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Microsoft

X-Box Emulated (Not) 432

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the surprised-it-took-this-long dept.
evilpaul13 submitted linkage to news about an X-Box Emulator. It requires a pretty high end video card and a DVD player, and doesn't yet support joysticks, but it does emulate 3 of the X-Box games (which is what, half the games available for the system yet? :) Todays PS2 Addiction: Tony Hawk 3. But I still am tempted to get an MSX-Box if only to handle my DOA addiction. UPDATE by HeUnique:Is this emulator a fake? according to these messages in the XBox Hacker web site - this is a fake one. Could someone actually try it? Update: 01/13 by J : The consensus in our comments is that this is a hoax, and the paranoid would do well to treat it as a trojan or virus. Sorry.
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X-Box Emulated (Not)

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  • Why emulate (Score:2, Interesting)

    by batboy78 (255178)
    Why emulate it when all it does is play PC games anyway. Wait a few months and you will be able to get all the games for X-Box on your PC.
  • I thought we were more concerned with emulating the PC on the Xbox...Now someone has to go and emulate the Xbox on the PC...BTW -- the link is dead. (Already!)
  • Hmmm... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Outlyer (1767) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @01:33PM (#2828934) Homepage


    If Microsoft is smart, they'll ignore this. Why? Well, they're losing around $150 USD per console, and they make the money from the games. If you buy your own high end PC, pay full sticker, and then buy their games, you're saving them money, and they're still getting their cut from the development fees for the game.


    Best of all, since no method for copying DVD games exists (well, not for under $5,000) it's not like piracy will be the issue.


    By the way, for those of you who think Apple Superdrive or the HP DVD+RW machine will help, think again; they don't have a capacity to store most of the XBox games; as they only support 4.7gb DVDs, and the majority of XBox games are dual-layered (i.e. 8gb+)

    • most people are going to be buying some sort of MS OS anyway. They are going to make a shitload of profit just from that.

      Hell, MS should buy the damn emulator out and start selling the thing. The guy would get rich, they would get richer.

      Although they wouldn't have the amount of hardware necessary to infiltrate deeper into markets (set top box, cable, etc) and have Billy on the TV every morning saying "Thank you for supporting Gatesville"
    • Best of all, since no method for copying DVD games exists (well, not for under $5,000)...

      Step 1. Borrow game from friend.
      Step 2. Dump game on hard drive.

      Alternately...

      Step 1. Rent game from Blockbuster.
      Step 2. Dump game on hard drive.
    • Re:Hmmm... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by theancient1 (134434)
      If Microsoft is smart, they'll ignore this. Why? Well, they're losing around $150 USD per console, and they make the money from the games.

      I'd wonder if it's that simple. There may be other indirect relationships at work. For example, might it be possible that ownership of the X-Box drives game sales? If you've got an X-Box in your living room, you might be more likely to purchase games for it. Or, you might be less likely to buy a competitor's product and start spending half of your gaming budget on its games. Relationships like this are almost impossible to predict, but they have to be considered.

      Eventually, they'll also want to start selling online services -- the more people who own an X-Box, the more potential subscribers they'll have. And there's also the bragging rights that go along with having the best-selling console.

      In addition, they have to be concerned about the long-term effects -- some number of months from now, they'll be breaking even on the X-Box sales, at which point they won't want to have an emulator around. It's only in the beginning that they lose money. Similarly, while DVD burners aren't an issue now, they may become a problem by the end of the product's life cycle.
    • If Microsoft is smart, they'll ignore this. Why? Well, they're losing around $150 USD per console, and they make the money from the games. If you buy your own high end PC, pay full sticker, and then buy their games, you're saving them money, and they're still getting their cut from the development fees for the game.


      Not to mention profitable windows licenses.

    • Best of all, since no method for copying DVD games exists (well, not for under $5,000) it's not like piracy will be the issue.

      Actually a good dvd-r drive can be had for less than 500 dollars now (around 400-450 if you get a good deal) and the discs can be purchased for as little as 3 dollars. These discs, despite what you may have heard about dvd-r drives and copy protection for copying movies, CAN successfully copy most any dvd movie and I suspect could be used to copy any dvd-based game as well.
      • Hmmm... Nope. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Namarrgon (105036) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @08:15PM (#2830492) Homepage
        Your standard DVD-R discs are single layer only. Xbox games (and most movies) are DVD-9, dual layer discs. No consumer-level drive will write dual layer discs.

