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X360 security is strongest yet

So says engineer Chris Satchell.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Microsoft engineer Chris Satchell, who very helpfully told us lots of interesting things about Xbox 360 recently, has popped up on the BBC News website talking about the platform holder's efforts to secure its next-gen console against mod chippers and their ilk.

"We've taken security to the hardware level and built it in from the ground up," he said. "One of the reasons we went with custom hardware design for all our silicon is that it allows us to build security at the silicon level. There are going to be levels of security in this box that the hacker community has never seen before."

Certainly not in the original Xbox, which has been thoroughly modded by an inquisitive community to play retro games, stream video and audio content over PC networks, and much more. It's been modified to such an extent, in fact, that some have criticised the Xbox 360 for effectively legitimising many chipped Xbox features in an attempt to cash in with its Xbox Live Arcade and multimedia support.

One of the biggest problems for Microsoft in its quest for acceptance as a multimedia hub is the increased prevalence of pirated television shows downloaded from the Internet, leading to situations where entire series of programmes like Lost have been watched through modded living room Xbox consoles months before they're broadcast in certain countries. Microsoft naturally wants to focus on content recorded or obtained legitimately – so it will be particularly keen to avoid exploitation on this kind of level.

Even so, Satchell reckons that "sooner or later" someone will break through the Xbox 360's security measures. He just hopes it's later rather than sooner.

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