Emulation of the original Xbox.

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by MarzSyndrome, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. MarzSyndrome

    MarzSyndrome

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    I was pondering this earlier. We're talking about a 13/14-year old console that was discontinued 8 years ago. There was talk of one potential emulator project - Cxbx - and that was about it.

    Fast forward to today, and while we're enjoying putting our ninja computers to the test with pumped up Dolphin and PCSX2 setups, the Xbox has more or less been ignored. EmuCR posts occasional new builds of Cxbx, but from word of mouth these don't seem to have improved on the progress of Xbox emulation very much, if at all.

    You would've thought it'd be especially easy to get up and running on today's x86-based architecture. Is it just lack of motivation or documentation involved?
     
  2. Covarr

    Covarr

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    Lack of motivation is certainly a huge aspect of it. Virtually every worthwhile game on the thing is already playable on another system. Both Halo games can be played on PC at higher resolution (and now on Xbox One), Shenmue II is on Dreamcast, Forza has been improved in every meaningful way in its sequels... what does that leave? Fuzion Frenzy? It was good, but people have bad memories because of its sequel, and it alone isn't worth emulating the Xbox for.

    Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see the original Xbox emulated if only for the sake of preservation, but I can totally see why most people wouldn't bother. I mean seriously, even the Wii U, which people still seem to think has no library, has more worthwhile exclusives.
     
  3. Miles Prower

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    Panzer Dragoon Saga and JSRF are two big reasons why Xbox emulation should exist.
     
  4. Pexs

    Pexs

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    Blinx the Time Sweeper, anyone? Oh? Just me? Well alright then.


    I really wonder what type of hardcore coding really goes into projects like this. Emulators are pretty amazing, but they must be a massive pain to code.
     
  5. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    Metal Wolf Chaos. I so want to play that again. Maybe with the menus translated.
     
  6. DigitalDuck

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    Blinx is awesome, and anyone who disagrees is clearly misguided.
     
  7. Lilly

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    What about OddWorld : Crunch's Odyssey, or did that get a PC port? There's also the first Fable and its expansion, which I've heard people say is better than the newer Fables. (C'mon, dog, stop digging up used condoms.) The PC ports of Halo also chop out split-screen modes, and the first Halo didn't even have culling implemented. Combat Evolved on the PC was a turd port in some respects.

    On the other hand, most major hits on the XBOX came to other systems. I can see why there isn't enough motivation to write an emulator, when most reasons to run an XBOX emulator isn't that high compared to a Gamecube or Wii.
     
  8. Hivebrain

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    MAME has some limited Chihiro emulation, which has mostly the same hardware as the Xbox. Don't know if it was based on Cxbx progress or done independently.
     
  9. steveswede

    steveswede

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    I read this the other week regarding XBOX emulation on why the development of it is slow.

    http://pulp365.com/2014/05/last-console-crack-depth-interview-original-xbox-emulation/
     
  10. Aerosol

    Aerosol

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    The road to becoming an experienced enough programmer to participate in emulator development is fraught with peril. Ultimately, I don't think it is for me, but I so wish it was because the Xbox would have as much attention as I could give it. It's essentially a Dreamcast 2 for people like us.
     
  11. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    It really is a Dreamcast 2. The controller is a cross between the Saturn and Dreamcast, it was online-focused like the Dreamcast, and it shared hardware with a Sega arcade board (albeit the arcade board being based on the Xbox). That and being home to the eccentric kind of games that were previously appearing on the Dreamcast, like Voodoo Vince and Kung Fu Chaos, continuing favourite Sega franchises in JSRF and Orta, and cementing its arcade-ness with Tetris World and Ultra Bust-A-Move (remember this is before the digital download era).

    I just wish the 360 had gone in the same direction.


    I'd love to be able to participate in this, but I wouldn't have a clue where to start...
     
  12. winterhell

    winterhell

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    In my list Orta, Dead or Alive 3/Ultimate, Ninja Gaiden Black( I'm aware of Sigma for PS3), maybe TJ&E 3.
     
