Thursday, November 30, 2006

Modded xbox

Xbox 360? Paaaahhhh ... past generation consoles that is the way forward for cheap expandable fun. Recently I brought an brand spanking new xbox from Game for £70 and included three rather good games (IGN rating):
Splinter Cell - Chaos Theory (9.6)
Unreal Championship 2 - The liandri conflict (9.3)
Need for speed underground 2 (9.1)

Even though my primary reason for buying it was for the things you can do once it is modded, I have been getting into the gaming too. Alice is also having fun on it too, especially with unreal tournament and splinter cell. I have already brought another game off ebay called Pro Evolution Soccer 5 which fills the niche of a football game. The other things I wouldn't mind getting in the future is a football manager game, a fighting game and The Sims. To go along with this I have brought an xbox controller from Hong Kong and ... a dance mat (I haven't used that yet but it should be fitness fun)

As mentioned above the reason I brought the xbox was to mod it. What this involves is fitting another chip to the motherboard, so that Microsoft's restrictions on what code can be run is lifted. Following the information from xbox-scene and command-tab I brought an Xecuter 2.6LE chip and Xapt3r 16 solderless adaptor from Mr modchips. I didn't have the courage to do soldering! Fitting the chip wasn't too bad, but there was some nail biting moments trying to fit these tiny wires into the right holes. After that and flashing the chip with the X2 Bios from bitorrent we were ... freeeeeeee.

There are two main reasons why modding the xbox is so marvellous:
1) Xbox media centre. This bit of software turns the xbox into a media centre PC capable of playing all kinds of media (mp3s, divx, streamns etc.) over the local network or internet. This is simple amazing stuff and is extremely well done. At the moment I have it streaming stuff off my Mac box upstairs. I also brought a good quality xbox component cable to make full use of my HDTV.
2) Emulators. There are a wide range of emulators available for the xbox which expands the games you play to all the old classics. Of particular note is the N64 emulator which is quite simple beautiful. Current favourite game is the almighty Mario Kart 64. Other emulators I have got installed are for the SNES, NES, Amiga, C64, Megadrive and Scumm (Monkey Island etc.).

My brother got so inspired by the idea of the media centre that he wanted one too and so I have sorted him out one too. Handily he had an old harddrive lying around that was bigger than the 10GB one that comes as standard so he won't have to stram everything.

Bring on the old school.