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Games Entertainment

XBox Netplay Already 303

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the surprises-nobody dept.
ElectusUnum writes "Well, it's been a little while since the XBox was released and people are already playing online! The folks at xboxgw.com have written a program to create an ethernet bridge between xbox's over the net, fooling the xbox's into thinking they're on a LAN. 1v1 seems to create no major lag and reports have come in like this one that claim up to four xbox's work fine. It seems a DSL connection is preferred for hosting the server." I want an X-Box so bad, or as I would call it, a DOA3-Box.
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XBox Netplay Already

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  • I'm dying to give Halo a try, but after my short relationship with the PS2, I need to wait for CostCo [costco.com] to carry the Xbox, as they will take it back 6 months later when I'm bored with it.

    -Toli
    • Halo is visually quite nice, and has a decent plot to it.

      My main complaint is I finished it in two days, and I did *not* stay up all night to do it. I actually went outside, talked to people, and generally lived my life.

      A little annoying, given the hype surrounding it.
    • After beating halo on easy and a roommate beating the game on normal, I have to say In my opinion i'm pretty dissapointed with HALO. Yes it's very pretty and i like that there are checkpoints frequently, and it can be very difficult at times. It was missing gameplay though. I was dissapointed by the lack of weapons, mobs, unique level design and the ending was very lackluster.

      SPOILER
      No big final bosses, just a 4 minute crazy ride on the warthog through mobs of chittering Covenant and Flood. Surviving this gives you a short cinematic in which you fly off into the universe in search of a sequel.

      so all in all, probably the smoothest and prettiest Console first person shooter i've played, but the hype and potential far succeded the end product.
  • other platforms (Score:4, Informative)

    by cornflux (168139) on Friday November 23, 2001 @02:02PM (#2604180)
    The XboxGW FAQ [xboxgw.com] is pretty interesting. Specifically:
    Q: Do you need help writing code?
    A: We could definately use help in the area of porting it to Other platforms. If you are interested in seeing the requirements for this, please send an e-mail to info@xboxgw.com [mailto], letting us know which platform you have your expertise in.
  • by autopr0n (534291) on Friday November 23, 2001 @02:02PM (#2604181) Homepage Journal
    There goes the revenue I'm sure they were hoping to get off online gamers. How much do you want to bet future games won't work like this? Or even have any LAN support at all.

    While it's true that developers can do whatever they want, I doubt Microsoft would let them use the system however they want (after all, do you think Sony would be very happy if someone released a 'game' that let people pirate PS2 games easily?)

    This hack is pretty sweet, though. It would be really cool to play online games with people across the country (or world) without going through some stupid intermediary.
    • by Telek (410366) on Friday November 23, 2001 @02:55PM (#2604298) Homepage
      don't you think that it might be a good thing for them, since if it becomes this open, then more people will buy them, and more and more games? It's bound to make them more money in the long run.

      The only thing that they might be angry about is that they didn't get there first, or they won't be able to provide the service if it's free.
      • don't you think that it might be a good thing for them

        Not really - not even on the games front unless people are buying only MS games. It's like selling Windows instead of only licensing it...eventually everyone who wants one will have one, and there'll be little else to sell. Subscriptions are the only way to make customers keep providing you with money.
      • " don't you think that it might be a good thing for them"

        Not if they planned on doing this through the gaming arm of MSN for a monthly fee.

      • by LinuxHam (52232) on Friday November 23, 2001 @06:50PM (#2605117) Homepage Journal
        don't you think that it might be a good thing for them, since if it becomes this open, then more people will buy them

        I think you've read enough replies to your post, but I wanted to add this. I saw the Microsoft "CXO" being interviewed on CBNC, and Mark Haines *grilled* him about, "how do you expect to make any money if you're losing big bucks on every single unit?" The CXO replied that the unit ships ready for broadband access, and they plan make all their money selling online services.

        I say be prepared for MSFT to attack anything and everything threatening their main source of income. They're banking on it.
    • by alen (225700) on Friday November 23, 2001 @03:04PM (#2604324)
      My guess is that Microsoft will allow this and maybe even encourage it. All to sell as many X-Boxes as possible. Then in the next version of the X-Box or X-Box version 3 they will crack down and lock the system down. But by then Nintendo and Sony may only be shadows of their former selves and it will be time for the X-Box to be a money maker.

