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No-Solder Modchip For The Xbox 266

Posted by timothy
from the play-as-you-please dept.
toothfish writes "There's a review of the latest generation of Xbox modchip over at xbox hacker- no solder, flashable BIOS, 15 min. install, etc. Stuff like this should make it easier for the average Xbox user to run emulators, Linux, and such. No word if it does or does not work in the latest iteration of Xbox though. Anyone from australia order one of these guys yet?"
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No-Solder Modchip For The Xbox

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  • Scene Credits goto:

    bunnie, for his work on the Xbox Project with his MIT paper
    visor, for his work on the LPC Bus
    numbnut, for his great work on milksop, cheaplpc and filtror.

    I can picture all these think, "oh shit, what sort of trouble am I in now...."

  • by g4dget (579145) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:05AM (#4372509)
    For $200 [walmart.com] you can get a PC with Linux pre-installed: 800MHz, CD-ROM, 10G disk, 128M. If you want to run Xbox games, get an Xbox, but for everything else, a real PC is probably cheaper and better.
    • by cscx (541332)
      Because "we are ripping off Micro$haft!!!! LOLOL!!!"

      The hilarious part about all that is that the XBox is now in profitability, and Microsoft isn't taking a cut anymore.
      • by Troed (102527) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:16AM (#4372533) Homepage Journal
        The Xbox is absolutely not profitable, where have you gotten such a lie from?


        (Microsoft doesn't have control over the costs in the Xbox in the same way as Sony has on the PS2 or Nintendo on the Gamecube. Intel and NVidia, together with Philips/Thomson and Seagate/Quantum has their words in this too .. )

        • by arbitrary nickname (325162) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:43AM (#4372585)
          The XBox will turn out to be very profitable, in the much longer term, when MS deploy future DRM systems based upon lessons learned from it

          The XBox is being used as an experiment in locking-down PCs. It's like a honeynet for hardware hackers - people *will* try to hack it - either to pirate games, play MP3s, or run Linux. MS will learn from each hack, to build a more secure system, before releasing a system that really matters... in future generations of Windows and PC hardware
          • by Lonesmurf (88531) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @07:19AM (#4372667) Homepage
            Jesus, I never thought of that.
          • DING DING DING DING! (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Anonymous Coward
            You win! Give this man a prize!

            You're right...the X-Box IS an experiment. It is Microsoft's first tentative step towards a completely-locked-down totally Microsoft-controlled PC. The success of the X-Box guarantees this will happen.

            Forget about Compaq et al--Microsoft wants to own the hardware, as well as the software. Keep an eye out for it. The second they slap a keyboard, and mouse on the X-Box, the Microsoft PC will be born (and Windows will "suddenly" only work with the Microsoft-certified hardware). It will be completely DRM from the ground up (the X-box already IS).

            Folks, supporting the X-Box only brings us closer to the inevitable "darker ages" of home computing (we're already deep inside the dark ages right now, in my opinion).
            • by Jason Earl (1894)

              If Microsoft thinks that they can take on the hardware OEMs then they are in for a shock. Apple made the mistake of thinking that hardware was the place to be, and look what that bought them. For years their Macs were light-years ahead of the DOS based competitors (I am talking about the days before Windows), but people bought PCs because they were good enough and cheaper.

              If Microsoft tries to control the hardware companies like Dell will have no choice but to go to war, and part of that war will include getting Linux to the point where grandma could use it. And the Dells, Compaqs, and the folks down on the corner are going to be able to build computers cheaper Microsoft.

              I personally am hoping that Microsoft starts to get serious about being a hardware manufacturer, because that would very likely guarantee the success of Linux.

          • by Nogami_Saeko (466595) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @07:33AM (#4372702)
            The assumption here of course is that there will be something so irresistable in future generations of Windows and PC hardware that will force people to upgrade even though all their rights are taken away.

