The benefits of Sony, Nintendo and Sega encouraged Microsoft at the end of the 1990s to bring even a video game console on the market. The Xbox belongs to the same generation of console such as the PlayStation 2, the Nintendo GameCube and the Sega Dreamcast. In the Sega Dreamcast you could already gain experience with the Microsoft Windows CE supplied by Microsoft, Microsoft had to bring more experience with the Windows games interface "Direct X". So it was only a small step to develop a PC components-based console.
The name "Xbox" was composed of the internal working title "Box" and the interface "Direct X". Intended only as the internal label, he then became the official name of the first video game console from Microsoft.
The Xbox was released first on 15 November 2001 in the United States, then on 22 February 2002 in Japan, and on March 14, 2002 in Europe. The launch titles were Halo: fight for the future, Amped: freestyle snowboarding, dead or alive 3, Project Gotham Racing and Oddworld: Munch's Oddysee.
In Germany the Xbox at the launch for 479€ was offered, not even six weeks later the price to 299€ was lowered, a little later then to 249 €. In August 2004 the Xbox cost finally 149 € the price which corresponded to 2 of Sony's competitors, what. To the production and delivery end in November 2006, the Xbox in Germany was sold in many stores for 99 €. At the same time, many game manufacturers discontinued the production of games for the Xbox and developed for the follow-up Xbox 360 console only.
End of 2005 worldwide approximately 21.9 million Xbox devices were sold, it but only about 1.8 million in the entire Asia Pacific region. How much Xbox sales were 360 after the release of the Xbox successor, was never announced by Microsoft for marketing reasons.
The Xbox was Microsoft advertised for only 5 years, marketed and supported. Compared to other consoles, such as the competitors Sony and Nintendo, this is a relatively short period of time. Development, production and sales of the Xbox Microsoft brought a loss of about $ 4 billion.
On March 2, 2009, Microsoft has discontinued support for the Xbox.
The original controllers D and the newer controller S (right)
The architecture of the Xbox differs little from an ordinary PC.
The hardware data in detail:
Total system power: 13,0 Gigaflops
CPU: Intel Mobile Celeron (Coppermine core) with 733 MHz and 133 MHz front side bus. Performance specification of Microsoft: 1,466 Gigaflops.
Memory: 64 MB DDR RAM with 200 MHz.
Cache bandwidth of 6.4 GB per second. Uses the NVIDIA Twinbank memory architecture.
Southbridge clocked at 200 MHz.
DVD: Modified drives of the brands Samsung, Hitachi/LG, Phillips and Thomson
Graphic: in the integrated GeForce chip set 3-core "NV2A" from NVIDIA with 233 MHz and a maximum resolution of 1920 × 1080 pixels, two render and four text ureinheiten, as well as a pixel and two vertex shader
Audio: in the chipset integrated audio chip with Dolby Digital 5.1 Encoder, 256 voices, up to 64 3D-Stimmen
Interface: AV output, Ethernet-10/100 Mbit/s port, four controller ports
3, 2.5 Inch hard drive from Western Digital (8 GB) or Seagate (10 GB)
The Xbox is relatively large and heavy (3.4 kg), because the power supply to the console is installed. At the launch the device enclosed controller was also comparatively solid and therefore not very suitable for smaller hands. As a result Microsoft brought a smaller controller, the "Xbox Controller S", in the selection, which was included as an official controller included with the Xbox.
The game "Enter the Matrix" or "Atari anthology" for the Xbox were designed with HDTV support, with a resolution of 1080i and 5.1 sound. There are only 12 games that support either 720 p or 1080i. The HDTV output – as in all countries with the TV standard PAL - not supported in Germany however. The HDTV output is thus limited to NTSC consoles. The sound is digital encoded in real time of the audio chip in Dolby.
With customized Linux distributions (such as Gentoox or Xebian), a full-fledged computer with keyboard and mouse is from the game console, (special USB adapter required) as any PC can be operated and is suitable for internet through the network adapter. Since the four controller connectors use the USB protocol for communication, normal devices to these ports can be operated through a cable.
A very large community, which deals with the modification of the Xbox in the feature set, as well as in appearance, exist since release of the Xbox. This can greatly expanded the functionality of the device. This is done either through the use of Modchips or by using a Softmod (see below). Unsigned code can be loaded by this modification. So the users on a wide range of applications can access file manager, Web browser and alternative dashboards, such as such as the emulators, media players, ports of popular PC games. Linux can be used on the Xbox. Almost all applications are programmed with the Xbox Development Kit (XDK).
There are many Xbox Modchips, allowing it to execute unsigned code on an Xbox. They differ in the scope of delivery, the features and the price. Ranging from the cheapest Modchips, the Aladdin chips, down to the high end chips, such as Xecuter3 or SmartXX v3. A retooling of the hard disk is very easy for an Xbox with chip.
Some modchips are played with an alternative BIOS. They are available for legal reasons not free on the Internet.
