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View Full Version : What XBOX should i buy if i intend to create a media centre?



Darkwood.killers
30-05-11, 10:09
I have been listening to the RGR podcast and like the sound of being able to Emulate different consoles on the XBOX. I own more retro games on multi formats than i can count and as nice as it is to boot up my old systems it would be convinenant to open up the XBOX and play games like Super Mario Bros and Xevious.

Can this be done and how would i do it?

Dhalamar
31-05-11, 08:38
You don't have to open it up or have any specific one, you can just softmod it. UKMike could probably tell how to do it better than I could, it's been a few years since I've done it.

I remember transferring a special save file to a memory card, loading it up into Mechassault (I'm pretty sure that's the game) and using a specific DVD to load everything up that can be found on torrent sites a dime a dozen. That's about the extent of the detail I can actually get into though, and that's just one of the ways. They're all equally as easy though. If UK can't help (or someone else for that matter), then just hit up Youtube for videos on how to softmod one.

The internal hard drive in those things is kinda/sorta small (either 8 or 10 gigs) but then again it's more than enough for emulation. But on the same note, they're easily upgradable ... working on the inside of that thing is identical to working on a computer since that's all it really is assuming you're familiar with that. And you'd need to find component cables depending on what kind of TV you have.

The 360 has multimedia capabilities, as well as Netflix and Hulu Plus. But you need the paid 360 Gold membership to use that stuff.

The PS3 has all the same capabilities (probably even more) as well as a web browser that will easily handle Youtube. And you don't have to pay per month to use things like Netflix, Hulu and Vudu (dunno if I'm spelling that right). And the hard drive is more upgradeable being that you can just buy a 2.5" SATA hard drive, stick it in there and go.

Darkwood.killers
01-06-11, 10:05
This should be enough to keep me going, we have a pawn shop nearby thats loaded with consoles and due to the majority of our community theres not much call for games consoles (at least where i live in any case) so im looking forward to getting started.

im very greatfull for your advice, thankyou

Dhalamar
01-06-11, 12:17
This should be enough to keep me going, we have a pawn shop nearby thats loaded with consoles and due to the majority of our community theres not much call for games consoles (at least where i live in any case) so im looking forward to getting started.

im very greatfull for your advice, thankyou

Pretty much I'd say if you've got an older SDTV or EDTV the original Xbox, find some component cables, mod it and upgrade the hard drive (just uses a regular old IDE hard drive).

HDTV, if you have a computer with HDMI that's the best and personally what I use the majority of the time. Second is the PS3, third is the 360 because it's a bit more expensive in the long run since it requires Xbox Live Gold at 60 bucks a year (outside of Black Friday sales where those 1 year cards can go as low as 30 or 40 bucks) to do anything worthwhile like Hulu, Netflix and Last.fm.

indieseoul
01-06-11, 02:42
One note. The xbox controller has a notoriously bad dpad so there are also control issues on some games. If you are a street fighter or platformer fan it's best to mod your xbox to support usb gamepads.(hard mod)

The psp is a much nicer system for emulating on the go. I prefer the PS3 for emulation these days when at home and the psp for on the go. You can get by with the xbox dpad but it won't be the same as using an old style controller or a ps3/ps2 controller.

I was just using my xbox 360 game controller on my psp thanks to the update on the remote joy lite plugin today and realized that it is in fact the worst dpad on a controller I have ever used. I couldn't even move mario around the map on smb3! Worse perhaps then the original xbox controller. Even knock off ps2 style pc gamepads put it to shame. The fact is microsoft made their
controllers for fps games not the old style games that need a decent dpad.

The original xbox is cheap and easy to come by like Dalahmar said so go for it if that is your cup of tea. Real component cables are harder and harder to come by for the original xbox. There are tons of knock off ones but I've heard the quality is terrible

Check out my Ps3 is an emulating powerhouse thread for details on the ps3. All psp's are currently hackable with a simple file you put on the memory stick so it couldn't be easier. This week they just released a hack for the latest of latest firmwares on the psp.

Enjoy your emulation experience!!