            Time will prove they are wrong. As soon as my right to do whatever I want with my own hardware declines, I'll stop buying new hardware (until it can be hacked to recover those rights).
            • Time will prove they are wrong. As soon as my right to do whatever I want with my own hardware declines, I'll stop buying new hardware (until it can be hacked to recover those rights).
              I think time will prove that they are right, and you just happen to not be a typical person or representative of Microsoft's market.

              Never forget: somebody is buying Britney Spears CDs. According to various polls (not accurate, I admit) over half the population believes in Demonic Possession, and can't find their own country on a world map.

              I don't know where these people are, but they're out there somewhere, and they buy a lot of shit.

            • "As soon as my right to do whatever I want with my own hardware declines, I'll stop buying new hardware"
              • Somebody aughta tell that to
              • these guys [slashdot.org].
          • by Anonymous Coward
            Yeah, just like software/hardware manufacturers have learned from the fact that every previous attempt at stopping the copying of software, and cloning of hardware, and production of unlicenced hardware for consoles.

            Any day now and they`ll stop it all.
          • The XBox is being used as an experiment in locking-down PCs.
            Perhaps, but I think that's more a serendipitous side-effect than anything that was consciously planned - though doubtless it was intended to be hard enough to crack the box that most potential customers wouldn't bother and would just buy or rent the games and utilities of interest. Given his 'druthers, I suspect that Bill G would much prefer to keep the PC platform general-purpose rather than building in kit that allows Hollywood and Tim Pan Ally a veto over what can be done in future with his brainchild. However, he wouldn't be where he is today without a shrewd idea of what battles are winnable at any particular time.
          • Uhm, by default the xbox allows you to rip/play "mp3's" in a way (wma's in reality).

            I think your blowing out of proportion your conspiracy theory as ALL consoles use DRM.

            Nintendo uses rare miny DVD's, and Sony is known to change things around at will as well.

            Even the Dreamcast used the "impossible to crack" GD-ROM's and that was broken.

            Just turns out the Xbox seems to have an updateable firmware that can be loaded from games or something similar in which microsoft can adopt fixes/changes necessary to protect the copyrights and value of the xbox.

            The Xbox is *NOT* a PC or a test bed to ruin your future PC experiences.
          • ... when MS deploy future DRM systems based upon lessons learned from it.

            Something just doesn't make sense in this sentence. Since when does MS learn anything from their mistakes?
          • The Xbox is Microsoft's stab at making lots and lots of money in the console industry.

            You don't think they're noticing the decline in the PC software sales arena? Console hardware makers get to write themselves blank cheques all the time because of the 3rd-party developers wanting to get a licence + SDK for their platform (most of the time). Look at Nintendo: they make more money than all of Hollywood put together. Look at Sony: their foray into the console industry has given them buckets of cash, so much that they could use US 20$ bills as kindlying around logs of 100$ US bills to heat their mansions, and still have lots of money left over to buy another senator!

            Maybe I'm not seeing this DRM angle, or maybe I'm just noticing the much simpler, more reasonable explanation for Microsoft wanting to get into the console industry.
          • So by learning from each Xbox hack someone comes up with, Microsoft will eventually be able to build an unhackable, completely secure, locked-down system...

            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
            HAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
          • LOL, right. By that logic, IIS should be the most secure webserver on the face of the planet! =)
        • Microsoft is already expecting that the "xbox will see green" this christmas.

          Considering a 1 billion dollar investment, with another 1 billion investment for the online division is already looking at profits within 1 year is simply amazing.

          FUD - funny when it is on the side of MS for a change :)
        • About your .sig. You should create a yahoo.com e-mail account so people can discuss the topic with you. Unless you don't want to discuss the topic for the thousandth time and only want people to go to the linked site? Its a shame there aren't more sites devoted to offering facts and both sides of the issue. Reading a pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian site isn't good enough. The two sides offer such radically different views that its almost impossible to understand what is actually happening.