        Xbox games MUST be dual layer; the Xbox boots off the second layer. You might be able to squeeze a movie onto a single layer disc (though not the extras - there wouldn't be room), but even then you'd have to decrypt it with DeCSS or similar first.

        DVD-Rs are made to the DVD-General standard, which has an unwritable key data track, precisely so you can't just bit-copy CSS-scrambled content to them. DVD-Authoring discs allow this, but they're unusable by consumer DVD-Rs (and the drives are a LOT more expensive).

    • CD writers were not commonly available for a few years when the first CD games emerged.

      Just wait a couple of years :)
    • If Microsoft is smart, they'll ignore this. Why? Well, they're losing around $150 USD per console, and they make the money from the games.

      So... buy lots of XboXes and use them as diskless workstations, advertising displays, etc... anything but buy the games.
  • uhoh... (Score:2, Informative)

    by David E. Smith (4570)
    That site already seems a bit sluggish... better get a mirror of the software [technopagan.org] up pronto.


    (This mirror may only be good for a few hours! Grab it whilst you can!)

    • Re:uhoh... (Score:4, Informative)

      by David E. Smith (4570) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @02:03PM (#2829108)
      Okay, that link is now broken. And since I host it, I should know. :-)

      This appears to be one doozy of a hoax. I just snagged the file and uploaded it to Mr. Web Server - I haven't even virus-scanned it. Which, since the "xbox.vxd" file appears to come right outta Quake 3, you may want to do.

      I don't know if it does ANYTHING, much less anything good or bad. I don't have a Windows box to test it on.

      Exercise caution...
  • ... is to be able to run the XBox emulator under Wine :-)
  • Working
    StarWars Starfighter
    UFC: Tapout
    NHL 2002

    Partially Working
    Halo
    The Simpsons Road Rage
    Arctic Thunder
    Kabuki Warriors
    F1 2001

    Not Working
    NASCAR Heat

    Hardware Requiremens

    At least 1GHz Athlon/Duron/P3/P4
    Nvidia Geforce Video/ATI Radeon only
    256MB RAM
    DVD ROM Drive

    Known Bugs

    Video flickering in some Games
    Sporadic crashes.
    Slow Performance on P3 Systems
    General Problems with Intel CPUs
    Not compatible to Kyro graphics
    No Joystik support yet
    OpenGL support only for nvidia gForce 2/3
    No Gamepad Support yet
  • There's the problem, Microsoft makes money on the X-Box consoles, and every emulator out there will just provide another way to run X-Box games without having Microsoft take the nearly-hundred-dollar hit on hardware that the system itself costs them. So, even though Microsoft might try and sue, it's kind of an amusing situation in that the more people running emulators there are who buy games, the more money Microsoft actually makes.
    • Microsoft doesn't want any unlicensed people to understand XBox internals or crack protocols.

      An XBox emulator will, indirectly, lead to people being able to develop XBox software without having to pay money and agree to weird restrictions.

      The situation sounds a lot like how MPAA wants to supress unlicensed DVD players, in spite of the fact that players increase MPAA sales. (e.g. Xine has resulted in me purchasing DVDs where otherwise I would have not done so.) Why expect Microsoft to be any different?

    • Actually, I intended to say that Microsoft loses money in the first sentence of my post, but the fact I'm feeling rather sick today caused a brainfart where I just didn't preview. My bad.

      Microsoft does indeed make money on the games, but lose it on the hardware. For that reason, I'll be much more interested in a PC emulator for X-Box than I will be in something the other way around.

      After all, for half the cost of a Wal-Mart grade PC from HP, you can get a decently powerful PC with an incredible graphics card that also plays DVDs and some pretty decent video games.

      Sigh, yes, that last post was pretty embarassing. I'm going to go soak my head in ice water now.
  • Considering what is known in the XBox reverse engineering world right now, I am absolutely shocked (and pleasantly so) that someone has come up with an emulator so quickly. First of all, XBoxHacker [xboxhacker.net] reports that the BIOS has four copies of itself and a whole host of protections to make sure that hackers don't try to overwrite it with their own code. Secondly, the BIOS boot code is hidden somewhere and isn't actually in the BIOS that the processor chip sees when it starts up at FFFF:FFF0; the community surmises it's in a hidden ROM somewhere, which is making reverse engineering a much more difficult task.

