In stunning news, it would appear that Microsoft is eyeing the worthiness of the Australian gaming region following the court case of a man from Sydney acquitted of wrongdoing, in the country’s ongoing highest-profile mod-chip case to date.
Slow sales in the region compound the problem that, at present, the Australian Consumers’ Association believe that mod-chip installation is favourable to gamers, as it enables consoles to play software from other geographic regions.
“Given the way the economic model works, and that is a subsidy followed, essentially, by fees for every piece of software sold, our licence framework has to do that," stated Steve Ballmer. "If there are aspects that are not allowed, it would encourage us to require a change in the legal framework. Otherwise, it wouldn't make economic sense.”
Although this is far from an ultimatum, it does indicate that Microsoft will withdraw its Xbox from regions where it does not garner the protection necessary to conduct business.
Given that Microsoft has made agreements with the authorities in China, Korea and Taiwan, traditionally seen as unworkable regions due to endemic piracy issues, to fail to secure would be seen as a huge blow.
In other news, this week has seen Sony declare that the Australian console war has ended, announcing that it expects an installed userbase of over 700,000 before the year end.