Xbox 360 development kits stolen in Germany

Microsoft has shown reports that ten Xbox 360 development kits have been stolen from a warehouse in Duren Germany. There is speculation that the hardware has fallen into the hands of hackers. These 10 development kits were unmarked packages. A few days after the shipment went 'missing', photographs of the kits appeared on the Internet, with the serial numbers edited out. Police raids in Austria and Germany recovered three of the units, but seven kits remain untraced at present as the investigation continues.

Microsoft's original Xbox console was plagued by piracy and modification, including the installation of mod chips which bypassed DVD region encoding and copyright protection measures. Pirated software and modified games which gave players an unfair advantage in Xbox Live matches have also been prolific on the Xbox.

The improved community gaming and media functionality of Xbox Live is a key strength of the new console, which Microsoft is hoping will attract a wider audience of casual gamers when the new console launches in Europe on December 2nd, 2005.

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