    I would love to know how these guys did it--and I'm not going to rule out that someone provided them with the XDK or a whole host of internal docs to accomplish this.

    At any rate, massive, massive props. I'll bet Microsoft has visited that site a few times in the last couple days. ;-)
  • It's more of a wrapper. Think about it, what is it emulating? The XBox uses an x86 cpu, direct3d, and a standard HD. No actual hardware is being emulated, instead they are just wrapping function calls to conventional PC calls. Either way I can't wait to play DOA3 on my CPU :)
    • Uh, how about the motherboard/chipset? From what I understand, the xbox has a vastly different cpu/memory architecture which would make emulating on a standard pc rather difficult. That was my first clue that this was a hoax. Then the MSN dll about sealed it.
    • The problem is that even though most of the hardware is pretty standard, the memory architecture isn't.

      The XBox stores all of its data in a single memory block, and all chips (CPU, GPU, sound etc.) have access to it. To emulate that just by wrappers so that 3d acceleration etc would still work is practically impossible.

      You would need high level emulation or old fashioned virtual CPU to emulate an X-Box, and without a 10 GHz processor, this would not be playable.
  • I am pretty sure this is a hoax, anyone can confirm it actually works?
  • It's Fake (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bparrish (144030) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @01:42PM (#2828987) Homepage
    The included xbox.vxd in the program is just a renamed Quake file

    The xboxkrnl32.dll is a file from the Trilliam messenger program.

    I'd run a virus scanner if you ran this fake emulator.
  • What I don't fathom is why people release these game consoles where they lose money on the hardware to make up for it on the licensing. I mean heck, just release some VM for a broad base of PC hardware and charge people license fees to publish for it. Then sell
    • Companies don't just write a game VM because, while it may be cheaper for the company, a console is cheaper for most people. Hardcore PC gamers may have a GHz athlon with a top-of-the-line video card, DVD-ROM, etc., but a sizeable portion of the console population does not.

      Heck, I do Linux development, and I only have a dual p2-350 with a gf2mx. Having a really fast system might be nice, but what I've got is sufficient for what I do. The fact I prefer console games coupled with the fact that the cost upgrading my box to something sufficiently new would be many times more than a $300 unit (a PS2 in my case) pretty much ties it up. (I like avoiding the Microsoft tax, too. ;-))

      For most families, upgrading their box doesn't happen often, if ever. If they have a sufficiently new machine, it may have what it takes to play current-generation games. If not, the idea of opening up their box and finding the necessary parts to play a game is probably not something they want to hassle with. On the other hand, spending $200-300 on a drop-in solution where they can pick any game off the shelf and know it works is quite desirable. After all, they probably did the same thing with the rest of their "home entertainement system" (DVD player, stereo system, TV, etc.).

      Since most of the time companies actually make money on their consoles [actsofgord.com], this is all just icing on the cake. People want a simple product, they want the games, and companies profit on both and get a wider audience to boot. Developers like it for all the reasons that have been discussed repeatedly (single uniform platform, optimized for gaming), thus line up to make games.

      In the end, having a VM would be nice for users who already have high-end machines, but that's just not a large enough audience. Doing both would be nice, but supporting a VM on a wide range of platforms would be a major cost with little revenue. (Mostly support costs, theoretically you could make up what a console would profit you from off-the-shelf prices, but there's also "piracy" to contend with.) Arguably, you'd never get the same level of optimization, either. (Developers like having low-level hardware access.)

      Console hardware is just a better business decision for most places.

    • What I don't fathom is why people release these game consoles where they lose money on the hardware to make up for it on the licensing. I mean heck, just release some VM for a broad base of PC hardware and charge people license fees to publish for it.

      Because it's just like a Drug Dealer's marketting plan... "the first one is free", or in this case, "almost free". I believe that MS is trying to get their hooks into the home/living-room electronics arena, where THEIR machine will (hopefully, from their POV) be the central device for more than just playing games... cd player, dvd player, internet phone, maybe central network device for home, pay per view device, TIVO, IP Phone/Video conferencing device, etc. Who knows what they're going to want to do with it?

      By lowering the price of the hardware to the point of losing a TRIVIAL amount of money (in the big picture), they are ensuring themselves of getting a higher and QUICKER penetration into the market.

