I have recently gone trough my old original Microsoft XBOX’s to sell as they have just been collecting dust. Even though these consoles are over 12 Years old, they are still great if you modify them for a basic media streamer (XBMC) or retro gaming (Emulators). The ones that I was selling were already modified but I hadn’t installed any retro gaming emulators on, so had to load some for selling the units so this is a very quick guide on setting up emulators and transferring games onto the console.
I used the modded xbox’s with xbmc for local network streaming of TV shows & films, though this could only be standard def as the original xbox wasn’t upto decoding HD files, though did find could play most 480p mkv or mp4 files ok.
Because of this I moved over to using Plex on a Now TV for home media streaming see info about this HERE.
To do retro gaming or XBMC on the original xbox you need a modded xbox or you pick up a cheap standard xbox and softmod it, this can be done several ways the way that I used to mod the xbox’s that I had was through a software exploit using a save game for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell. This was done easily by getting a original copy of the game, and getting the save game onto a usb memory card then onto the xbox using a little usb to controller converter cable so that the xbox seen the usb memory stick as a normal xbox memory card. If I remember right you just loaded the game and then the save game this then got you into the exploit and would modify the xbox and install UnleashX. Once rebooted you had a modded xbox, like a say a while since I did this for full guides search the net as there are loads out there with links to the software etc.
From this point you can use the unleash dash to launch backup games etc, though the best is to then install XBMC (XBox Media Centre) onto the console again this is done simply by downloading the latest build and then can use ftp to transfer the files across though you will need to attach the xbox to your local network through a RJ45 network cable as do remember these consoles don’t have wifi. Again been awhile installing this so check full guides on the net for further details.
Retro Gaming Install
The first time I switched on my old xboxs they didn’t boot direct into XBMC or even UnleashX it went straight to the original xbox dash. Then I remembered that if you have unplugged the original xbox from the mains socket for a period of time they loose the time and date settings, so if this has happened to you all you need to do is change the time and date settings then switch off and then back on again and then will boot into xbmc etc. Also remember if xbox isn’t plugged into network to boot to XBMC can take upto 45 seconds.
To add games and emulators to xbmx on your modded xbox is pretty simple, first you need to attach the xbox to your local network through a RJ45 network cable. As long as xbmc is set to obtain IP address through DHCP, this is done through the network settings. Which is where also you can find the IP address of your xbox, make a note of this will be something like 192.168.1.8 etc.
You will then need some ftp software on your computer this can be done with stand alone software like FileZilla, SmartFTP, FlashFXP, Free FTP etc, or my personal favorite is FireFTP, this is a addon for the FireFox web browser. Once within the ftp software of your choice add a new connection to your xbox using the ip address you noted down and the setting user name and password the defaults unless you have changed them for a standard install of xbmc is “xbox” for both username and password. Again this can be changed within the settings of XBMC.
When you have connected to your xbox through FTP you will see a list of drives, this is now dependent how the disk has been setup, most standard installs of xbmc on a stock drive (ie not upgraded from the original 10gb) the drive letter where you want to install emulators, programs, plugins etc is the “E:” Drive. The best way is if there isnt a directory called emulators or something like that create a folder.
Within that folder is where you will store your emulators and game roms. To download emulators for your modded xbox see HERE or HERE for a complete list with download links this is a external link as I don’t link direct to the downloads on here, you will also need to find roms for your chosen emulator again look on FIRST site listed above or there other website or even torrent files.
Some of my favourite emulators are: Mame-X (Mane), xSNES9x (SNES), Xboyadvance (Gameboy), uae-x (Commodore Amiga), Surreal64 (Nintendo 64), ScummVM (Lucas Arts etc), Winstonx (Atari St)
Once you have downloaded your chosen emulator copy the files into a directory under the emulators directory you have created, within that directory you should have file that include DEFAULT.xbe, make sure the file default.xbe in the the folder of the emulator you are going to use ie “E:/Emulators/SNES/default.xbe” and that is it you now have the emulator on the xbox, to add games / roms you will need them copied to a directory within that emulator ie there maybe a directory called “ROMS” copy the game files within there. This directory does depend on what emulator you are installed if unsure check the read me file that came with the emulator you have downloaded.
You can now launch the emulator from the programs menu item within XBMC by browsing to the emulators directory you created. Depending on the emulator you have installed you may need to change setting to get it running smooth depending on the game you are trying to play that may included changing option for graphics, sound and mapping controller button’s, with most emulators this is very easy within the menu of that emulator refer to documentation within the emulator. If you have problems running certain games or using emulator there are loads of forums out there with tricks and tips to getting the best out of your chosen emulator.
And that’s it you now have a relatively cheap retro gaming system, even with the stock harddrive you get in the original xbox can store thousand of games, ie the ones that i setup to sell in installed Amiga (200 approx), NES (1000 approx), SNES (700 approx) and Megadrive (1000 approx) so that’s nearly 3000 retro games and they only took up just under 3GB, though this does depend on the system you are emulator ie a nes game is a few kilobytes but a N64 game is in the region of 32 megabytes. But then again you can take of games that you don’t want. Hope you found this article interesting and have fun playing those old games, I know I did having to set my old ones up to sell, at one point didn’t want to sell them as was having to much fun playing some of the classic games, though now have installed some great emulators on my Tesco hudl 2 android tablet using an old usb joypad which works great see HERE for my review of the Hudl.
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