Console piracy on the rise

New report warns publishers

Anti-piracy software development firm Macrovision has announced the findings of a recent console gamer survey, revealing the surprising news that one in five console gamers plays pirated software. Of course, statistics can be made to show anything, and Macrovision are hardly impartial, but the figures are surprisingly high, garnered from questioning 6000 American gamers in February. The survey also found that three-quarters of the pirates would have paid for the games if they weren't available for free.

43% of the aforementioned one in five acquire fifteen or more titles illicitly per year, whilst a huge 74% said their dodgy games came from peer-to-peer network downloads online. Only 21% copied games from their friends. 64% used a chipped console to play pirated games.. the survey didn't explain how the others played titles, but it is known that software hacks for the Xbox are possible.

"The prevalence of high-speed Internet, and the availability of pirated games on websites and peer-to-peer networks, have made downloading pirated games relatively easy and widespread," warned Macrovision executive vice president Steve Weinstein. "Game piracy will increase rapidly over the coming months and years as gamers hone their downloading methods and behaviours."

The open nature of the PC platform has long made games on the system the playground of pirates, but consoles have enjoyed a relatively easy ride.. could this be changing as gamers grow more tech savvy? The survey will certainly be of concern to games publishers.

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