      It's the same reason for them to go out and buy Bungie so that they could release HALO exclusively on the XBox. I know it worked in my case, as that was the ONLY reason why I bought an X-Box. I've been following HALO for over a year, watching Steve Jobs demo/highlight it at all the Apple PR events, and you better believe I was more than a little pissed to find out that it was bought/assimilated by MS.

      To think I spent $500 (CDN) to play a video game. Sucks to be me.

      :)
    • That's called AMIGA DE [amiga.com].
  • by MaestroSartori (146297) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @01:47PM (#2829016) Homepage
    I'd take with a BIG pinch of salt. Why? Well, lets see: the DVDs are encrypted, and the decoding is done in hardware (as far as I know). The GeForce 3 doesn't have the same hardware capabilities as the Xbox GPU, and grinds to a halt in a 1.7GHz system when trying to do similar effects to the ones I run fairly easily on an Xbox. And those two are just off the top of my head. I think this is fake. Even if its not, it'll run like a dog when the graphics card can't do the T&L and shaders in hardware...

    --
    Sartori
  • I don't think we are going to see complete emulation because there a few things that the NV2A chipset can do like some of the shader operations (and games like Shrek that use them out the wazoo and nearly max out internal bandwidth while doing so) that just aren't possible on other existing video chipsets, or are terribly impractical on a non unified memory system (like treating your z-buffer as a texture and processing it back through the shaders - putting your AGP bus into a read dword/write dword back loop would kill all performance)

    The games they have working are games that probably don't use features that were new to xbox/NV2A chipset, or stress the system to its limits. i.e. games that closly resemble their PC counterparts. Later Xbox releases are much more likely to take advantage of the system's features and push it to limits, makeing them much harder to emulate.

    However, this could change once nVidia releases it successor to the NV20/GeForce 3, as that product may include all of the functionality of the NV2A chipset used in the Xbox. The Unified Memory/bandwidth situation will remain a problem and bottleneck though.

    Still, I don't think this will make a big difference - I prefer playing my console games on a console and my PC games on a PC, and I suspect most people who play these games will be the same way.

    (Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not represent those of my employer)
    • Since the site was /.'ed I couldn't get the files to check out.

      In any case, if it as hoax as being reported, most of my comments still stand - that the archeticural differences and unique chipset features of the xBox would be the hardest things to emulate in a way that provided adequate performance.

      I still remember when UltraHLE came out - and with that in mind, I don't dismiss the possibilut of Xbox emulation - I just don't think it'll be practical in a way like MAME is for a long, long time.

      (Opinions expressed are solely my own and do not represent those of my employer)
  • by Maul (83993) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @01:52PM (#2829040) Journal
    It is my understanding that the XBox has some sort
    of protection scheme on both the games and the hardware so that

    1) You can't play games without the proper key on
    them in the XBox.

    2) Games won't play without the XBox's key.

    I might be wrong, or oversimplifying it, but
    this is my understanding. The Games require the XBox key, and the XBox requires a Game's key.

    It is apparent that these people who made this,
    provided that it works (I haven't tried it yet, since I've got no XBox games), must know SOMETHING about this if my understanding is correct.

    Some people on /. have suggested that documentation was somehow leaked about the protection scheme.
    Either that or it was cracked. Neither would
    surprise me.

    If this is the case, then I'm wondering if this
    information could be used to make a Linux install
    disc for the XBox, one that had a valid key to be
    played.

    Can anyone with any more knowledge of the XBox give
    any insight on the possibility of this?
  • Hoax? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by icemind (191210) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @01:52PM (#2829042)
    Must be. a) The XBox DVD drive spins backwards to read the data b) It lists Soul Calibre 2 as a working game. Soul Calibre 2 isn't even out yet, not even in the arcades. Oh, and c) They stole the screenshots from IGN, for example:

    http://mediaviewer.ign.com/mediaPage.jsp?media_i d= 171619&object_id=16612&media_type=R&ign_section=27 &page_title=The+Simpsons+Road+Rage+review+on+xbox. ign.com&adtag=network%3Dign%26site%3Dxboxviewer%26 adchannel%3Dxbox%26pagetype%3Darticle&return_url=h ttp%3A%2F%2Fxbox.ign.com%2Freviews%2F16612.html

    Damn that long link. ;) But anway, I'm 99% sure this is fake.

