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One of our common tasks here in Beijing when we get visitors from Redmond is to bring them to all the places that pirated software can be found. We show them Windows, Office and now Xbox 360 pirated games in order to bring back and study. A colleague of mine working in operations in Singapore showed me how they can trace duplication devices and even country of origin based on several indicators on the pirated disc.
Pirated content is readily available and we track both prices and duplication quality of certain titles. When new modchips come out we ask the modders how they get around copy protection and their opinion on the next round of countermeausures. Of course they don't know we're from Microsoft and we don't report them either since these guys are the small fish of the distribution chain and provide a great source of information and insight.
China is unique in that pirated games are cheaper here than in other countries with some exceptions in Indonesia and perhaps South East Asia. My guess is that these games are actually broken in the west but mass duplicated here in Asia.
You still cannot use a mod chip and go on Xbox Live but its only a matter of time till someone tries - and fails.
Availability is as near as the technology mall 3 kilometers from MS Beijing Sigma which is not the heart of the pirated games area (Gulou) but it is close enough.
Picture of pirated disk
l Xbox 360 D9 DVDs cost 25 Yuan each (approx USD 3.10)
l Cost of Xbox 360 Approx 2,970 Yuan (unknown if modded or not) Japan/HK/US models avail.
l Cost of modding depends on region from where Xbox 360 comes from (probably based on model of DVD reader)
l Discs are (silver-type) Mass Produced from a mass duplicator
l Packaging is mass produced cellophane wrapped
l Print Quality on label is 15-25 lb paper weight glossy (high quality) Good reproduction but some blur
l Printing on Disk is high quality label not silk screen. Mass pressed
l Game Availability is Japan and US region
l Almost 30% or more of Xbox 360 US library available
l Purchased in average shop 150 sq foot retail space in legal IT mall in Zhonguancun (this is below average in size for a game shop in Gulou district.)
l Approx 100-150 games in inventory (DOA 4, Burnout, King Kong, 99 Nights, Dynasty Warriors, Top Spin, Perfect Dark, Ridge Racer, Blazing Angels, Quake 4, etc.
l No Xbox live connectivity with pirated games or modded consoles
Billsdue reported on this a while back
Even Gamasutra's Simon has seen it himself in Shanghai
posted by Frank Yu