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New Xbox 360 firmware update won't work with some older consoles

An update for the Xbox 360 that lets it read higher capacity discs won't work with some older models. But happily Microsoft's planning on replacing affected consoles.

A new firmware update for Microsoft's Xbox 360 that will allow it to read higher capacity discs doesn't work on every console, it has emerged. Some older models aren't able to get their little silicon brains around the new format.

Microsoft's confirmed that a "very small number" of units will be affected, but encouragingly has announced its intention to replace any affected consoles.

One gamer received an email from Microsoft stating, "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.

"We have been able to detect this issue over Xbox Live and want to replace your console with a new Xbox 360 Slim with 250GB hard drive at no charge to you."

The email was picked up by iPad-only newspaper The Daily. If you get an email like this, you'll have to send back your old console before Microsoft will send you a new one, at it looks as though the offer expires at the end of September, but Microsoft's also bundling a year's Xbox Live subscription into the bargain.

Microsoft verified that the email was real via Twitter. We expect it's keen to avoid any kind of crisis or scandal while its rival Sony is still smarting from the PlayStation Network outage.

The new disc format is expected to provide a capacity boost of around 1GB, which isn't huge, but might mean some 360 games needn't be split across several different discs.