          I liken it to reading a voter pamphlet last year. About a particular ballot measure the Pro side said: This measure will not cost one cent. The Con side said: This measure will cost 50,000,000 dollars. Well one of them was definitely lying or confusing the truth, but the pamphlet didn't tell me who or how.

          The front page of electronicintifada.org is misleading. It opens saying:
          Against the Israeli Machine
          When you find yourself sending tanks into refugee camps, perhaps it's time to consider where terror begins.

          The picture shows a young Palestinian child throwing a rock at a giant tank. I find this highly interesting. I cannot see the face of the child, I cannot tell his feelings. My first thought was the caption implied the military presence in the camp was terrorizing the people there into fighting back. Then I thought perhaps since this child is fearless and stupid enough to throw a rock at a tank, he is the problem. If he didn't want to kill Israelis now because of sermons like these [imra.org.il], perhaps he won't grow up to try and blow himself and others to bits. So its the camps where the terrorists are hiding, and thats why the miltary is there, to capture them.
      • You are right: Microsoft shouldn't be losing money on it, since the WalMart PC already offers better specs for the same amount of money. Even if they were losing money on it, there is little point in giving Microsoft good marketing numbers. Given their cash reserves, they could easily give the Xbox away to millions of people if it didn't erode trust in the platform--what they want is actual purchases.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Because that $200 Wal-mart computer basically HAS NO VIDEO CARD (only integrated POS shared memory video).

      Xbox got nVidia...

      You suck.
    • by pomac (159163)
      Xbox is avail in europe, Walmart isn't.
    • by jerryasher (151512) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @07:01AM (#4372630)
      I'd really like to find an easy to use set top box.

      My mother is basically wheel chair bound, and has visual problems. She watches a lot of TV, and has never used a computer.

      She has a WebTV and can surf the web, but her WebTV will not let her watch more than 128K of movies. And I don't believe any WebTV model will. That makes those movies of my kids that much harder to distribute to her.

      So I'd like to find a set-top box internet access solution for her. I haven't done a lot of looking, but it seems that the Xbox running Linux with a cordless USB keyboard may be a winning solution.

      She could surf the web to see the kids, download and play their movies, print their photographs out, and all from a machine designed to work well with TVs. And when her other grandchildren come over, well they can do the first person shooter thing.

      So I have high hopes for this Xbox project. I believe it can really offer a social good to a class of people that don't have a good internet solution.

      Then again, if you know of other, better, also inexpensive set top box internet solutions, do let me know.
      • I can remember the days when you had to use a TV for a PC, ie Commodore, Adam, etc... and all I wanted was to get a monitor. Now, all people want to do is run their PC on their TV.

        I wish you would make up my mind.

        Seriously, what is the purpose of modding and Xbox, other than to prove it can be done. Seems to me that all of this talent could be better put to use developing a viable alternative to MS. Sorry folks, Linux ain't it. Not enough programs, support is non-existant for the average (l)user. Don't get me wrong, I like Linux, and use it for my servers, but as a desktop or workstation it just does not cut it. Along with the things listed above, there is just not enough software out there for Linux to allow me to be productive, and that's the key. How many of the die-hard linux people on this site are dual booting so they can play the latest game on the PC?

        What is needed is something so far ahead of what we have now that it can overcome the lack of software long enough to get a hold on the market. Linux still looks like Windows. I am thinking something like a VR style OS, like the really cool one in Johnny Pnuemonic....

        Ok, mod me down to -1 flamebait, I'm spent.
        • lack of software is video editing
          photoshop
          flash
          and all those other big corperations that put out software that the users pirate anyways

          stop living in the 90s
          linux has everything a normal person wants

    • It doesn't have a GeForce graphics system, or a controller, or a DVD. Also, I'd bet that an XBOX stays in one piece alot longer than that.

