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First Bootable Xbox 360 ISO Appears Online
game: Xbox 360
posted by: Tristan Mayshark
date posted: 01:30 PM Fri Dec 30th, 2005
last revision: 01:31 PM Fri Dec 30th, 2005

Click to read.A group of individuals calling themselves \"PI\" has been releasing \"ISOs\", or ripped disc images, of XBox 360 games onto the internet illegally, practically since the system has been available. A majority of the games they have been released have been in PAL format (the standard for television in Europe, as opposed to NTSC which is used in the US and Japan). How useful these images will be to anyone has until recently been fairly debatable, since they are in a raw format that is somewhat uncommon, and the 360 has not been out long enough for anyone to make much headway in terms of illegally modifying it.

However, PI on Tuesday of this week released an ISO format image of a demonstration disc intended for kiosks in Europe. According to the \"nfo\" file that accompanies the release*, \"Microsoft... forgot to set the media protection on the disc.\" While the disc itself only contains demos of upcoming software (and is unlikely to work on US units, anyway, since it\'s in PAL format), speculation as to whether this might pave the way for other \"selfbooting\" illicit Xbox 360 disc images to emerge has already begun. Quoting again the \"nfo\" file from the illegal leak of the demo disc, \"Team Pi also notes that all the datafiles on this disc isn\'t signed [sic] in any way, and will allow for extensive modification for producing exploits to further our efford [sic] to hack this box!\"

Numerous Xbox sites are already reporting efforts to manipulate the disc. According to xboxhacker.net, while you can\'t use the disc to run retail games simply by copying their files to one of the demo folders on the disc, you can manipulate the ISO with standard tools. Further, many of the games appear to be in flash format, and there\'s a flash player included which \"Arakon\" speculates may be useful in terms of creating (obviouslly illegal) self-booting discs with homebrew flash applications on them.

The ultimate ramifications of this may or may not be significant, and it will take some time to be certain. I was unable to find any official response from Microsoft (or even any acknowledgement that the demo disc had been ripped), nor could I find any discussion of the matter on the official Xbox 360 forums.

* It has been standard practice since the 80s for groups of people who release software illegally to include a file with the \".nfo\" extension that includes basic information about the release. While the releases themselves are almost always illegal, the information files are not unless they contain serial numbers or other copyrighted material. For this reason, public depots of nfo files exist for informational and historical purposes, and it is entirely possable to find out a huge amount about what is being pirated on a daily basis without actually engaging in piracy or other illegal activity.

All information in this article was gathered legally, and the author would like to point out that at no time did he actually download or otherwise obtain the disc image in question. GamesFirst! does not endorse piracy in any way.

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