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Ask The Experts: Can I Make Back-up Copies of Video Games?

A TechLore "Ask the Experts" Question...

Question:

Having children, I have a hard time keeping games from getting ruined. Is it possible to make back-up copies? On any of the systems (ps2, xbox, or gc)? Thanks

-submitted by grabbyzz

Answer:

The question you pose is a great one, and one that ties directly in to the whole consumer rights issue.

To answer your question... Yes, it is possible to make back-ups of disc-based console games. However, it isn't quite as easy as throwing a blank DVD into your burner and hitting copy. The various consoles all have protections against playing copied games. In order to bypass these security features the system needs to be modded, which means a special chip hard-wired into the console to disable these security features. Modding a game sytem can cost several hundred dollars, and it voids your product warranty.

Many people mod systems to disable the regional code check. This way it is possible to play imported games from other countries that are not otherwise available. Adding the ability to play copied games is usually an added side effect.

Without making modifications to the system, it is virtually impossible to play a copied game.

Another limitation to copying games for the newer consoles is that some of the games are becoming quite large in size. Many newer titles have filled the capacity of a standard DVD disc, and are therefore being released on double-layer DVD-9 discs. While double-layer burners are available and relatively inexpensive, the cost of the blanks are still quite high.

I feel for you, and I'm not alone. Consumers should be able to make a back-up copy of their games in case the original is somehow ruined. However, for every person that would use that ability responsibly, there are probably 10 more that would take advantage of it... especially since games are pretty expensive to begin with. Nonetheless, your desire is a valid one, and we'll just have to see what happens with consumer rights in the future.

In the meantime, there is another possibility. I use a device called a Skip Doctor. It's inexpensive, and lets you restore damaged CDs, DVDs, and games at home. It's not perfect, but I've enjoyed great success repairing damaged discs with it. I have the manual model, but online stores practically give away the motorized version, which is awesome. You can pick one up here.

Matt Whitlock - Editor, TechLore.com

Tags : ask the expertsblu-ray repaircd repairdvd repairgame repairhow toskipdr

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