      Just like MS looked the other way at casual piracy of Win9x and NT for years it will probably do so with the X-Box. But sooner or later payday will come.
      • My guess is that Microsoft will allow this and maybe even encourage it. All to sell as many X-Boxes as possible.
        I am guessing not. They will want to nip this in the bud (see next comment). Only part of the money in X-Box is in up-front unit sales. They are no doubt counting on a lot of cash from recurring revenue (i.e. online service subscriptions).
        Then in the next version of the X-Box or X-Box version 3 they will crack down and lock the system down.
        They stand to lose a lot of goodwill if they wait too long. By that point, there will be huge communities, web sites, etc. rallied around this neat little hack. Maybe they could figure out a compromise (lock out only new games) but my guess is it won't take two generations of machines for this to happen.
    • There goes the revenue I'm sure they were hoping to get off online gamers. How much do you want to bet future games won't work like this? Or even have any LAN support at all.

      IMHO the opposite might as well be true. There is nothing to earn from LAN playing, there never has been a price aside that of the equipment you need (think of the GameBoy link cable, or ethernet adapters for PCs), and people wouldn't accept one.

      Microsoft hasn't planned an XBOX online service (AFAIK), and even if they have, they would be planning to earn from MMO games like World Of Warcraft & Co. With this tool we see the first Hacker development, and many others will follow. This will make the XBox immensly popular among hackers (which is a small crowd) and, even better, among all the wannabes and normal gamers and parents looking for the coolest machine(which is a huge crowd).

      Merry XMas, Mr. Gates
    • Actually Halo will probably be the exception rather than the rule. Look at THPS3 for PS2. It supports its own internet service. I fully expect future xbox games to go that route and not require 3rd party software (or 1st party software, ala XBox Online from MS) to play online.
    • While it's true that developers can do whatever they want, I doubt Microsoft would let them use the system however they want (after all, do you think Sony would be very happy if someone released a 'game' that let people pirate PS2 games easily?)
      But, this isn't really about pirating games, is it?

      Anyway, maybe MS will use this, and other types of "hacks," as a sort of pseudo-loss leader?

      I can see a scenario like this: MS sells a decently hackable (not just hardware, as we're finding out) system which attracts a significant interest in the above average consumer. (I think we can agree that those people are sometimes the ones that drive new features, technology, etc.) So, then, MS has gotten a good idea of what the above average user wants/needs and can then sell a new version that incorporates "the best" of those.

      I'm sure some will dismiss my scenario. (Maybe they'd prefer the word scheme?)

      Well, regardless, I think MS is very aware of what's going on and is looking forward to the next xbox.

    • I believe you're mistaken. Halo, as I understand it, already supported network play as long as you're on a LAN. What these guys did is write a bridging app that makes many networks over the internet look like a single LAN to the XBox. In esence, Microsoft isn't loosing money on this one.

      What they might lose money on is a replacement for their centrilized networking system, where they probably expected to charge you a monthly fee so that you can play games with larger number of people (unlike their current LAN option which limits significantly the number of players). But even this will be highly hackable. I mean, there are many clone servers for Everquest and Ultima Online, it's virtually impossible for microsoft to actually avoid this. They'll have to rely on value added services if they want to make money off their private network.
    • Microsoft said time and again during the development of the XBox that you would be able to use whatever existing broadband ISP you have for internet access for your XBox (this only makes sense, as it would be extremely foolish for Microsoft to try to get into the cable/DSL/dedicated line business more than they already are). Halo was not an online game for quality issues and time constraints. Meaning, there was not enough time to accurately test Halo online and tweak it to run well and also go gold in time for the XBox launch. This isn't going to affect negatively, because

      1. It'll very likely sell more XBox units. Even if those people only buy Halo, the fact that they have an XBox will very likely cause them to eventually buy more games (you cannot resist DOA3 ...).
      2. If the online performance of Halo is shite, Microsoft can simply state that Halo was never meant for online play, and it only does so through the work of some hackers. I don't think many people will complain, though, as multiplayer Halo is fun (I've only played over a LAN, though), and PC gamers have learned to live with a bit of lag.