      Try again.
    • Show me where I can order a Walmart PC in the Netherlands...
    • by bogado (25959) <bogado AT bogado DOT net> on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @09:02AM (#4373171) Homepage Journal
      This $200 box does not have a NVidia GeForce4 bundled. I guess this is a very compealing reason to hack a XBox. :-)
      • This $200 box does not have a NVidia GeForce4 bundled. I guess this is a very compealing reason to hack a XBox. :-)

        No, but at the time they get the closed source binary NVidia drivers to play well on the modified GeForce4 chip in the XBox, the GeForce4 will be old and cheap!

    • Ah, who to send my money to? Wal-Mart or Microsoft? How about I just write a check to The Baby Torture and Cannibalism Society, I hear they make great inexpensive PC's
    • but for everything else, a real PC is probably cheaper and better.

      Not for playing MAME roms and DivX movies in your living room on the TV. The walmart PC has no video-out capability for TV display (Svideo, composite, or component).
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:10AM (#4372523) Homepage Journal
    Mod the Xbox? Why would you even want to own it to begin with?

    I mean, aside from the chance to play jet set radio future of course.
    • Can you really own an X-Box. I just assumed that the fee you pay at the store was to rent it from microsoft. I guess I shouldn't have gotten so excited that I didn't have to pay any monthly fees on it...
    • Mod the Xbox? Why would you even want to own it to begin with?
      Because Rare was assimilated by Microsoft.
    • Mod the Xbox? Why would you even want to own it to begin with?

      Well, I had several square feet in my apartment free, and needed to fill them with something. The giant xbox + its enormous controllers fit the bill nicely.
  • Real info (Score:4, Informative)

    by Troed (102527) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:12AM (#4372525) Homepage Journal
    The Xodus is based (completely) on numbnuts Cheapmod-project - available under the GPL. There's an issue whether the guys behind Xodus need to release all their specs and circuit-info due to this.

    The Xodus thus uses a 256kb LPC flashrom. The flashrom in the Xbox is 1024kb. Lucky for us the Xbox BIOS is 4 copies of the same thing, so it actually works - HOWEVER - the devbios is 512kb and one of the Linux-bioses is also larger than 256kb and thus doesn't work in the Xodus.

    The new Xbox seems to have (at least) the encryption key changed for the BIOS. Thus whether the Xodus will work on the V2 Xboxes has nothing to do with the mod, but with the BIOS you load it with. Other flashable mods (like the BioXX) will work or not work on the V2 Xbox just as well/bad as the Xodus.

    It's a no-solder mod - it seems to work even if you shake your box around - but sorry, I'd trust my own soldering job any day instead (and I want to use a BIOS that supports on-target debugging, i.e, larger than 256kb)

    • Re:Real info (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      well if you look at the pdf documentation/instructions it'll say that they acknowledge that it is based on CheapLCP and that they will release that information on their site.

      "In accordance with Mr. Green and with GPL we will be publishing the designs of the programmer on our site."

      When they actually will remains to be seen, but they don't seem likely to skip that issue.
    • I've seen ads for atleast 4-5 modchips available on this site [xboxhacker.com]. Can anyone give a rundown on whats currently available and the advatanges and disavantages?
  • by Ma$$acre (537893) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:14AM (#4372527)
    In order to maintain falsely inflated software revenue from their XBox titles, they are forced to combat hacking on their hardware. Strangely enough, Sony pretty much does the same thing with regard to their software.

    Even though it has been possible for some time to steal and burn PS games, I don't see many folks going out and renting a bunch of games to pirate. And I think Sony has seen the movement for what it is, a way to hack together a cheap Linux box. Microsoft, with their HDTV output is a natch for the community at large. Of course, they aren't Sony and have their OS revenue to protect as well. Thus the difference.

    Now, how long before we see the Cube Linux Pack with special Nintendo Keyboard and Mouse?
    • The reason why you won't see people rent games and pirate them is because it's easier and cheaper to just download and burn them.
    • I used to rent and burn PS games all the time....

      five day rental? Can I rent it by the hour instead?"

