Microsoft Xbox

The original Xbox by Microsoft was first released during November 2001. It directly competed with Sony’s PlayStation 2 and Nintendo GameCube as part of the sixth generation of consoles.

Article Contents

System Overview
Microsoft Xbox on eBay
Best Microsoft Xbox Emulators
Raspberry Pi Microsoft Xbox Emulation

System Overview

The Xbox’s history began when a team of engineers began a project to build a Windows orientated games console to compete with Sony’s latest console, the PlayStation 2. The Xbox name derives straight from ‘DirectX’, the windows API which assists developers to handle multimedia tasks in development. The project became known as the ‘DirectX Box’.

With it’s Windows PC based roots, the Xbox’s hardware had more in common with your average PC than the consoles of the time. The inclusion of a built-in hard drive meant users did not have to contend with memory cards as with the PS2 and GameCube. Memory cards could actually be used with the port in the Xbox controller, but this was mainly intended for portable storage so you could transfer save game data between consoles. This larger storage medium meant also things such as audio CDs could be ripped to the hard drive and the music used in games. The Xbox could also play DVDs, but not out of the box. An additional DVD IR remote was required to ‘unlock’ this feature of the console.

The Xbox controller was quite unusual in being extremely large, especially compared to the likes of the PlayStation’s controllers. The first revision controller, and the largest, eventually became known as the ‘Duke’. A smaller version of the controller, known as the ‘Xbox controller S’ was released in 2002 and became the standard in pack controller with the Xbox.

Significantly, the Xbox can lay claim to popularising online console gaming with its Xbox Live service. Launched in 2002, Xbox Live was only functional with a broadband connection. This is where the integrated ethernet port on the Xbox proved to be a huge advantage. By 2004, Xbox Live had over 1 million users, doubling to around 2 million in 2005. By comparison, the PS2 and GameCube also had broadband adapters for their consoles enabling online play, but the popularity of these services was limited at the time.

Sales performance of the Xbox totalled around 24 million worldwide, whereas the PlayStation 2 sold c. 160 million units worldwide. The Nintendo GameCube sold similarly at around 22 million. But the Xbox debut certainly provided very solid foundations for its successor, the Xbox 360.

Microsoft Xbox
The Microsoft Xbox


How to Emulate this system?

Microsoft Xbox emulation is perhaps surprisingly, something which is still not fully developed to the point of where refined, user-friendly emulators are available. Microsoft Xbox emulation is still certainly in its infancy, but the following emulators are the definitely worth a look;

These emulators also act as a Sega Chihiro emulator, which was an arcade system based on the same CPU/GPU as was used in the Xbox.

Emulator Description Platform
Cxbx-Reloaded Cxbx-Reloaded is probably the most developed emulator so far, so is a good starting point. Windows
XQEMU It is worth noting that this XQEMU build does not come with an Xbox GUI and needs you to download a frontend to make this more accessible – xqemu-manager Windows, Linux, Mac

Emulation using a Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is a compact single board computer which has become very popular for emulating retro computers and consoles. You can buy the Pi very cheaply and has a whole community supporting and building accessories and applications that are compatible with.

Significantly, for Retro Gaming enthusiasts, the Raspberry Pi offers fantastic all round emulation of many systems. It offers the ability to output games on HDTVs via HDMI or older CRT TVs via composite outputs. Combining the Raspberry Pi with Retropie, you have a device capable of emulating anything from the Atari 2600 to the Sony PlayStation.

Check out the different Raspberry Pi packages you can pick up on Amazon using the button below.

Check Raspberry Pi prices on ebay

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