  13. Jeffery Mewtamer

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    I skipped the Xbox on account of Microsoft anti-fanboyism, but I wouldn't mind giving Blinx and Rare's Xbox line-up a try. As for the Sega stuff, considering I grew up on Nintendo and didn't know the Dreamcast existed until after it died, I have plenty of earlier games to play via Dreamcast Emulation before I get to xbox-exclusive sequels. Now, if I just had the vision to get started on those Dreamcast gems.
     
  14. What I feel like is going to happen is that because an Xbox emulator alone doesn't seem to be worked on, a 360 emulator is going to be made in the near future, and any OG Xbox games compatible with that will work.

    That seems like the more likely option, because it would be for 2 entire system libraries, and not just one.
     
  15. DigitalDuck

    DigitalDuck

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    I don't think it's that simple.

    Also, it's already two entire system libraries - Xbox, and Chihiro. Hurry up and let me play Wangan Midnight Maximum Tune at home already.
     
  16. SoullessSentinel

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    I picked up development on Cxbx a while back, got a very buggy build running on 64-bit, however, I abandoned it because the HLE approach is not really good for emulating the Xbox. It gets quick results, however it is impossible to support al possible XDK variants and anything that bangs the hardware directly wouldn't work. Certain games such as Conker are expected to never work via the HLE approach due to reasons I can't recall, something to do with how the XDK functions are included stopping them from being HLE detectable.

    The most promising Xbox emulator right now is XQEMU, basically a modified version of the Qemu virtual machine to add support for the Xbox custom hardware. It' looks difficult to setup though, especially on Windows. On Linux you can just compile from source code. Even once it's setup, it is still extremely primitive and buggy, but it's something.
     
  17. winterhell

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    They would have to emulate 360's emulator as well, that thing is not hardware. To put things into perspective, Dolphin, arguably the most advanced and worked on 128-bit console emulator, 14 years after the consoles release has trouble running N64 games emulated on the Gamecube. 14 years.

    Imagine now the 360 being much more complex, powerful and demanding console. This by itself means much more time on average would be spend making the emulator itself. Combine it with near zero increase in CPU per core performance, and you are looking at some 20 years from the console's release until a high profile AAA native game being playable.

    Not to mention most of the xbox titles are either not emulated at all on the 360, or have severe glitches.
     
  18. Lilly

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    The 360's XBOX emulation is a sham, as there are dozen of games that don't even work with it. I think one guy couldn't get any SEGA published XBOX games to work on his 360 at all. If you aren't trying to run Halo 1 or 2, it's hit or miss compatibility. The first Fable might run, that's how bad it is. And if you happen to still own one of the few 360s that shipped without a hard drive, you can't even emulate the few that work.

    So, yeah, not a very realistic option. That's why legitimate emulation of the XBOX needs to exist, if anyone had the time for it.

    That article steveswede linked was an insightful read on the matter. What he was trying to do before almost sounds like the equivalent of the WINE project. Very unique approach. I find it amazing that PCs have come along so far since then, that a straight-up emulation environment is more practical.
     
  19. Odemus

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    It seems that it is just a lack of interest. If there was some very good exclusives or maybe a cult classic, just a general want to emulate it, there would be some movement in the scene. But the way it is, it seems that either a Xbox 360 emulator will be made that can, or none will be made that work better than the current builds.
     
  20. Infiniti

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    Well as some already mentioned Panzer Dragoon, Shenmue 2 and Jet Grind Radio Future, I'd like to throw in ALL the Dead or Alive games, Fatal Frame 1+2, Soul Calibur II and Outrun 2 (NOT the 2006 Coast 2 Coast version either!)

    And being honest, I've not kept up on original Xbox emulation. But it would be nice to see something become of it someday. I still have my xbox (and the above listed games) Since I can't play them any other way. (Yes I have a 360 too, but backwards compatibility might not be the best at times).