    - icemind
  • by Gridle (17502) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @01:53PM (#2829047)
    Slashdot has sunk to a new low. We all knew it had absolutely no journalistic integrity, but come on, you could at least use your brains before accepting this sort of submission. And the previous screw-up, 100:1 lossless compression. Yeah, right. Why the hell are people so gullible these days?

    At the moment, no computer on this planet has enough juice to emulate the Xbox (No, not even the supercomputers which have 9,600 CPUs - because multiple CPUs don't make it any faster to emulate a single CPU), not to mention that nobody has been able to dump the contents of the HDs, the DVDs nor has anybody been able to crack the encryption of the Xbox BIOS. Additionally, the unified memory architecture makes it impossible to emulate the Xbox on a PC like a virtual machine. An interpretive or dynamic recompiling CPU core with everything else re-implemented is the only way, and that simply won't happen during the next decade because of the sheer complexity of such a project and because of getting sued to hell by Microsoft.

    They've just renamed a bunch of common files to make it look neat. But no matter how much you want it to be true, it is just a poor fake.

    In a related matter, no much how you want the Xbox MAME [otakunozoku.com], you will never get it. The developer cannot release his port, because software developed on the Xbox dev kit can't be released to public domain. Just stick with the good old PC versions [mame.net], which are also available for *nix / Linux [mame.net]. :)
    • by Gridle (17502) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @02:02PM (#2829100)
      I actually went and checked the files.

      snd3d.dll is from MSN Messenger

      xbox.vxd is a data file from Return to Castle Wolfenstein

      xboxkrnl32.dll is from Trillian (another messenger program)

      xbox_emulator.0.35.exe is a Visual Basic program compiled to .exe form that uses the c:\con\con trick to induce the Blue Screen of Death on unpatched Win9x systems.

    • by SteveX (5640) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @02:07PM (#2829128) Homepage
      The XBox HD contents have been dumped; read up on it at www.xboxhacker.net [xboxhacker.net]. It's going to be a lot of work for anyone to make an emulator, or even to get unsigned code to run on the box - but some progress has been made..

      The XBox uses the IDE password mechanism to prevent you from dropping the drive into a PC and reading it, but if you connect the drive to the PC *after* the XBox has unlocked it (without resetting the drive), then you can read from it. Course your PC BIOS didn't see it at boot so you need to write custom software to talk to it.. but that's been done..

      The folks at xboxhacker are very determined. It's fun to watch.

    • Slashdot should make a "yeah right" or "believe it if you want to" category for these types of stories so that you know before going into it that it's going to be a merry slash-fest of "bullshit!"
    • by Jimmy_B (129296) <.gro.hmodnarmij. .ta. .todhsals.> on Saturday January 12, 2002 @05:02PM (#2829799) Homepage
      At the moment, no computer on this planet has enough juice to emulate the Xbox (No, not even the supercomputers which have 9,600 CPUs - because multiple CPUs don't make it any faster to emulate a single CPU)

      That is absolutely false. The XBox's CPU is just an Intel CPU, which most home computers have something similar to, so not much needs to be done to emulate that (maybe emulate a few instructions, or shift opcodes). The video is handled through DirectX and an nVidia video chip; again, most people already have something similar, and minimal translation is necessary.

      People said that emulating the Nintendo 64 was impossible, but that was done, not by emulating the hardware at a low level, but through high-level emulation. Compatibility is slightly less, but it's orders faster.

      The fact that the XBox hasn't been fully reverse-engineered yet is an obstacle to making an emulator, yes, and this particular "emulator" is clearly a hoax, but it is by no means impossible.
      • by Gridle (17502) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @09:48PM (#2830708)
        Didn't you read what I just said? Or didn't you want to understand? The completely different memory architecture makes it impossible to emulate it like a virtual machine. You'd have to wrap your high level emulation around every opcode that gets executed, and by doing this, you wouldn't be gaining anything over a traditional interpretive or dynamically recompiling emulator. The speed requirements of this are unbelievable. Even if you could recompile whole blocks of code into tightly optimized emulation loops, there are many more things that need consideration on the emulation side such as IO ports, HD access, interrupts, proprietary 3D hardware - so what if DirectX is used? Its interface to the actual graphics chip does not exist on the PC side, so you'd have to emulate all that as well.