Chips, however, such as SmartXX or XChanger have its own operating system and are playable with its own BIOS of any choice.
You need soldering the most chips in the Xbox. Installation instructions can be found in the numerous Xbox forums. If you have any soldering experience, you can build it in many shops. There are also Modchips, which only need to be plugged. However, there is in some cases contact problems which can lead to functional failures and damage the motherboard of the Xbox in the extreme. In addition five bridges on the motherboard (rebuild LPC) must be made at the last Xbox version 1.6. Thus, the light soldering of a multi-pin connector is no longer possible. Adapter boards work around this issue, make the necessary connections through a Board, so that no single wire connections must be soldered. There are chips, simply "pasted using a double-sided adhesive pad on the LPC port". The only thing that must be soldered there is a bridge to activate the chip.
A low-cost alternative to the chip card is the software modification (Softmod), which uses a modified game, then an alternative software install and operate. Here, the Xbox need to be nothing changed or soldered to the hardware. The possibilities that arise are identical with those of Modchips, however, such as the installation of a larger hard drive is slightly more difficult to realize.
The Xbox Softmod was made possible by the published on July 4, 2003 "free X exploit". A group that describes itself as a copy protection researchers, found that some Xbox games security vulnerabilities had and took advantage of this to execute arbitrary code on the console actually protected. The files to load the Xbox system be inspected by the internal stored SHA1 hash value, before they can actually be loaded. With audio and font files that is not the case, that came through the free X exploit to light.
The most popular implementation is this exploits the so-called "Ernie & Bert hack". This two font files were replaced by special files (Gaiden and bert.xtf). These files contain code that caused an integer Underflow and allows to to run unauthorized code on the security system of the Xbox past.
So far there are three Xbox titles, with which such game hacks are applicable: 007 agent in the cross-fire and MechAssault, splinter cell.
Alternatively, it is also possible to run unauthorized code, by connecting the hard drive of the Xbox on the fly - contrary to the IDE specifications and with the risk of a defect on the hardware - to a PC (hot swapping). This is necessary because the Xbox hard disk when you turn off with a lock provides, which can be lifted only by the password stored in the Flash memory, individual.
In the so-called "TSOP Flash" overwrites the original memory module with an alternative BIOS. This soldering requires, to disable the write-protection. A special advantage over a pure Softmod is, that one in the "TSOP Flash" the original BIOS can replace the XBOX with a modified BIOS, and can thus, for example, incorporate a larger hard drive without trouble. "TSOP" stands for "thin small outline package" and it is only the housing type of memory module.
Because the architecture of the Xbox differs little from a PC, it is possible to amend several emulators available for the PC so that they can run on the Xbox. So 2600 also more recent consoles such as the Sony PlayStation or the handheld console can be emulated in addition to classic systems such as the Apple II and Atari Game Boy advance.
Also, there are different versions of ScummVM emulator, which allows you to play classic LucasArts adventure games such as monkey Iceland or Maniac Mansion with the Xbox controller. Also the free x 86 emulator DOSBox, which many old DOS games can be played, has been ported to the Xbox. Just as there are different variants of M.A.M.E.-project with the man many Arcade title can emulate.
A Xbox modified with modchip or Softmod can be converted with programs such as Xbox Media Center to a multimedia device. The software enables the Xbox to play all file formats, which dominated the MPlayer. These include, inter alia, DivX, XviD, WMV, MOV, H. 264, and MPG.
Keep play on this way DVDs and music files and present images on the TV. These options can be used either via the local hard disk, over the local network or so streamed from the Internet.
The Xbox is used in conjunction with the "Xbox DVDKit" (IR remote control plus USB receiver) often as a multimedia center in the living room.
The Casemodding (changing the housing by light sources, liveries, or similar) popular with PC users very quickly found followers under the Xbox owners. On the net, instructions are circulating as you can embellish his Xbox in the most varied ways, starting with a so-called "port lights", where small LEDs in the controller ports be used and soldered to elaborate housing work.
Some Modchips also have connection options for an external display. Way same to the appearance of the Xbox is of commercially available CD/DVD players.
With the release of the Xbox 360 many game developers hired quickly creating games for the Xbox, so that appeared only a few new games for the Xbox in 2006 and 2007 as well as no new games for the Xbox more there. Microsoft itself has adopted long before the release of the Xbox 360 from the Xbox1 support and the software area left to third-party. The manufacturer what electronic arts, one of the last game, which put to their sports games (FIFA, NHL, NBA) so for the older Xbox and released. The last game for the Xbox, Madden NFL 09, was released in August 2008.
At the end of the online support
On April 15, 2010, Microsoft discontinued support for the Xbox. With the end of the Xbox Live service further supported neither games nor the first generation hardware. This is true even if the games on the Xbox 360.
As compensation, buyers of the game Halo 2 received a three-month Gold membership, the chance to participate in the beta test of Halo: reach, as well as 400 MS points.