    • There are several reasons why people don't just rent and copy games. It's neither efficient nor profitable, not to mention anything of the collectible aspect of games that people enjoy.

      To burn a PS2 game normally, you need to do a lot of things. First, you need the mod chip installed. With most modchips, you need to do some soldering which makes things way beyond the scope of your average person. Then once you've burned the disc, on the modchips that have minimal soldering, you need a boot disk to boot a PS2 game. So now you have an extra step in the boot process. Things are looking uglier.

      Now we can get into more details. Many PS2 games are on a DVD and either need to have things scaled back or modified to get on a CD. Most people do not have a DVD burner in their possession and how many that do are willing to waste a precious disc?

      Then you have to deal with the $5 price of a PS2 game at Blockbuster for a game that you may or may not like. Of course then you also have to hope that the disc is alright enough to be copied without destroying the disc you're creating and any other factors involved in the burning process.

      Linux isn't a factor in the modding process normally. It's for the games, but even that's selective. That's why you don't see people copying them in bundles and why Xbox mods aren't as common as the PS2 mod (I don't think I've ever seen someone mod their Xbox). The Xbox doesn't have enough games to make it worthwile (you don't even need the bootdisks for the xbox mod). That's what MS is trying to fight. Personally, I'd rather them concentrate on getting a decent game for the system.

      Besides, who wants to waste their TV screen running Linux? I'd rather use my computer monitor for that.

  • Seriously though... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by autopr0n (534291) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:16AM (#4372532) Homepage Journal
    I mean, what's the draw of hacking the Xbox? I understand the desire to port Linux, whatever to exotic hardware like the PS2, Dreamcast, game boy advance, etc... But the Xbox is just a PC with some lockout hardware. And on top of that the system is just ugly and the games are boring (at least what I've seen advertised... totally derivative crap, mostly). Hardly even worth pirating, IMO.

    Aside from Jet set radio future, are there any cool, innovative games for the Xbox? I do own one, it would be nice to have some fun with it, now that I've completed JSRF
    • Because maybe the XBox is a testbed for Microsoft's future plans to completely lock down PCs (Palladium and beyond)?

    • Because it is cheep and easily available hardware in a small (ok, not that attractive, but smallish) case which can be plugged into a TV.

      The number of people who have TV's well out-weighs the people with monitors (or feel they have room for one).

      Picture this, a small box next to the TV that can be used for playing music, DVD's and surfing the web (mp3's and DivX's if you wish). Oh, and it doesn't look blatently like a PC!

      Personly I would prefer a PS2 anyday, I have issues with sending much money to microsoft - but given the architecture of the X-box it may seem like an interesting challenge to some.

      I am however concerned with the issue of giving MS the chance of creating solid DRM.

      I think I'll stick to PC's and Slim-line cases where appropriate for now!
    • Steel Battalion (Score:2, Informative)

      by matlokheed (602233)
      In November, Xbox is getting something fairly innovative exclusively. It's called Tekki in Japan and it'll be called Steel Battalion here. It's from Capcom and it's a mech game.

      What's unique about it? The controller that comes with it has about 40 buttons, many of which light up, blink or whatnot. The controller itself comes in three sections and a footpedal and looks amazing, not to mention the details involved in it's creation (the eject button is covered with a plastic cover to keep from accidental ditching of your mech).

      The negative? The game costs about $200 here and it'll be probably be produced in limited quantities. The Japanese version only costs about $150, but the price of importing and shipping will probably double the price. Either way, you're screwed. Still, you asked for innovation.

    • Allowing it to play actual PC games would be a nice trick; especially from a custom-burned CD of the Program Files directory in question ... like Morrowind :-)
    • Robotech Battlecry
      Hitman 2
      Blinx
      ToeJam and Earl
      Unreal Championship
      Metal Gear Solid 2
      Mech Assault
      Mavel vs Capcom 2

      Just to name a few are all coming out within the next 4-6 weeks.

      I have yet to find a ground breaking PS2 title "i need to have" as well.