      Anyway, as other people have already pointed out, Halo is likely the exception rather than the rule. I wouldn't be surprised if there were some games you could play online for free (look at the MSN Gaming Zone -- the premium content includes games like Crimson Skies that you can play online for free once you've bought the game, and also games like Asheron's Call that require a subscription even after buying the box), but I'm guessing most online games will require a subscription (probably a $10/mo subscription to some premium service that lets you play all your online games, rather than $10/game/mo).
    • that's the fun part.

      this is nothing but a bridge.
      the thing to do is set up a server on a t3 and start hosting games for people.

      the limitation on players is the bandwidth used by the server (5 connects is 5 times the traffic that a single player uses.)

      start a fee per game or a monthly fee setup and kick microsoft directly in the groin.

      the really cool part, they cant sue anyone for anything
  • by anotherone (132088) on Friday November 23, 2001 @02:03PM (#2604186)
    I mean, this is cool and all if you want to play with someone you know across the country or something, but it's not really that useful until there are actual servers up with gamespy type software. I mean, you can only fight the same people so many times, you know?
    • So if you can't wait or would rather tweak and hack (and we are /.'ers right?) then the Xbox Gateway project is utterly fantastic..

      Remember, the Xbox was only released 9 days ago... just wait another month, there will be so many mods and services added (think Gamespy-like) that once again, M$ will be behind the 8-ball just like they were with that 'internet' thing.
    • www.xbox.com/support/default.htm
      it's about halfway down the page

      The service is planned to go live in the summer of 2002
  • by Master Of Ninja (521917) on Friday November 23, 2001 @02:03PM (#2604188)
    I'm getting more and more tempted into getting one of these things now. Anandtech reported the DVD playback was better than the PS2s which boosts its cred. All that is needed are some great games (i'd like to see midtown madness and maybe championship manager for it) and a crack to play multi-region DVDs, then I should be begging for one.

    After this they just need to buy up bleem and release it so I can play my old PS games on the machine. If they can get EA, Namco and Capcom to support them they should make a killing.

    The problem is that in America there is no price differential between the PS2 and XBox (both $299 me thinks). In the UK the Xbox should be coming out at £299, with the PS2 already at £199. There seems to be no incentive in the US for people to favour the PS2. But even over here I'm wanting a Xbox now. Oh well - only have to wait till next spring!
    • I'm curious (Score:1, Redundant)

      After this they just need to buy up bleem and release it so I can play my old PS games on the machine.

      What would be the legality of this? Any NALs want to comment? I know Bleem was found legal, but would it be different because of the direct competition between consoles? It certainly would be cool to play PSX games on Xbox. A PS(Linu)X-Box would be neat.
      • 1. Bleem is dead - look at their web site.

        2. Go ahead - try to make a bootable DVD - you'll need it to be bootable from the 2nd layer, not the first one..
    • There seems to be no incentive in the US for people to favour the PS2. But even over here I'm wanting a Xbox now.

      I think your forgetting something about the ps2 that is a pretty good feature of it.. being able to play all the old ps1 games. This brings the ps2 library up to hundreds of games, where as the xbox only has 20 or so. And since the ps2 has been out for a while, the developers are starting to learn the hardware, and we see some great games like Devil May Cry, Tony Hawk 3, SSX Tricky, Metal Gear Solid 2, the list goes on and on.

      After this they just need to buy up bleem and release it so I can play my old PS games on the machine.

      Why wait to see if bleem will be on xbox (I really doubt it, but im all for it!) when the ps2 has this capability out of the box?

      I myself haven't noticed much bad with the DVD playback of the ps2. I haven't sat down and tested it really, I usually watch movies on a normal sony dvd player, the only thing I notice with both is in some movies it will pause for a split second when switching chapters, I don't mind it too much though.

      • The pause is usually due to a DVD dual layer disc when it is switching from one layer to another. Most movies/shows do this at a chapter stop or during a scene transition so you don't notice it as much. I haven't seen a DVD player that doesn't have the pause.

        And as for the original poster saying that the X-Box is a better DVD player than the PS2 that doesn't tell a whole lot. The cheaper $100-$150 do a better job nowadays than both. X-Box also isn't progressive (for DVD movies, not games) so it isn't that forward thinking and eliminates one of its hyped advantages, although by the time that progressive TVs (mostly just HDTVs) are standard, we might be on X-Box 2, PS3, and GameCube 2, so it might be a moot point and might have saved consumers or MS some dollars.

        The one thing that I was astonished to find out was that the number one complaint regarding the PS2's official DVD remote wasn't fixed on the X-Box official remote. The power/reset button is missing and while it isn't so much a hassle, I would figure they would have addressed it since the X-Box's remote is so much more basic than the PS2's.
    • If they can get EA, Namco and Capcom to support them they should make a killing.

