Emulation on the cheap using original XBox – Part 2 – How to do it
Mar21

Emulation on the cheap using original XBox – Part 2 – How to do it

Soft-modding basics As I demonstrated in Part 1 earlier, the original XBox can be a powerful media centre and even better console and computer emulator. There are a few off-the-shelf products out there that will enable you to soft-mod your XBox with ease (it’s a 10 minute job) and the instructions for soft-modding below are pretty much the same regardless of the product you wish to buy. I will not endorse any one product here but you can find links to some of the best available at the bottom of this article. Note: I take no responsibility for any damage you do to your own XBox when attempting to soft-mod it. You do so entirely at your own risk. If it is done incorrectly there is a slim chance that you may ‘brick’ it (rendering the XBox useless). You have been warned. You can of course opt to get the individual components needed for a soft-mod yourself, it is what I did and I had no problems but some of the less technically able may find it difficult to format the memory card needed to carry the exploited saves. A soft-mod kit comprises of the following items: A FATx formatted USB stick with exploited game saves saved to it Any version of the original Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell (not the sequels) or The original version of 007: Agent Under Fire (or the Platinum Hits version) with the Serial Number: 1448517 (NOT 1448527) or MechAssault with the Serial Number: MS02301L on the inner ring of the disc An XBox to USB adapter You will also need to make sure your MS Dashboard is up to date (version 5960). If it is not the process will stall at Step 6. All you need to do to update your dashboard to the correct version is to insert an XBox Live game (I use Halo 2) and attempt to join Xbox Live. Yes I know you can’t play XBox Live anymore on original XBox but it does force an update of your dashboard. Check your dashboard version by selecting Settings, select System Info, let the info scroll to the bottom where you will see the dashboard version listed. You want it to read: K: 1.00.4034.01 D: 1.00.5960.01. For the purposes of this tutorial I will be using the Splinter Cell exploit. The Soft-mod Step 1 Once you have your game saves saved to the correctly formatted USB drive, start your XBox with a control pad in controller port 1 and the USB adapter in port 2 (do not insert the USB stick yet) and no disc in the XBox. Step 2 You should...

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Emulation on the cheap using original XBox – Part 1 – What it can do
Jun15

Emulation on the cheap using original XBox – Part 1 – What it can do

As some of you may know I am not only a big fan of gaming on original systems but also like to dabble in the dark art of emulation. Yes, I know many purists will be hitting the back button in disgust – but I am of the opinion that emulation has a place in every retro gamer’s life. Emulation lets you experience games in near pixel-perfection that you may not ever be able to afford or find and from a historical perspective it is a great way to archive and catalogue titles that would otherwise disappear. My choice of emulation tool is a self-modded original (some call it ‘classic’ now) Microsoft XBox. I have been asked on numerous occasions about how to mod an XBox and what a modded XBox is, so in this series of posts I will show you the capabilities of my 2 units and show you how to go about getting your own. I chose to use this particular hardware after stumbling across websites run by enthusiasts and finding just how big the XBox mod scene still is and what a capable machine they are for emulation purposes. Almost every emulator ever made has been ported to XBox and in most instances has been enhanced still further by enthusiasts with the addition of video sets and artwork. Many of you will have already heard of or use XBMC on other hardware (Apple TV etc.), well it all started on the humble XBox hence it’s name (XBox Media Center). Of course you can use an XBox as a great networked Media Centre and it does many more things besides but as this is RGC I will concentrate on the subject of retro computer and console emulation. A modded Xbox is my choice over PC/Mac emulation for the following 6 reasons: 1.  The XBox is relatively easy to mod yourself (soft-modding a standard 8gb XBox takes minutes once you know how and have the tools/software) 2.  The unit fits under your telly, unlike a PC 3.  A classic XBox is cheap, I saw them being sold with a controller for £14.99 recently at my local GameStation. eBay is another good source of cheap XBoxes. 4.  I use Macs, have done since 1988 (Mac Plus, SE-30, IIx) and as Mac users will know we are the poor relation to PC users when it comes to emulation. 5.  Unlike an Xbox 360, the original Xbox is very reliable – almost bombproof. 6.  The developer scene is still going strong and new versions of popular emulators are released weekly A modded XBox also has the following advantages: 1.  Region...

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