      Personally, i've been dreaming of playing Robotech for years, so the cost of the xbox and the game is cheaper then trying to do something on my own. I have had hours of fun beating Crash Bandicoot, Project Gotham, DOA3, Munch's Odysee, Outlaw Golf, MotoGP and many others.

      Xbox live is also turning out to be very nice system..

      so uhm. yeah, lots of stuff coming out. Don't limit yourself to what they advertise on TV
      • I have yet to find a ground breaking PS2 title "i need to have" as well.

        That's because GTA: Vice City doesn't come out till the end of the month.
      • I have yet to find a ground breaking PS2 title "i need to have" as well.

        Thats the way I feel about the X-BOX, but jax and daxter on the PS2 was a must have for me (I'll admit the game has its flaws, but, its still a great game).

        Also if you have a ps2, try and find a copy of the old PS1 game, Castlevania Symphony of the Night... great game :)

    • Come on the games are boring? 1/2 the games on the Xbox are available for the Ps2. There are plenty of good games for the xbox, but just not nearly the amount that are available for ps2.

      In case you've been in a cave for the past 5 years, all games these days are derivative crap.

  • by Dexter77 (442723) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:17AM (#4372536)
    Xbox with a modchip is very interesting concept. Since you can do almost anything with it. With 120G harddisk installed you can have :

    * Portable Divx player with ~150 movies
    * MP3 Player with ~2000 'CD quality' albums
    * Up to 60 Xbox games on the disk
    * NES and SNES emulator with every game ever published
    * N64 and MAME Emulator with hundreds or even over thousand games
    * Audio CD/VCD/SVCD player
    * etc

    Can you find any other console/mediabox/anything with these features under 400$ that you can just plug in to TV or amplifier?
  • I've been trying to track down info on this recently, but Lik-Sang has been down for days now...

    Lik-Sang bought over the open-Xbox project, I think a month or so ago, and trying to work out if this is a renaming of it...

    But effectively a no-solder flasher of the bios, right? Delivered with an unflashed chip, plus a flash programmer...

    Strikes me is the weakness is getting the flashed bios's off the net.

    Lots of information seems to be lacking for me at the moment.

    1) Is this compatible with this new Xbox revision

    2) Will we be able to switch it off (I want my Xbox to be unmodded really, just modded occasionally to do some things), otherwise future original MS games with barf modded Xbox's, and Xbox live...
    3) What will the flashes cover? Dvd regioning? (My biggest concern). Booting unsigned discs? (Linux on Xbox) Playing import games? (this is what its been quoted for) Playing backups? (Not too bothered about that one really).

    Well, this is just a set of questions. Be nice to know the answers...
    • by SeanTobin (138474) <byrdhuntrNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:52AM (#4372605)
      1) Is this compatible with this new Xbox revision
      No. Microsoft changed thier board layout along with the bios. There is a slight chance that they kept the block that this unit attaches to, but the alignment method will definately be off. On the plus side though, as the bios is reprogrammable if somehow you managed to attach the thing, you could put in a new bios.

      2) Will we be able to switch it off (I want my Xbox to be unmodded really, just modded occasionally to do some things), otherwise future original MS games with barf modded Xbox's, and Xbox live...
      Yep. There are 2 dip switches with (you guessed it you binary freaks) 4 modes. First, a programming mode. Second, a on mode. Third, a off mode. And finally, a switchable mode done with some voodoo involving ejecting your cd.

      3) What will the flashes cover? Dvd regioning? (My biggest concern). Booting unsigned discs? (Linux on Xbox) Playing import games? (this is what its been quoted for) Playing backups? (Not too bothered about that one really).
      Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. (of course, its dependant on the particular bios you decide to pop in.)
  • by jukal (523582) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:38AM (#4372571) Journal
    Here's a scenario: Once the xboxes have populated the homes, in no time at all Microsoft will start shipping Microsoft XB to run in the device. This will happen especially if they notice that a competing open source OS has already penetrated their territory. This is just what Microsoft needs to overcome legal battles related to doing it (combining hardware and operating system) and selling it to large public and to win monopoly accusations related to doing it.
    • It's an interesting concept, but I don't think it will open any legal barriers to putting their OS on the XBox. I'm not even sure that there are legal barriers, a la antitrust convictions or otherwise. At any rate, a third party group making a hobby out of violating the EULA is not going to give MS the legal justification for doing anything that they couldn't already do.