Darkwood.killers
01-06-11, 07:01
i would prefer not to play any games with the XBOX controller to be honest and i was attempting to get a psp with the intention of emulating games however i bought a PSP 3000 and find no info on how to adapt them to play emulators? should i buy an older PSP and if so which would be best. at the moment the best i get is the sega megadrive collection and as much as i love Sega Megadrive collection id like to play different titles.

i do worship my playstation three and outside of Fallout games i only play Arcade titles from the PSN so it would be usefull to adapt my PS3 and i found your write up very interesting however i think i would be manicly depressed if PS nuked my console.

once again im very thankfull for your/everyones time and advice.

indieseoul
01-06-11, 11:10
You can buy a brand new psp and use it for emulators very easily. Here are a few links to websites with the info you need.

First signed homebrew and emulators. It doesn't matter what firmware you have these work on official firmware. Just put these in your game folder and add some rom files. No hacking required for these bad boys:
http://wololo.net/talk/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=1879


Now you can hack your psp's latest official firmware. This is for the latest firmware that came out last week. As of writing this post it is the last one released by Sony. If you buy a new psp in the next three months assume it will come with this one or an earlier one.
This is an easy hack. All you have to do is put some folders in your game folder and initiate the program. No hacking skills required and it will allow you to play backed up psp games and any homebrew or emulators that require kernal mode. Also unsigned homebrew.

http://www.psp-hacks.com/2011/05/29/psp-custom-firmware-6-206-356-39-pro-b6-released/


It's all easy to do it yourself. All you need is the skill to follow directions. Hope the info helps.

Darkwood.killers
17-06-11, 08:42
Hi all, just thought i would update everyone as its nice to see progress, recently i was talking with a family member whom reccomended an Original Xbox with software for playing Emulators. the good news is he had done all the hard work and i only had to pay a little fee for the console and a controller. so thankyou to everyone for putting me in the right direction. also thanks to Indieseoul i now also have a PSP that can work the Genesis/Megadrive so im as happy as can be. Once again thankyou for your advice.

On a side note, i now want to progress my Original Xbox To having a new drive and bigger harddrive to carry films and such. if anyones interested in offering up some advice id be more than happy to learn a few new things.

Thankyou once again.

indieseoul
17-06-11, 09:06
Dhalamar can you point this gentleman in the right direction? You are the original xbox expert here. I bought mine prechipped with a large Hdd already installed from a game shop here in Korea. I found an old tutorial which I sent via pm to you its probably outdated maybe you can do a search on google and find a better one. Happy Hacking!

miner2049er
17-06-11, 12:18
On a side note, i now want to progress my Original Xbox To having a new drive and bigger harddrive to carry films and such. if anyones interested in offering up some advice id be more than happy to learn a few new things.

If you are fitting a new drive you have to go from a softmod to a hardware mod with modchip.

Not sure what your soldering skills are but it may be easier to find some kind soul to do it for you.

You don't necessarily need to upgrade the drive to store films as it will stream over a network so you could keep the films elsewhere on your home network.

Dhalamar
17-06-11, 02:14
If you are fitting a new drive you have to go from a softmod to a hardware mod with modchip.

0_o I had a 120GB hard drive in my old soft modded Xbox. I don't know how it was was done (a friend of mine did it) but I know it wasn't hard modded.

indieseoul
17-06-11, 02:52
There are tons of tutorials on how to do it for both hard and soft modded xboxes. A hard mod isn't needed but if it's not hard modded I believe you have to own a certain game like one of the Splinter Cell games that contain an exploit. Just google "put a bigger hard drive in an xbox" and you should find some tutorials. You will need a torx screwdriver and if it is hard modded you will need to burn a cd of the bios software. So if it is chipped you will need to know what chip it is. I believe you will have to hook your new hard drive to a computer to format it for your xbox.

Here's a site with great resources but again it's old stuff because the original xbox scene is long dead. http://www.xbox-scene.com/xbox-tutorials.php

UK is right you can use a computer to share video files on a network but of course you will need a wired network near your TV since the original xbox doesn't have wifi.

For just videos the PS3 is so much easier to share videos with so you could use that and you don't even need to hack it in any way. There is a special DLNA program that will allow you to convert videos on the fly from your computer to your ps3 console over a wired or wireless network. This will work on a PC or a Mac.
http://www.ps3hax.net/2011/06/releasedps3-media-server-1-25-0/

Any file format you can play on your computer can be streamed to your ps3!

Your PS3 will just find it through it's DLNA connection and it doesn't matter what firmware you are on. No hacking needed.

miner2049er
17-06-11, 03:53
You can fit a bigger drive with a softmod but it is a lot of frigging around beforehand and you have to have the original drive available. Plus if you want to change the hard drive again you have to do the same frigging around.

