As a serious gamer myself, I love to see games before they hit our shores here in North America. But more than that, I am always looking for the hottest and most unique games I can get my hands on. Unfortunately, many of those games just don't come to our side of the ocean from Japan. Typically, since the days of the original Nintendo NES, Japanese gamers have enjoyed much more unique and often times much better games than their North American Counter Parts.
I've been very fortunate to be able to play many of these Japanese games while I was living in Japan, but when I returned back home to Canada, I simply could not find many of the games that I had played with such pleasure while in Japan. So I searched and researched and found exactly what I needed to be able to just put those Japanese games into game console and really start playing again. What I found was a Mod Chip, for my Playstation console.
And I've been using mod chips ever since then. Having most recently purchased and installed my Xbox 360 Mod Chip into my system - and I've got games from Japan on the way. So Just what IS a mod chip? Let me explain. A modification chip or mod chip is a device used to play import, backup, or home brew games. Mod Chips first came into "fame" when die hard, hard core gamers who were tired of the slim offerings that were made available for them in the USA, wanted to get their hands on the often better and more unique Japanese games that were coming out for their game console. This is nothing new, even the Nintendo NES has a device that allowed gamers to plug Japanese Famicom cartridges into their USA NES system so that they could play those really unique Japanese games, or the latest Mario offering that was only available (or came out much sooner) in Japan.
Mod chips are available for all the major video game consoles, including the Xbox 360, Xbox, Sony PSP, PlayStation, Playstation 2 and GameCube. Almost all modern console gaming systems have hardware-based schemes which ensure that only officially sanctioned games may be used with the system and implement regional lockout similar to the scheme used in DVD movies. The specific technical nature of these DRM systems varies by system, and may include cryptographic signing (Xbox), intentionally unreadable sectors (PlayStation, Sega Saturn), custom optical media (GameCube, Dreamcast), or some combination thereof.
Modchips are available also for some DVD players, to defeat region code enforcement and user operation prohibitions. Mod Chips first came into "fame" when die hard, hard core gamers who were tired of the slim offerings that were made available for them in the USA, wanted to get their hands on the often better and more unique Japanese games that were coming out for their game console. This is nothing new, even the Nintendo NES has a device that allowed gamers to plug Japanese Famicom cartridges into their USA NES system so that they could play those really unique Japanese games, or the latest Mario offering that was only available (or came out much sooner) in Japan. Modchips typically require some level of technical ability to install. Most commonly, modchips must be soldered on to a console's motherboard, although there are no-solder install kits (which instead rely on the precise positioning of electrical contacts within the case) which work with some revisions of the PlayStation 2 and Xbox hardware. As console systems got better and better, a whole following of home brew developers starting making their own software for their consoles.
Software like the Xbox Media Center (XMBC) as well as their own little games and programs to stream video and audio. But in order to play / run this software, users are required to be able to load unsigned / home brew code onto their system. This is where mod chips come in. Not only do they allow you to play the latest game offerings from Japan, which as stated earlier, are often much better both graphically and in the way of originality than the games that are for the North American market. As with any new system, and the new mod chips that first come out - we're always hit with loads of "compatibility" issues.
Much like when the ps2 mod chip first came out, they had chips (different chips) for each "version" of the ps2 console. And the Xbox 360 mod chips are no exception. The very first chips that came out were for very specific "versions" of the XBox 360. First it was a mod chip for the Samsung drives .
Which means that if your XBox 360 had a samsung DVD drive, then you needed to buy an Xbox 360 mod chip that worked on the SAMSUNG drive, to bypass the current firmware. Then the Team Underdog chip came out, this chip had 2 versions. One for the samsung drives, and another one for the LG/Hitachi Drives.
So again, you were "stuck" having to find out exactly which Xbox 360 you had, in order to select the right chip for your console. Now, as with most developments in the mod chip manufacturing world, eventually, some very smart programmers and developers finally get it right. Naturally, it is common sense to assume that customers would be much more likely to buy a mod chip for their Xbox 360 is they could do away with the "version" checking, and buy a chip that they KNOW will work in their Xbox 360 console.
Of course, when they take it apart after receiving their chip, they WILL have to find out which model they have so they can use the right installation directions - but they don't have to fret or worry that the chip they have purchased may NOT be compatible with their XBox 360. Much like any product, customers want the peace of mind of knowing that what they are buying will simply just WORK, and in the case of mod chips, will work in their Xbox 360 console regardless of the version of the Xbox 360 that they purchased. In comes the Globe 360 Xbox 360 Mod Chip.
The Globe 360 is the world's First Xbox 360 mod chip that is compatible with ALL DVD Drives currently on the market! Rather than having to figure out which model drive you have, as you do with other chips, the Globe360 Xbox 360 Mod chip works in ANY drive model to date. And the home brew software that is available is outstanding - and I expect it to get a whole lot better. My Xbox already acts as a complete media center, even streaming Google Videos directly from the Internet. And my Playstation 2 has been transformed from just an awesome games machine to a DVD Player, DivX Player, MP3 Player, and streaming content directly to the console from the Internet makes it something that I could not do without. To sum it up, if you have an Xbox 360, then you should really consider getting an Xbox 360 mod chip. Not only will you be able to protect your expensive investments by making backup copies of your own original games, and putting the originals away for safe keeping, but you'll also open up a whole new world of games that you simply would not be able to play otherwise.
There are truly very unique (and playable) Japanese games that we'll simply never see otherwise. And if home brew or cool utilities, applications or add-ons are your thing, then having a mod chip is an absolute must.
Steve Fields is an avid gamer and writes game reviews and provides customer support for Xbox 360 Mod Chip customers at http://www.xboxmodchip.com The online Xbox Mod Chip store. He has written numerous tutorials and help guides on do it yourself moddding of game consoles.