      EA is already on. Supporting the XBox was a no-brainer for EA. Anything done for the XBox is an easy port to the PC, one of EA's lovely little battle turfs.

      Capcom have discussed going totally multiplatform for a very long time. One option they have even mentioned several times was using emulation to lower the costs of making games. I believe this mostly applied to their fighting games, though. No matter how they do it, Capcom has expressed their desire to move away from exclusive platform titles. They are a software company wanting to sell games. They don't care about the platform. They're also a big name. At this point no single platform is so dominant that it can twist Capcoms huge arms. Capcom does what Capcom wants.

      Namco on the other hand could be tricky. They're pretty big too but I think they are signed up with certain exclusivity deals, but how in depth those deals are I'm not too sure about. They certainly don't seem to be as restrictive as they once were, since we saw Soul Calibur on the Dreamcast, and will now see a version for the Gamecube. I wouldn't be surprised to see XBox support from Namco, but if I were to hear that certain contracts prevented them from doing so, I wouldn't be surprised by that either.

      Sega is the one that has my attention. I know Sega plans to support the Gamecube, and have even allowed Acclaim to do a port of Crazy Taxi for the PS2. So far it seems Sega's biggest push seems to be towards the Gamecube but things may just appear that way at the moment (with Sonic Adventure 2 and Phantasy Star Online v2). It's my opinion that the XBox is really going to need some Sega titles. Rumor has it that ShenMu will be an XBox exclusive but that's just a rumor as far as I know. Still, exclusives can't hurt.
      • by gatesh8r (182908)
        ...yet no one mentions Squaresoft. Why do I have a PS2? Squaresoft. They make some *real* kick-ass games, especially RPG. These guys always get the attention of the hard-core gamers because of how they use the platform they design for, their story plots, and how much fun their console RPGs really are! Seems to me the critical company is Squaresoft, and Sony's got them. Not M$, not Nintendo, and certainly not Sega. Nintendo had their chance to keep them for the N64, but since Nintendo wanted to dictate to them their releases, Squaresoft jumped ship and went to Sony's camp. Let that be a lesson to Sony so they don't lose out on a critial player in their age market, because M$ will be more than happy to take them in and take a seige at the market.

        Personally, if M$ can't get Squaresoft, they can't dominate. This isn't the OS industry, M$ -- you can't do it all in-house; you need a huge backing.
    • Read the review [ign.com] at IGN.com. While some of the features are better (zoom from 1x to 10x!), one thing it lacks is - DVD progressive scan output!! That's right, while the games will output in progressive scan movies will not.

      Also, they do not seem to have more than 2x FF. When will these idiot console makers wake up and give me a 2x - 100x FF?
  • As much as slashdotter's hate MS, it looks like the XBox is going to be much more hackable then the GameCube.

    • Hey, it worked for Quake et al. Being hackable ain't that bad, as long as you can still make money.

      MS doesn't care how you connect X-boxes, they want you to buy games.

      True, this will take away from the "XMSN" service, but not everyone will use that anyway. Some technically savy people scream and run when they see MSN anywhere because of the requirements of Passport.

      As far as MS is concerned, this is win-win. If anything, it will increase online games' popularity (with consoles) and drive the less technically savy people to XMSN.
  • Funny (Score:2, Redundant)

    I like how the download is an RPM. That'll make Bill G happy. Besides, without him we couldn't have things like RPMs anyway.
    • OH THE IRONY! (Score:2, Interesting)

      by gatesh8r (182908)
      This can be taken two ways: 1) Linux screws over M$'s plans for the future, or 2) The Linux community is going to help capitalize on M$'s plans to move into the game community. This post may seem a little redundant, but I'll make some points here that I haven't seen scrolling through previous comments:

      * The gateway may not be the best thing to see for those that would rather see the X-Box go away. This only strengthens its position for anyone with broadband; immediately jumping into the online world where Sega and possibly Sony have already entered, and Nintendo is lagging behind... I haven't heard about its broadband, but Nintendo best have something.

      * This little Linux program should allow for more than JUST X-Box -- especially if other services out there can too be taken away and allow for more of a P2P gaming experience. No middle man for Phantasy Star Online, for example. I feel if it gets more fanfare it'll spark more projects to be done for other consoles, which is totally a Good Thing(TM).