        FYI, emulating x86 on x86 does not make it any simpler than some other CPUs on x86. In fact, it is one of the most dreadful tasks one can imagine. Writing a CPU core for MIPS chips is a breeze compared to emulating a complete x86-based system with all its quirks, strange behaviours and design stupidities.

        Emulating a Nintendo 64 was never impossible, as Mike Tedder (aka Breakpoint) proved years before the high level emulators - which, if I may say so - are essentially real-time ports of the games to PC code and not emulation at all. The MIPS opcodes are dynamically recompiled into x86 code in memory, the graphics chip calls are trapped and translated into native 3D API calls, the sound chip playlists are simply thrown at the sound card. This is also why the high level emulators will never run more than Mario 64 and Zelda 64 without ugly hacks, since both the CPU, graphics and sound chips can be reprogrammed and none of the current emulators can handle this. Your compatibility estimate of "slightly less" is several magnitudes wrong. Of course there has to be an exception - I've understood that Project64 actually emulates the RSP microcode (3D manipulations, audio functions) instead of faking it on a high level. But it also requires a lot faster computer.

        I never said emulating Xbox will always remain impossible. At this time however, because of current CPU speeds and the sheer complexity of the Xbox system, you cannot expect to see an emulator. Not for at least five years, probably closer to ten.
        • by Jimmy_B (129296) <.gro.hmodnarmij. .ta. .todhsals.> on Saturday January 12, 2002 @10:49PM (#2830870) Homepage
          Even if you could recompile whole blocks of code into tightly optimized emulation loops, there are many more things that need consideration on the emulation side such as IO ports, HD access, interrupts, proprietary 3D hardware - so what if DirectX is used? Its interface to the actual graphics chip does not exist on the PC side, so you'd have to emulate all that as well.
          IO ports and HD access shouldn't pose a problem because they're not speed critical (HD would actually be faster, because of faster drives), and the 3D hardware is not the problem you seem to think it is. The "actual graphics chip" *does* exist on the PC side; nVidia sells near-identical cores to Microsoft and to PC motherboard manufacturers. Plus, the games are probably only interfacing with a DirectX library implementation somewhere on the XBox hard disk, so that can be trapped and redirected into the PC DirectX library.

          As for the N64, the UltraHLE emulator runs a large percentage of games; yes, it does so with some hacks, but on consoles, the only programs you need consider are the successful commercial ones, not thousands of freeware programs with thousands of different sets of quirks.
          This is also why the high level emulators will never run more than Mario 64 and Zelda 64 without ugly hacks, since both the CPU, graphics and sound chips can be reprogrammed and none of the current emulators can handle this.
          DirectX HAL comes to the rescue here; the games shouldn't be touching the hardware except through DirectX, to which calls can be trapped.
          I never said emulating Xbox will always remain impossible. At this time however, because of current CPU speeds and the sheer complexity of the Xbox system, you cannot expect to see an emulator. Not for at least five years, probably closer to ten.
          I've gotten the distinct impression that Microsoft started with a PC and modified it until they had something suitable to sell as a console. Yes, it will certainly take time to reverse-engineer the thing to the point where it can be emulated. However, Microsoft's laziness may well mean that the XBox and PCs are surprisingly similar. I also think that the hardware of five to ten years from now will be absolute overkill for emulating an XBox.

          Of course, until someone cracks the XBox BIOS, we're both on speculation, which makes this argument rather pointless.
        • What about VMWare-type emulation? Currently, the virtual machine inside my AMD Asus A7V box shows Intel 82371 as the chipset. If VMWare is able to emulate chipsets (even when the host has a different memory architecture), I assume that XBox emulation is quite feasible under current technology.

          The major roadblocks are the need to crack all those encrypted stuff and creating the hardware bridge.
    • Let's leave the Slashdot 'no news' story out for a minute. Let's focus on the TRUE emulation for a minute.

      1: It is known that the CPU inside a Xbox is a 733P3.

      2: The ram is standard sdram, and there is a known ram 'hack' to add more (being there is connections on the motherboard to do so.

      3: The HD is a standard IDE HD, using standard 'home use' parts.

