increase of over 1.5gb!

    #31 4 years ago
  32. triggerhappy686

    @ Blerk – You were right. From

    “Generally speaking, original Xbox titles used less than half of the 9GB DL-DVD capacity, leaving some room for growth for Xbox 360 games.”

    #32 4 years ago
  33. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Just completed app. Worth it alone for free copy of Halo Reach. :)

    Oh, and if belrks right about 6.9GB current limit, than that’s exactly what this is……testing to allow full 8.5GB which should have been in the first place, but i don’t know the technical reasons behind this stuff.

    #33 4 years ago
  34. hitnrun

    Doesn’t the 360 already run the double-layered DVD9 thingies? If that’s the case, the only thing I can imagine this could be is a new security standard. Although I can’t imagine why they’d need to do a wide beta on that, unless certain versions of the Xbox are going to be unable to run the new format.

    Confirmed: MS bricks old 360s for new games! You heard it here first! /joke /ihope

    As others have touched upon, MS can’t adapt Blu-Ray. They certainly would if they could, and they certainly will with their next system. Which broaches the question of why the hell MS is changing formats when the 360 is presumably nearing the end of its lifecycle anyway.

    #34 4 years ago
  35. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    IGN has a quote confirming this is NOT blu-ray.
    “Hryb told IGN in a separate e-mail this is not an update to Blu-ray discs”

    I hope they do brick my system. I’ll get a nice shiny new one, AND a second copy of Reach compliments of Micro$haft. :)

    #35 4 years ago
  36. Psychotext

    “Oh, and if belrks right about 6.9GB current limit, than that’s exactly what this is……testing to allow full 8.5GB which should have been in the first place, but i don’t know the technical reasons behind this stuff.”

    Technical reason was that the “missing” space is taken up by a security system… which was worthless the second hackers realised Microsoft had used a standard DVD drive in the console (leaving it open to firmware hacking).

    #36 4 years ago
  37. frostquake

    I always want to do stuff like this, but then wait, something about being a Test Guinea Pig and Bricking the System always has a way of putting a damper on the, “Microsoft is NOT responsible for exploding Xbox 360 during test Process”…LOL

    #37 4 years ago
  38. triggerhappy686

    ^^ yeh to hell with that, I don’t even download new dashboard updates right away, if possible I let the monkeys test em’ out first lol. Used to do this with windows service packs too. Anyway, Im off for 2 days so its time to start Crysis 2 baby!! *starts install*

    #38 4 years ago
  39. neon6

    If it goes to Bluray, will this take care of the problem of releasing DLC due to not enough space on the previous format the discs are using? That would be nice.

    #39 4 years ago
  40. TerryWogan

    It’s not Blu-Ray you fucking idiots. They’re dishing out new copies of Halo Reach, not new disk drives. What are the beta testers going to test Blu-Ray disks on? They’re not going to dish out thousands of new consoles with Blu-Ray drives in them. It’s either a new compression technique on DVD or as some people are saying, a new anti-piracy method on DVD.

    #40 4 years ago
  41. Blerk

    Do a Google search for ‘xgd3′ and you’ll find out what this is. The pirates are worried. :-)

    Seems to be an extra gig of space for games and an updated security system to thwart the naughty types. At least temporarily.

    #41 4 years ago
  42. Patrick Garratt

    Ooh, thanks.

    #42 4 years ago
  43. Patrick Garratt

    That’s updated. Thanks for that.

    #43 4 years ago
  44. Blerk

    No probs. I figured the pirates would be the first to know. :-D

    #44 4 years ago

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