Microsoft hit with lawsuit over Xbox memory card ban
'Unauthorised' accessory supplier gets legal
A UK-based manufacturer of Xbox 360 memory cards has begun legal action against Microsoft over the software giant's efforts to prevent so-called “unauthorised” memory cards being used with the console.
Datel Design & Development, the manufacturer of Max Memory cards for the Xbox 360, yesterday filed a complaint with the San Francisco District Court, accusing Microsoft of violating antitrust law.
Microsoft illegally sought to block its competitors, Datel claimed, by releasing an Xbox 360 software update earlier this month that stops gamers from storing data on unlicensed memory cards.
Marty Glick, Director of Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin, the law firm acting on behalf of Datel, said: “Microsoft has taken steps to render inoperable the competing Datel memory card for no visible purpose other than to have that market entirely to themselves.”
Microsoft has never confirmed what constitutes an "unauthorised" card or why it chose to prevent Xbox 360 owners from using them.
“We believe that with the power Microsoft enjoys in the market for Xbox accessories this conduct is unlawful,” added Glick.
Datel is seeking unspecified damages for the injury it maintains Microsoft has done to its business. It is asking for a jury to decide the outcome of the case. It also wants Microsoft's ban to be lifted and the software giant to be ordered not to impose the block in future.
The lawsuit documents are available to read online (PDF) now. ®
Hope Datel win
Sorry, but if it was there from the start then so be it. Datel have done nothing wrong. Microsoft have, IMO.
", nor any good reason why they are limited to 120GB."
Well, there was a 137GB limit in some older BIOSes... (drives larger than this use LBA48 to address sectors...) So *maybe* the XBox doesn't support LBA48? (Note, I don't know, I don't own one.)
Overall, though, I agree, Microsoft has no business banning 3rd party hardware. I mean, if you crack the box and change your hard disk, maybe it'd void the warranty. If you get a 3rd party "perhiperal" that's just a shorted out block that plugs in, really I can't expect them to warranty this either. But just arbitrarily blocking 3rd party devices on what is after all just a USB bus? Ridiculous.
Re: And people still buy microsoft products?
Ahh, a Sony fanboy it seems?
I take it you've chosen the XBOX 360 Arcade console as a comparison?
Well for starters, that isn't a fair comparison. I mean, if anyone was going to go for an XBOX with 120GB hard drive, they'd go for the Elite console.
When I got my Elite console, it was in a bundle from Game. IIRC it cost about £230, and that was the XBOX 360 Elite which came with the console, 120GB hard drive, controller, HDMI cable and annoying optical digital box and a network cable. Also in the bundle I got an extra controller and 4 games. Hardly £274!
In fact, I was a little bit bitter to read that one supplier (can't remember which one, might be HMV) are now offering the XBOX 360 Elite as above with 4 games and an extra controller for £189!
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not Microsoft's biggest fan, I don't like the fact that they don't give much away for free (I'm buggered if I'm paying £40 a year to play online) and the console is noisy, but it was cheaper than a PS3, even after the PS3 price drop.
By the way, the XBOX 360 does have HD films, it has 1080p HD streaming, and HD downloads. Only thing that miffs me is the fact that I can't do what I want with the films.
I'm with others though on this, I hope Datel win just for the principal. Microsoft charge far too much for some of their accessories.
...so Microsoft are going to treat them like a mod chip company then. Makes me glad I've just gone Linux.
@By which time
Datel have been around for decades...
I dont think they will just go out of business from lack of memory card sales!
Im with Datel on this one!