      * Misc. points: It would as been said before spark a Game Spy-ish service, but I would not be suprised of Game Spy themselves took intrest in tapping into this market for consoles if we got more of a P2P way of finding games. I know I would have some intrest along with my brother and our PS2's to be able to find opponents in say, Tekken Tag that we have sitting there collecting dust because we've beat all our friends in it.

      Oh well, in the end Billy G. may get shafted out of another subcription service :-D
  • by jcnnghm (538570) on Friday November 23, 2001 @02:08PM (#2604225)
    It's nice to see so many people interested in this. I have been on the development team and would just like to let you all know where this project is headed. We are currently working on a matching server to hook people up to each other. The software is highly stable and fast. I just finished a 3xbox game less than a half hour ago. Pings were about 150ms, and there was NO lag. We are also working to implement chat. Expect another release in the next couple of days.
    • While 4xbox games are nice and the work done so far is amazing, Im missing something in all this...

      I just finished playing a 20+ person game of Q3UT2 online with a 50msec ping with no lag on my cable modem. If the XBox is only going to support 4 players (a few more later?), why would I want one over my current system setup? Although maybe the games don't require more people to be as fun...?

      • Not all games are FPSes nor were they designed for 16+ players. Check out THPS3. It's pretty good for 4 players (haven't heard too much about lag, built-in Internet support via USB ethernet adapters / future Sony official ethernet addon). I find it kinda funny tho that one machine that has the capability to do Internet support out of the box does not have a game that uses it officially, and another console that does not have Internet support out of the box, not to mention an official add-on yet, does have a game that goes online and has built in support.

        Rumor also has it that Halo will have a sequel/expansion pack for the X-Box that brings it online officially, so maybe it will have a more massive multiplayer (16+ players) focus.
        • Xbox doesn't have official Internet support yet, but that's planned for Feb. These guys just jumped the gun, that's all.

          And you can certainly run 16 players on a LAN (4 linked Xboxen), so I assume it's possible via XboxGW too. The only question would be the lag.

          Now all we need is a little microphone that plugs into one of the pseudo-USB connectors on each controller, some support for realtime voice chat during the game, and we're really in business :-) I'd be very cool to hear a teammate yelling at me from over my left shoulder (carefully placed there by DirectSound3D & realtime Dolby Digital encoding).

          I'd lay large sums of money this is already planned by MS - after all, this exact ability has been supported by DirectPlay for quite some time...

  • Hobbyist Community (Score:5, Interesting)

    by r.suzuka (538257) on Friday November 23, 2001 @02:10PM (#2604241) Homepage
    Several days ago I posted a note about a friend of mine who got in trouble with Sony after posting home programming tools to the Internet. To revise my previous post, I believe it was a tool that allowed someone to write a PlayStation boot sector on a CD. My friend used it for writing his own programs to run on a PlayStation but perhaps Sony was understandably concerned it might lead to the copying of their games.

    I just want to say how fascinating I find this culture of console hacking and programming. Here is Japan in the home of the console, I wish we had a more active community, but it does not seem to be so. I am not sure why not, especially since consoles are nearly uniform in popularity among all age groups and such.

    My only fear is for these programmers. Microsoft is well know for its business practices, and I worry that they will disaprove of this Xbox net-play project. I do not see how this will hurt them but I still think they will not like it. Too bad since it will only make their console more popular.

    R. Suzuka
    • by JoeShmoe (90109)
      So where is the mirror of this program your friend wrote? It sounds very interesting. Even if I'm only able to get Pong ported over to the PSX hardware that sounds pretty darn cool.

      Typical Sony overreaction. There are plenty of different boot loaders (CDs that you boot, then swap out for a CD-R copy of a game) and plenty of mod chips (chips you solder onto your PSX board to force it to ignore PS-specific boot sector). If anyone is interested in playing pirated games they are already doing in. Buy a mod chip for $30 bucks and then rent all the PSX games you can from Blockbuster, copy them, and presto instant game collection. So if Sony things this little program is going to lead to any more game copying than already exists they are clueless beyond belief. More likely they are afraid people will be able to write quality games WITHOUT having to pay the Sony tax to become an official PSX licensee.

      Meanwhile this tool could be very useful for this like porting MAME over to the PSX (would be nifty for the PS1 to make a portable MAME machine) and as you put it, writing your own games.

