According to a report on technology site CNET News, Microsoft is altering the manner in which third party controllers and peripherals can be licensed for its forthcoming Xbox 360 consoles.
The report, stemming from financial documents released as part of peripheral manufacturer Mad Catz' financial results, claims that hardware-specific security measures will ensure that only those manufacturers who sign over a percentage of their profits to Microsoft will be able to create working accessories for the new console.
The current third-party Xbox controller and other peripherals have concepts of 'Compatible Products' and 'Licensed Products' courtesy Microsoft, but it is also possible for companies to make unlicensed controllers and peripherals without Microsoft's input. These new restrictions mean that officially sanctioned peripherals would carry an Xbox 360 license logo, and, according to the contract, a 'security device' may be utilized to ensure that only Xbox 360 license-badged controllers and other devices will work with the next-gen console.
The contract, referencing Microsoft's prototype name for the Xbox 360, explains: "'Security Feature' means Microsoft's proprietary protocol used to validate authentic devices on the Xenon platform as implemented in a Xenon Chip or other implementation method designated by Microsoft in writing."
Microsoft and a number of the major peripheral manufacturers have not yet specifically confirmed this move, although companies including Logitech and Mad Catz have previously announced that they are licensed to make Xbox 360 peripherals. A specific Microsoft statement to CNET News simply commented: "We want to make sure the customers are getting the best experience possible."