How to destroy the market for used gadgets

Microsoft permanently banned about a million hacked Xbox 360s from its online gaming network. Amid uncertainty--you can still play offline--the price of a used 360 collapses. Ebay's warning people not to buy them at all. But so far, some sellers are being honest: is $40 not a great deal for an otherwise working Xbox 360 that can't go online?


  1. It would be a good deal for anyone like me (I already bought mine at full price)… Who live in Boondocks-ass-backwards-no-where and couldn’t get high speed internet if we tried.

  2. I suppose $40 is a great deal for a neutered 360. But the 360’s primary selling point is Xbox Live. That’s what keeps the customers captive — the community. Restricting access to it is like turning people away from the pub where all their pals hang out after work. Either they’ll find another way in, or they’ll find somewhere else to hang out.

  3. This happened to me.

    I’ll admit, I’ve pirated a few games, but I buy games as well. I usually don’t play online because I think paying extra money to access features for a game I already own is ridiculous. However, I was going online to BUY a downloadable game.

    It’s kind of annoying that MS decided to cut off indie publishers from getting my money via DLC games.

    I don’t really like playing online multiplayer games anyway, and I definitely don’t like the idea of paying extra for it, so I’m not selling mine. It’s nice to know I have cheap options if mine craps out, though.

  4. Honestly, I don’t really play games online, so this is awesome for me. I’ve been wanting to get a 360 for a while now, and this looks like a good opportunity.

  5. I’m wondering if it would be a good idea to get one of these cheap, and hope that something is done about the banning in the future. Any chance of Microsoft allowing used-xbox owners a chance to get back online? I’ve also heard that there’s a (complicated) way around it. So tempting…

  6. I guess the notorious RROD problem on XBOX 360s wasn’t doing enough to dissuade people from buying these things. Sounds like Microsoft is finishing the job in a novel way.

  7. Still makes a hell of a streaming media player. So yes, $40 is great!

    And Zandar’s got a great point.

  8. Why is the AOL-style walled garden connectivity even acceptable? Why should I have to pay Microsoft if I want to stream content from Netflix, or browse Facebook?

  9. You don’t need to have a 360 with Live! to watch video off of your own network, stream music, play games locally, watch DVDs or act as a Media Center Extender.

    Sounds like a deal at $40 to me.

    – Mike

  10. The boxes can still get online right? They just cant connect to Xbox live is the impression I am getting in which case I am going to say 40 is a great deal for the hardware you are getting. Or am I missing something here?

  11. Its not a good deal, and here’s why.

    The HD access for almost everything is disabled on a banned 360, savegames from any other 360 (and the banned one from before the ban) are corrupted if you open then on a banned 360.

    URL is

    Extract from a more in-depth explanation on XBox Scene :-

    Hard Drive installs are now disabled on the banned console. This means any disk-based games you have will no longer play off of the hard drive. If you attempt to play a game, it will tell you that it was installed on a different 360 and needs to be deleted/installed again. When you delete the game and attempt to install it, you are given a message telling you that it is not supported. There is no way to fix this, that functionality is simply gone from the banned 360.

    The hard drive itself is left untouched – you can place it in another 360, even an unbanned one, and it will still work just fine. You do NOT need to reformat it to regain any kind of functionality. Any installed games will need to be reinstalled for the console you want to play them on. This is normal behaviour and happens when swapping HDDs on unbanned/legit 360’s.

    Windows Media Centre functionality is disabled. It is still possible to stream video/music content via the video library.

    Your Gamertag may be corrupted. This does not mean your gamertag has been banned, you can recover it using any live-capable 360, however ANY ACHIVEMENTS YOU HAVE EARNED SINCE BEING BANNED WILL BE LOST. Your gamertag will be corrupted EVERY SINGLE TIME it is used on a banned console. This means you cannot use your banned console to play backups offline just to get achievements – it wont work, the second you put your profile back on a good 360, it will be corrupted and all progress lost. There is no way around this.

    The same applies to game saves – if you access a game save on a banned 360, it too will be corrupted when accessed on a legit/unbanned 360! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! There is no way around this, either.

    Your XBLA games and DLC will still be valid, however to play them on a different 360 you will need to be signed into Xbox Live. This is normal behaviour on unbanned/legit 360’s as well. They may be corrupted and have to be re-downloaded if you attempt to access them on a banned 360. You can transfer all of your downloaded content to a new 360 here: however note that you can only do it once every 12 months.