      4: The graphics chipset (by Nvidia), could probably be 'instruction linked'to that of a heavily modified Geforce3. I know of no better way to describe this other than comparing the Voodoo2 Chipset to the N64 console. Using a High Level Emulation layer, N64's calls were mapped easily to the Glide DLL that of a Voodoo2

      My idea would to map the instructions found on the HD and the Game dvd's to determine patters of data, and write interfaces (along with a processing power of a another 733P3 (used to preprocess the data for the gfx card) and a Geforce3. With the BIOS matter, I'd dump memory from RAM and look for telltale signs of mirroring of the BIOS in ram. If that wouldn't work, use a Linux boot disk (the netplay one) and have debug tools to pull the encrypted BIOS image off to another medium. My premise is that if the console can decrypt it (and can start the machine up), we can decrypt it too, by hand if nessisary.

      Josh Crawley

      ps: The emulation community didn't think the N64 could be emulated at all.
    • Slashdot has been hitting new lows on a consistant basis for about 14 months. Sure there were foul-ups before but usually one of the editors would admit their mistake. Not really the case anymore.

      But think of it like this. An article such as this, about a hot new technology that you can have for free drives a lot of traffic to the slashdot site. How so? It is a lot more than just the initial people who read the article. Many forward a link off to their friends via email or chat. These people hear it was "broke" on slashdot so when it doesn't work they go there and peruse all the messages looking for a solution.

      Slashdot exists solely on AD revenue. Let's all not forget that if the impressions don't maintain a high enough level some positions will have to be eliminated from the slashdot staff. Because of this don't ever expect an editor to call out another for doing a shitty job. They all protect each other because its the only way to protect themselves.

      Honestly CmdrTaco should have been relegated to nothing but coding long ago. He is not an "editor".
  • It's a hoax... (Score:2, Informative)

    by dark druid (325782)
    Yay, for journalistic integrity on Slashdot yet again. When this got sent around some X-Box lists I'm on last week we quickly found out this was a hoax. The "emulator" is some random files zipped up and all the "screen shots" very conveniently happen to be exactly the same as some posted on the web.

    Can a PC DVD drive even read an X-Box disk?
    • Can a PC DVD drive even read an X-Box disk?

      Not exactly. All you see is a 130 MB partition with some DVD-Video files (an Xbox logo/trailer & a message in multiple languages to the effect of "This is an Xbox disc. Go put it in your Xbox instead.")

      But it's a standard DVD-9 disc. The rest is in a custom filesystem. Doubtless you could read the datablocks directly, but you'd have to write a filesystem driver, or an extracter of some kind.

  • Hoax (Score:2, Redundant)

    by CaseyB (1105)
    If people haven't noticed that the "screenshots" all replicate shots already published on the web, you can look at the files: The two DLLs are from MSN Messenger, and the VXD is a file from Wolfenstein 3D.

    You have all been trolled by Slashdot.

  • by SteveX (5640)
    Does HeUnique even read the messages on his own site? Folks here figured out pretty quickly that it's obviously a fake, and he posts an update to the story asking someone to try it.
  • by JackAsh (80274) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @02:15PM (#2829164)
    I just downloaded it and tried to run Halo, no luck. I meet the published reqs: P3 1Ghz, GF3, SbLive, WinXP, 512MB ram, DVD player, so there's no reason for the software not to work. The program didn't even attempt to access my DVD drive.

    Running strings on some of the files revealed a bunch of QuakeIII/Team Arena/Wolfenstein strings, and on another of the files a whole bunch of Microsoft Messenger/Trillian stuff.

    This made it appear as though the software was a hoax of some type, and some of the files were just filler.

    I tried logging connections at my Linksys while running the software but didn't see anything going on. At all.

    I'd suggest to every interested party that they download the software - just in case it is proven to work later and Microsoft goes ballistic and forces people to take it down - but don't run it until someone posts a proper disassembly of the program. Please also keep in mind where this is coming from - some random site in Russia. Not to say anything bad about our frozen neighbors, but there's been a lot of scams from that area.

    Caveat Emptor.

    JackAsh
  • by Calle Ballz (238584) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @02:31PM (#2829209) Homepage
    UPDATE by HeUnique:Is this emulator a fake? according to these messages in the XBox Hacker web site - this is a fake one. Could someone actually try it?

