Here’s the scoop: Apparently Microsoft has started shipping game discs that use a new format, known as “XGD3”, which gives developers an extra 1GB to work with when authoring games. Trouble is, it seems that some older Xbox360 consoles have trouble reading these discs.
The bad news for Microsoft is that this can’t be fixed with a firmware upgrade.
The good news for owners of these format-handicapped consoles is that they are likely going to get a brand new machine courtesy of Microsoft.
At least that’s how it appears judging from an email that was posted to Twitter, published by Kotaku and picked up by winrumours.com:
And just in case you’re suspicious of this note and its veracity, here we present exhibit B, a tweet from the @Xboxsupport account that confirms it’s all legit.
No word yet if this replacement program is in effect here in Canada, and so far there’s no information on how you can tell if your particular console is elligible for the trade-in. Judging by that email, the Xbox team themselves are carrying out the identification process via the Xbox Live service. That seems a little odd, but it may be their way of containing the initial run of replacements to a small batch before having to deal with a wider recall (if any).
So readers, have you had any trouble with new game discs running on your Xbox360? Or will you just have to stick with your existing hardware? :-)
Update: The new disc format may not be the problem after all. Xbox Live’s “Major Nelson” claims the replacement program has to do with a “previous update” and not the XGD3 discs. Confused? So are we. Our attempt to get a full explanation of the replacement program simply elicited a “We have no information on that” response from the @xboxSupport team. We’ll update this post if we hear any more from Redmond.