If I was upgrading a hard drive, I would just do the hard mod.

indieseoul
17-06-11, 03:59
I love your use of technical jargon like frigging around. I believe his xbox is already chipped based on the pm I got. Changing a hard drive requires extensive knowledge of frigging around but buying a modchip requires frigging around and 30 bucks for a modchip. Lots of chances to frig up your frigging xbox. Ha ha ha.

Darkwood.killers
18-06-11, 08:01
Thankyou for the advice once again i lhave lots to go on now, i know the Xbox is soft modded and when i boot up the Xbox the software called ' XBMC ' Boots up. At the moment it has a few Emulators however there a few arcade titles id like and it also plays PS1 titles which would require a bigger hard drive than i currently have to get a few good titles id like to go back to that i have in mint cond. I like the sound of accessing films from another source but im not as clever as you guys so that might take me a while. Its all good feedback and i have a little time to myself so i will enjoy looking into all of these avenues.

im currently in the process of moving more North than Notts so im sorry for my late replies but thankyou all for talking to me its much appriciated.

miner2049er
19-06-11, 12:04
it also plays PS1 titles which would require a bigger hard drive than i currently have

Not sure how much its change but compatibility was low last time I looked into it.


I like the sound of accessing films from another source but im not as clever as you guys so that might take me a while.

Piece of piss.


im currently in the process of moving more North than Notts so im sorry for my late replies but thankyou all for talking to me its much appriciated.

Are you going to Derbyshire mi duck?

indieseoul
19-06-11, 01:27
Sharing video files over a network on both devices is easy as pie. The PS3 is the easiest. All you need is that program I linked above for your PC or Mac. It's very user friendly and it will ask you what folders of videos or music you want to share. You simply add the folders to be shared and then turn on your ps3. Then on your ps3 you will allow your PS3 to use Media server connect. Then your folders will show up on your xmb. You can share videos music or photos.

From the playstation manual:http://manuals.playstation.net/document/en/ps3/current/settings/connectdlna.html

Whats great about the program I linked to above is that it will allow you to play any video format like: Divx, Xvid, Avi, Mkv, Vob, etc. If you plan on playing HD videos you will need either a fast wireless connection or a decent wired connection. If you have at least 5mbps on your wireless it should play great with no choppiness or buffering at all.

Darkwood.killers
04-07-11, 12:26
Are you going to Derbyshire mi duck?

(im nearly moved now but im actualy in scotland, although after a couple of years we may move to derbyshire.) my internet is very limited hence my timing for replying to the forum is very slow but im very greatfull for help.

SubaruBrat
04-07-11, 01:27
Not being a software guy I said fuckit and ordered a modchip and also a bigger HD. This is on an original Xbox I bought about a year ago mainly to play Steel Battalion, which is another compelling reason to get an Xbox. I figured if I had the thing I might as well set it up for EMU. It was dead easy, solder a couple of pads, swap the HD, and drop in the CD and select what I wanted. I installed all the emulators and did the DVD to HD which allows you to copy movies and games to the HD. That makes load times of games much better too. So the Xbox makes a great platform for media as well as emulation.

And seriously, check out one of the best games I have EVER played. Steel Battalion is freakin amazing, you get to drive a mech simulator, a simulator for something that does not exist yet. As a pilot I spend some time in sims and trust me, this thing feels like a high end sim and you feel like your really piloting a mech!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel_Battalion

Dhalamar
04-07-11, 10:06
Well, the different dashboards will mess up Steel Battalion as the humongoid controller on that game uses multiple button presses to achieve it's 50 million buttons. One of my friends played that on a modded Xbox and one of the commands on the huge controller would reset the system.

Rebooting into the normal MS dashboard would probably fix that problem though.

Darkwood.killers
05-07-11, 09:31
Im moving my property even more Northern UK than i all ready am soon, so with any luck by the end of July i will be able to put all these guides to goods use.

Im really greatfull for everyones input, also i will be sure to check out Steel Battalion too. The only problem i will find with retro games is getting my Fiancee to give me the pad back, she is addicted to Gameboy at the moment but recently to test the XBOX i was playing through Strider for the Genesis/Megadrive, it looked and played very well. . . . untill she took the pad from me and refused to give it back. (I shouldnt complain really as ive talked her into attending the first UK Retrogaming Event)