    Read the comments on your own website! Plenty of people have tried it, it is a simple application designed to give a video error message (Unable to initialize display, or something)... to make people think it's just their box. Read the comments above me, and giving a few more minutes, below me as well... A majority of them are people's personal experiences.
  • Another Emulator (Score:2, Informative)

    by substatica (548293)
    Here's another X-Box Emulator [xboxemu.fr.fm] supposedly........
  • by talks_to_birds (2488) on Saturday January 12, 2002 @03:27PM (#2829410) Homepage Journal
    • "Does HeUnique even read the messages on his own site? Folks here figured out pretty quickly that it's obviously a fake, and he posts an update to the story asking someone to try it."

    Ninety percent of the articles put up as "news" on /. are just to generate post volume.

    The vast majority of the "news" that gets posted is really "olds", and the rest is just bait.

    Take it from someone who's been on here a *long* time...

    t_t_b

  • This just boggles the imagination!!

    How could they create it so quickly?? I mean the product has only been released months ago and already an emulator exists? The development speed is simply amazing!!

    No, wait... isn't the XBox a PC running Windows?
  • by naoursla (99850)
    Unless they broke the encryption they are going to have a tought time doing an emulator. They are also going to have a tough time from Microsoft's legal department.
  • The original X Box Emulator is available from this address: [iamlost.com]
    http://www.iamlost.com/features/x31/x-frame.html .

    Of course you need Windows 3.1 to run it!
  • It really should not be very difficult to emulate X-Box games on a PC. Reasons:
    1. The X-Box uses an Intel Pentium III processor, which is used by most PC's (OK, most PCs use something in Intel's Pentium family of processors, or use AMD Athlons which work at least as well.)
    2. X-Box games run on a stripped down version of Windows NT/2000/XP, and use the DirectX API to handle all the snazzy graphics & sound. There may be a few differences, but PCs have been running multiple flavors of Windows and using DirectX to run games for years.
    The hardest part of figuring out how to emulate X-Box is figuring out how to decrypt the games after reading them from the disk. That may mean reverse-engineering the X-Box's decryption code (naughty) or extracting the decryption keys from the X-Box's firmware (even more naughty.) Then it's just a matter of translating X-Box DirectX calls to PC DirectX calls & working out twenty million little compatibility issues.
  • Fake? Yup. (Score:2, Informative)

    by njv (540486)
    That screenshot from Simpsons Road Rage dates from around E3. There were a lot of changes made to the art between then and the release at the end of October. See the arrow at the top of the screen? In the final version of the game, it is a pointing hand. Unless they stole a pre-alpha build of the game and somehow made it work on the emulator (it wouldn't work on a real Xbox - we were on pre-production hardware then), then someone's not being entirely truthful here. Nice hoax though.
  • Why?

    Think about it, do you actually think any emulator would want to run such games in a window?

    Also, under requirements it says you need a ATI Radeon or Geforce3. Umm, doesn't the X Box work on a GF3 and not an ATI chipset? If so, then wouldn't games fail to work or display properly on the ATI card since they're programmed for the GF3? It also states it uses OpenGL, why not DirectX, Microsoft's brain-child?

    As well, why would it need that much ram? The X Box has only 64 MB of RAM, therefore the games should function fine under a system with 128 MB of RAM.

    And to add to that, you need a P3/P4/Athlon? Hell, the X Box uses a Celeron 733! I doubt you would even need a processor faster than 733 MHz as a 500 MHz processor would probably do the job.

    As stated by a lot of other people, it is a fake.
  • This has truly made my day. If this is a benign hoax that doesn't drop any malware or rootkits or open any back doors or do anything else nasty, I think it's great. Of course, if there is any sort of malware involved my attitude about it does a complete 180. But if this was a totally harmless prank I find it absolutely hilarious.

    The only Internet prank that beats this one was this: the "Daria Movie Rumors Site." Unfortunately it looks like the site is now history, but basically it was a vicious satire on Hollywood, Teen Movies and related topics, and included a hilarious fanfic that was sort of an extended "Daria" episode as if it was written by the "I Know What You Did Last Summer" screenplay. Very beautifully done. Too bad it's gone.

    This story needs a new icon. "It's Funny. Laugh."
  • ... you see the letters "MSX" and immediately think of an old Japanese computer platform.
  • UPDATE by HeUnique:Is this emulator a fake? according to these messages in the XBox Hacker web site - this is a fake one. Could someone actually try it?

    Maybe the slashdot editors could actually try it before posting? Or do none of the slashdot editors have windows boxes because they're too good for that?

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