The very first person in the UK has been convicted of chipping a console. The man, a 22-year-old Cambridge graduate, has received 140 hours of community service and 750 in costs by a court in Caerphilly, Wales.

The man sold Xbox consoles via his website and fitted them with a 200Gb hard-drive and 80 pre-installed games, all for 380. The retail cost would have been about 3000.

Mike Rawlinson, deputy director general of ELSPA commented: "This case sets a major precedent which marks a milestone in the fight against piracy and in protecting the games industry's intellectual property. It sends a clear message to anyone tempted to become involved in 'chipping' consoles that this is a criminal offence and will be dealt with accordingly. The modification of consoles is an activity that ELSPA's anti-piracy team is prioritising - it is encouraging to see the UK courts do the same."

The modification of consoles has been an illegal practice since October 2003 under an EU Copyright Directive. This made the whole process of chipping consoles illegal, including selling and advertising chips as well as providing a service for chipping.