The lights are on
It seems that tech behemoth Microsoft has a few more flies to swat this week, as new litigation against the company has just surfaced. Datel Designs & Development, a game peripheral manufacturer based out of the UK, filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft this past Friday, stemming from the October firmware update that locked out unauthorized Xbox 360 memory units. The update left those who use Datel products in a lurch, unable to access past data and rendering their purchase useless. “The dashboard update is intended to, and does in fact, disable Datel's memory cards,” reads the lawsuit, which is available in full via the SeattlePI blog . “On information and belief, Microsoft's purpose in disabling Datel's memory cards is to prevent consumers from choosing a Datel product that offers far better value for the price. There is no benefit to consumers from Microsoft's decision to target and disable Datel memory cards. To the contrary, Microsoft's actions will leave approximately 50,000 consumers with useless memory cards (and without the ability to access their data on the cards), forestall innovation, and deprive future consumers of the benefits of competition.”The update and lockout ultimately boils down to Microsoft’s move to crack down on hacking and cheating. The Datel cards, which contain SD slots for sizable storage upgrades, also allow gamers with the right know-how to hack profiles and augment achievements.“Microsoft goes to great lengths to protect the Xbox 360 and Xbox Live service from cheating, which is the primary purpose of these unauthorized memory units,” Microsoft spokesman David Dennis said back in October. Many gamers are upset, as Microsoft’s largest capacity memory card only offers 256MB for $29.99, while the standard Datel unit offers 2GB for $45.Microsoft is positioning itself to be the sole king of the 360 castle, as the lawsuit follows quickly after other news of another potential suit broke in relation to the recent XBLA banning spree. A potential million Gold subscribers could be banned for modding their Xbox 360s, which includes adding extra hard drive space via non Microsoft storage devices. Nobody likes cheaters, but is Microsoft taking preventative measures too far? Or do they signify a move in the right direction?