      So, please tell me your friend passed the tool around a bit before Sony shut him down? What was the file name so we can know to keep an eye out should it just "happen" to appear on Kazaa/eDonkey/LimeWire/etc (maybe, oh, sometime this week)?

      - JoeShmoe
      • by r.suzuka (538257)
        Hello. My friend wrote the program during 1996/7 while he was finishing his Math degree at the University of Tokyo. (I will note it was not related to his degree but only a project he was completing for enjoyment.) He is now gone from the University but I would be happy to contact him to see if he still has a copy of the program.

        I am sure he would be happy to give away the source code as long as it does get him in trouble to Sony again ^_^

        I will write him and ask him what became of it and if he still has it. I am sorry I do not remember the name of the program but I will tell you as soon as I hear back from him. He also wrote several other tools for the hobbyist PlayStation programmer and I will ask him about those tools also.

        Thank you.

        R. Suzuka
  • What about PC's.. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by gizmoiscariot (442386)
    Now the trick would be to get it so that when some of these games are ported to Windows, to have them able to play against eachother across the internet. That would be the real gem in the Xbox and online gaming. I wonder if this would be even possible due to the obviously differences in the controls and the games themselves, but it would still be worth a try to get it to work.
    • uhhh... there's this crossplatform online FPS already, it's called Quake 3 Arena, maybe you've heard of it?

      not mmofps, but there's Planetside [ign.com] for that.

      and playing an FPS with a thumb stick, ick. micros~1 probably isn't going to release a keyboard/mouse for the X-box anytime soon, in a vain attempt to debunk the "X-box is just a PC" thing. I can hear the kiddies whining already, how they can't compete with PC/Mac HALO players, because their thumbstick is useless for aiming compared to a mouse.
  • this is the first tim'e i've noticed this:

    the description of oddworld on the xbox.com website is as follows:


    Save Oddworld from greedy corporate bigwigs and evil animal-testing researchers. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll meet Fuzzles about to fry. Simply neurotic...


    i added the bold. am i the only one who finds this funny?
  • So what you're saying is that I have to use two boxes to play online games with an XBox? I think I'll wait until the Sony PS2 Networking kit (or better yet that much rumored Linux kit) is available...

    Do the math. XBox + linux PC for online play is not a deal. $300 + time to set up your xboxgw software alone, assuming you already have yourself setup on a Linux box... wait, better yet, I'll get 2 XBoxes, install Linux on 1 of them and set it up as the gateway for the other... then M$ will lose twice the money!
    g=
    • Re:2 XBox? (Score:2, Informative)

      by Sparr0 (451780)
      Time to set up?? It took me almost 5 (yes, FIVE) minutes to set up an xboxgw game for the first time. I just stuck the boot floppies from their web site into my spare PC, ran the appropriate ethernet cables between my router / hub / xbox / linuxbox, and it was done. My only problem with XBoxGW so far is the lag, as Halo has no anti-lag code for clientside movement so theres actually a delay between you pressing forward and your character actually moving.
  • From the xboxgw.com website.

    >> XBOXGW currently only runs on Linux.

    I'm having a great laugh!!!
  • by jkerman (74317) on Friday November 23, 2001 @03:04PM (#2604323)
    using the standard TAP/TUN driver for linux, I was able to set up an ethernet TAP tunnel between my friends house and mine. (128K ISDN links).

    Just pop the ethernet cards into promisc mode, set up a kernel IP filter to filter out any unnecessary traffic, and bridge the TAP to the ethernet card! works great! no noticible lag!
    • Very cool idea. I see a couple of issues with it as a viable solution for many users:

      1) Both of you must have a dedicated gateway computer (with the xboxgw software, you just need to reboot, using a boot disk). Not a problem for some, but the person quoted in the forum thread [bungie.org] only has a Win98 box (with one NIC, and is "not a tech wiz".

      2) According to the xboxgw HOWTO [xboxgw.com]:

      ...if you attempted to play more than two (1 to 1) players, then it would really kill Jbandwidth[sic], as it would mesh (bridge to everywhere) all traffic. This isn't needed, since with the "System Link" games, one console is a server, and all other clients only need to talk to that one server, not to eachother. Thus, this would be another huge waste of bandwith.

