Microsoft is set to replace any old Xbox 360 consoles that are not compatible with the upcoming firmware upgrade.
The company has sent out emails to Xbox gamers who own incompatible Xbox 360s, advising them that they can request a brand new Xbox 360 S for free. These users will also receive a year of Xbox Live Gold.
Talking to gaming news site Eurogamer, a Microsoft spokesperson said
, "Following a recent update to our system software, we have become aware of an issue that is preventing a very small number of Xbox 360 owners from playing retail game discs."
"This issue manifests itself a as a unique 'disc unreadable' or 'disc unsupported' error on the screen. We are also able to detect this issue over Xbox Live and are proactively reaching out to customers that may be impacted to replace their console."
It's believed that the disc format update is related to Microsoft's efforts to combat piracy on the system. A recent internet traffic study from TorrentFreak suggests
the most popular Xbox 360 titles were downloaded illegally over a million times in 2010.
Microsoft tells Gamasutra that the system update discussed here "impacts a sub-system intended to thwart the use of counterfeit games," strongly suggesting that the system update strengthens the system's anti-piracy measures.
Xbox owners who are not connected to Xbox Live will receive this firmware update via future game discs, the company said.]