      But that's just my humble, non-lawyer opinion.

  • by CerebusUS (21051) on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @06:40AM (#4372580)
    When the G spot is reached the LED will flash green immediately, hold firmly and tighten the screw.

    ah, you kids. Back in my day we had to find the G spot manually... and we were lucky if we got an audible alert.
  • I normaly dont post be cause i feel i have nothing that will be of any use to the masses (and dont like t piss people off) but this is my second post in about as many days.. the reason? yet an other error on the main page. the time is in under 15 sec not under 15 min. I personaly doubt it could be done in 15 sec, maybe with case already off and all, but thats not a very good measure of the tru time. people posting on the main page... use the preview button and reread those pages once :-D other than that keep it up... ok back to silently watching from the shadows...
  • by cookd (72933) <.douglascook. .at. .juno.com.> on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @07:11AM (#4372649) Journal
    You don't need a chip at all!

    -1 Flamebait (Microsoft just knew we would all bite!)
    +1 Interesting (modding xbox is fun to do, fun to do, fun to do!)
    -1 Redundant (already got the PS2, why get an XBox?)

    Hey, moderators! Mod the XBox!
  • What we really should be doing is figuring out how to use my existing PC to Play Xbox games...that woul be a much more interesting hack...
    • They go hand-in-hand. It's a lot easier to hack the xbox first, so you can figure out how the encryption/lockout stuff works. Then, you write a driver, hack, or whatever in software/hardware as needed for the general PC population.

    • Agreed here. When decent Playstation emus came out, I was finally able to play some the games that I'd been itching to get at, but hadn't reached the PC market. If somebody can hack and X-box and/or a PS-2, I'll happily pay the games, but nothign sucks more than having to buy a console just to play 1-2 games.

      In another year my PC hardware should be able to dish out almost anything a console of this generation can (playstation games look better in 3d on my 2-yr-old graphics card with an emulator).

      1 big concern in PC emulation is 2d graphics. A lot of emulator designers have emus that are awesome for 3d, but crap out when it comes to 2d stuff, even such as simple as text and dialog boxes. Hopefully if an emu is made for X-box, 2d graphics won't fall to the side. As far as the actual console goes, MS could be a good fighter for games. If they're willing to dish out enough money, some seriously awesome games that might otherwise not happen may make it out on X-box.
  • one chip (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    One chip to rule them, One chip to find them One chip to bring them all and in the darkness (of Microsoft) bind them.
  • This [easybuy2000.com] must scare the hell out of the XBox group at MS.
    • Ms scared? Hardly. You see, in order to use one of those keen mpd chips, you have to buy the XBox. And contary to what a lot of puddingheads keep saying, MS loses a lot less money for each XBox sold than for each XBox not sold. Anyoine who's worked higher up the retail system than sale-floor monkey knows that is is far better to sell off your inventory at a slight loss than to have it piling up in some warehouse.
  • When will someone make an ordinary PC for the living room? How about Shuttle? That way, we'd get a box that fits in the entertainment center, is far more powerful than Xbox, and with none of the restrictions.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @08:28AM (#4372953)
    I saw some comments in this thread and previous threads about homebrew projects for the XBox (emulators specifically.) To avoid people being disappointed when they want to play games for (insert console here) system on their newly modded XBox, here is some information on the current state of emulators for the XBox.

