Ramblings of an Urban Geek – Tech Enthusiast

Want more functionality out of that old Xbox? Mod it! Turn it into a networked media player!!!

They say only 1% of console users have hacked or modded their console. Many might not know about all the extra functionality you can get from modding or hacking that console. The main thing people talk about when they mention modded consoles is the ability to either copy games or play copied games for free. While I’m not going to act like that isn’t the case when many mod their game box, because for some it is. But that isn’t the only reason.

Taking a look at what I’ve ran across over the years, there have been some very interesting Mods out there to gain functionality to various consoles. To give you an idea what’s out there, I’m gonna run through a few of the benefits of modding the Xbox.

Mod your Xbox

Yea I know you’ve heard about it all before. Many people have modded their Xbox’s to do all sorts of stuff (a lot of which is now included in the Xbox 360 feature set). But how did they do it? Back in the early days, people bought mod chips, opened the Xbox, and soldered chips and added software, and flashed this and that. Was pretty tricky. But nowit’s a lot easier.

You can just use a soft mod. There are a few ways to do this . There are a few games that have a bug in the save game system that can be exploited to let you get things installed. Without going into too much detail, what you would need to do is download one of the exploited games savesUse action replay or a similar product to get those games transferred to the Xbox harddrive. Start the game and load the save game and it will install a version of Linux on the Xbox. Then you reboot the Xbox and when it starts you’d then have the option to install your own dashboard. (more on how to do this here)

Some of the more popular dashboards are Unleashed XEvolution X, and Xbox media center. The dashboard acts sort of like a browser, from there you can access all sorts of goodies.

Forget playing copied games, the Xbox is old now. What you would want to do with this setup is add other functionality. First you have to rip out that old 10 GIG hard drive and put in a nice large HDD to hold all the software and files you want. Once the Xbox is modded, there are ways to do that.

If you’re itching to browse the web on your 60 inch Samsung, there is a browser available for you to do so. It’s kind of hard to use and a bit buggy but hey if you want it bad enough, it’s there.

Like Mame? Playing with all the different NESSega and Game boy emulators? If you know where to look, you can have your very own full featured old school arcade. And the good thing is that those programs and ROMs will be on the Xbox’s hard drive, so you can take it to your friend’s house.

How about a networked media playing device?

With Xbox Media Center installed (can be installed as a dashboard or an application), you really have probably the best device out today to serve this purpose. It’s a shame that Microsoft doesn’t just hire the guys who worked on this and start selling the Xbox with this already installed.

With XBMC (Xbox media center), you can play just about every video format,XvidDivxMpeg…Everything except Apple’s formats. You can also add your Xbox to your home network and stream those video’s from another PC to the Xbox. You have total control over the display,

You want HD? You can get HD.

Want widescreen? You can get widescreen.

Those files can be transferred over to the Xbox or streamed, so there’s plenty of flexibility.

With some of the add-ons to XBMC, you can also access other online content, like movie trailers from iFilm.com, Video game trailers, and other random videos from various websites.

Makes you want to take that old Xbox out of the closet doesn’t it. It sounds easy and fun but beware, even though soft-modding is easier than soldering etc, you can still turn your Xbox into a brick if you do the wrong thing.

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