    So, in summary:
    Your Banned 360:
    * Cannot go on Xbox Live
    * Cannot install games to the HDD
    * Cannot use Windows Media Centre extender
    * Cannot be used to get achievements from backups without corrupting your profile

    You cannot do anything about this, short of buying a new 360.

  12. @EscapingTheTrunk The primary selling point of the 360 is not and never has been the “community.” The primary selling points are the graphics and the games.

  13. I was thinking about buying a PS3. Could Sony theoretically pull a similar stunt and render my new machine largely worthless or does the networking feature on that box work differently?

  14. Cool! I’ve wanted a cheap X360.

    Still snarfing up original Xbox 1s for conversion to XBMC media players. Only one dead one, but I bought it DOA for parts, it could be fixed with a chip to re-enable the serial number.

    Thanks, MS!

  15. One of the worst things about banned consoles, especially purchasing used is that Micro$oft will no longer repair RROD. Think of how much money they save in repairs by banning these boxes 40-50% of which would’ve eventually required warranty RROD repairs.

    1. Actually, hacking it voids warranty. Still a “Dick” move by Microsoft for sticking a fist where the sun ain’t shinning for the Mod community.

  16. The least interesting thing to me about an console is the online capabilities. I only play single player RPGs and strategy games anyways.

    For $40, I’d be willing to put up with the relatively lower number of Japanese games as compared to the PS3.

  17. Looks like we’ll be getting a Wii this year. Loving the PS3, but the games are few and far between. Especially if you don’t really love FPS or RPG.

  18. there’s always a work- around to all problems.

    and it still looks like a good price for a stand- alone box. I can’t get acheivements! Oh no!

    wait a sec achievements are totally meaningless in the long run. like Trophies handed out for showing up.

  19. I’ve still got some questions about this.

    Did Microsoft’s service simply stop responding to modded boxes? Or was there a system update that made changes to these boxes so they would no longer function on a network? (in other words, if I owned a modded box that hadn’t been connected to the internet since the update, would this box have any value to a hacker that might be lost by logging in?)

    With a million units out there, that’s a lot of incentive to build third party support for these orphans.

  20. you can still update a banned 360. you just have to download and install your updates manually. you can get them from m$ here
    also, you can still connect to and play media off your local network. you just cant use the actual media center app on the xbox which is garbage anyway. personally i use tversity, and im very happy with it. that said….anyone got a banned 360 they want to sell. ill buy it to use as a media player and to play games in my bedroom ;)

  21. There is a way to copy the console ID and MAC address from an xbox 360 that is not banned onto a banned one and getting back onto live with the banned console. I’m unsure if this will fix the HDD or Media Center stuff, but if your gamertag isn’t banned along with your console, then you can get back on live.

    But I don’t use live, and will never pay for the service, so I’d love to find a working 360 for under $50.

  22. I got banned, and it kind of sucks. Just by good luck, I got the ban just a few days before Walmart had a big pre-Black Friday type sale on a Saturday morning, and i was able to pick up a new $199 model and it came with a free $100 Walmart gift card. So I was only out $100. I wouldn’t have bothered, buy my wife likes to use the Xbox for Netflix streaming, so we needed a new one. I didn’t consider a PS3 because of the great deal at Walmart.

    So now we’ve got the legit 360 hooked to the TV and the banned one hooked to my monitor at my desk, which at 24″ and 1080p, is pretty sweet for games. We’ll still buy games, but I’ll still play illegal copies too (I don’t actually download them; a friend does and he sends me the discs).

    I’ll probably do what I do with music and movies– get my illegal copy to try it out, and then if I don’t get sick of it quickly, pony up for the real deal. It’s no secret that most games are garbage (look at the shovelware on the Wii), so I feel like if I try out 10 or 12 games a year that I play for two or three hours before getting bored or frustrated, I dodged a bullet. As long as I buy the ones I actually like and play through, I don’t feel bad.

  23. I’d gladly pay $40 for an offline-only Xbox 360.

    I’d probably be willing to pay twice that. For an otherwise capable gaming console, that’s still a damn good deal.

    For reference, used Sega Genesis consoles still regularly sell for $20.

  24. Maybe I haven’t been able to read between the lines, but can you stream netflix through any of these? $40 is cheaper than the $100 Roku…


  25. Is there any alternative operating systems for the Xbox360? Seems like a pretty cheap and decent quality media centre if there is.

  26. Depends on what salvagable electronic components are in it. At the very least, it has a DC power supply in it.

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