    Firstly, there is not yet an N64 emulator that runs well. There are the preliminaries of a port of Daedalus [boob.co.uk] for the XBox, including a leaked beta binary. It runs so-so because it was still early in development. This is not a comment on the author - I'm sure something will be developed soon that will make the majority of people happy, but don't get your hopes up about emulating all your favorite N64 games just yet.

    There is also no PSX emulator yet. You can find the usual hype/marketing ploys on modchip reseller webpages about modchips allowing you to emulate "great systems like SNES, N64, PSX...". Please remember when you read such things that these people want your money. Look into it yourself first. There are no PSX emulators for the XBox yet. I'm sure something will be ported over in the future ( or Linux-on-Xbox will be able to run a linux PSX emu at a decent speed soon).

    The good news, however, is that the world of emulation on the XBox is unparalleled on any other console. Here is a list of emulators ported to the XBox which work almost flawlessly:

    Stella (Atari 2600) [xb-power.com]

    Gnuboy (Gameboy/Gameboy Color) [xb-power.com]

    FCEUltra (NES) [xb-power.com]

    SMSPlus (GameGear/Sega Master System> [xb-power.com]

    HU-GO (Turbografx-16/PC-Engine) [xb-power.com]

    NeoPop (NeoGeo Pocket Color) [xb-power.com]

    DGen (Sega Genesis) [xb-power.com]

    Bochs (x86) [xb-power.com]
    Bochs emulates the PC architecture and has prebuilt packages for running DOS 6.22, Windows 3.11, and Windows 95. Windows runs too slowly in Bochs to do anything useful, but it runs old DOS games very well.

    Snes9x (SNES) [xb-power.com]

    MAME (Arcade machines) [xb-power.com]

    Daedalus (N64) [boob.co.uk]

    Frodo (Commodore 64) (url?)

    Handy (Atari Lynx) (url?)

    GBA (Gameboy Advance) (url?)

    Final Burn (Arcade/CPS2 esp) (url?)

    Owning a modded XBox allows you to easily play just about all of your console classics on the TV in your living room. (No, not everyone has computers in every room of their house yet. :P ) IMHO, the most fun I've had with my XBox so far is playing games on all of the above emulators. Now that there is a solderless modchip, just about anyone can enjoy them also.

  • Myths (Score:5, Informative)

    by wumarkus420 (548138) <wumarkus AT hotmail DOT com> on Wednesday October 02, 2002 @09:01AM (#4373165) Homepage
    Well, first of all, the new chip doesn't work with the latest boxes that were recently manufactured (in August, I think). This has applied to EVERY OTHER chip that has been released for it (there are plenty). While, I'm sure there will be ways to circumvent this relatively soon, it is still interesting timing to see if this new chip will prompt a buying spree of X-Boxes.

    As for the cheap PC vs. X-Box argument, there are many reasons why I have found it useful: Hooks to a TV with progressive scan (there are now patches to enable the DVD and the dashboard menu in progressive mode), Media streaming - the current media player can view streamed video from a host PC or from media on the x-box HD. This works with the x-box remote, and even plays divx. MUCH more seamless than any PC-home theater-type setup. And this is coming from a guy who has had a living room computer hooked up to a home theater for a few years now. This way I don't have to keep a computer in the living room, and I don't have to keep a mouse/keyboard handy to do trivial tasks such as watching a video clip. Emulators are great, and work great with the x-box controller (controller S is actually very nice). A PC is much more tedious to setup, harder to get multi-player configured, and once again requires mouse/keyboard to even startup.

    Sorry for the rant, but after all the modding, my X-Box has actually turned into that set-top box everyone was talking about (when coupled with my UltimateTV set, of course). It provides customizability and ease of use that a living room computer simply can't compete with. If you can get over the Microsoft factor, I think anyone would be quite pleased with what has been accomplished in such a short time as compared to a stagnant PS2 development community (grass-roots, not companies trying to make PVR software) trying to play catch-up on such a limited system (even with the Linux kit).
  • And if your XBox goes bust, you never had a warranty-voiding modification, did you?

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