      Perhaps I am off base here, as I have not actually used TUN/TAP, nor do I own a XBox. Maybe all you would have to do is create links from each client to the server (a start instead of a mesh). Very good thinking all the same.
  • Net Ready (Score:1, Troll)

    by ryanw (131814)
    > I want an X-Box so bad, or as I would call it, a DOA3-Box.

    My Athlon I ordered came "net ready too" .. imagine that.

    The XBox is the whore of gaming consoles. It's a celeron processor with an nvidia video card. Whow, some great amazing technology that Microsoft gets to put their name on. I don't get it.

    Gaming consoles are ment to be DIFFERENT then when I play games on my PC. The XBox is making you play games that you could play on your PC except with not as high resolutions (unless you plug into a HDTV that costs over $3,000.) ...

    Play Metal Gear Solid 2 before you decide to jump on the xBox bandwagon.
    • Yeah, lord knows, for example, that you can run out and buy an Athlon with a Unified Memory Architecture.
      • uhhh...can't you just by a mobo with a built-in video card?
        • whoa their cowboy built-in video card and Unified Memory Architecture are way very different things
          • what's the difference? (not a challenge, just trying to shed off some ignorance)
            • Re:Net Ready (Score:4, Informative)

              by SuiteSisterMary (123932) <slebrun@gmail.cUUUom minus threevowels> on Friday November 23, 2001 @04:58PM (#2604770) Journal
              PC = lets say 64 megs of RAM, 64 megs of Video RAM and an AGP bus that lets you copy between the two (think having two buckets and a hose) Unified Memory Arch = 64 megs of RAM which both your video chips and processor are plugged into. Note that originally AGP was designed to work as a poor man's UMA; the card would go directly to system RAM over the AGP bus, obviating the need for on-board RAM. Nobody actually does this. :-) So lets say you want to create a texture on the fly. On the PC, your processor creates it, dumps it in RAM, and it's then copied (and this is the bit that takes time) over to the video card's RAM, where it's read and displayed. On a UMA machine, the processor creates it, dumps it in RAM, and the video card reads it and displays it. Now, IIRC, the PlayStation2 does this the exact opposite way; lots of little bitty cup sized RAM caches, and a firehose of a bus. The idea being grab some data, use it, get rid of it. You need it later? Just grab it again, you've got bandwidth to spare.
    • Re:Net Ready (Score:3, Insightful)

      by damiam (409504)
      The XBox is the whore of gaming consoles. It's a celeron processor with an nvidia video card. Whow, some great amazing technology that Microsoft gets to put their name on.

      And the GameCube has a PPC processor and an ATI video card. AFAIK, all modern consoles have parts not made by the company that sells them. The XBox is no different.

    • Re:Net Ready (Score:5, Informative)

      by Osty (16825) on Friday November 23, 2001 @03:47PM (#2604512)

      It's a celeron processor with an nvidia video card.

      Ah, but it's not a celeron. You'd know this, had you read Anandtech's article yesterday. And while it is an nVidia video card, it's not one you can go out and buy for your PC. Sure, it's somewhere between the GF3 and GF3ti500 in terms of clock and memory speed, but that's ignoring the extra shaders on the card. And it's also ignoring the fact that the XBox IS A CONSOLE. What that means is that it's hardware that won't change for 5+ years. Developers can write directly to that hardware, and do many other programming tricks that they can't do with a PC because they don't know what hardware their game will run on. Yes, it uses some PC hardware. That doesn't make it a PC (if that were the case, then the GameCube is a Macintosh).


      Gaming consoles are ment to be DIFFERENT then when I play games on my PC. The XBox is making you play games that you could play on your PC except with not as high resolutions (unless you plug into a HDTV that costs over $3,000.) ...

      And the XBox IS different than the PC, where the games are concerned. While you might find Halo on a PC, you're not going to find Munch's Oddysey, Amped, DOA3, Cel Damage, SSX Trickey, and more. And as far as Halo goes, the XBox isn't the only console to have FPS games on it (nor is it the first). Hell, the old Super Nintendo had a port of Wolf3D. The PS2 has ports of NOLF and Half-Life , among many others. So just because you think that the FPS is the realm of computers doesn't make it so. But rarely will you play a fighting game or party game, for instance, on a PC. Oh, and you might want to go re-price HDTV's. You can get good ones for $2000 or so these days.


      Play Metal Gear Solid 2 before you decide to jump on the xBox bandwagon.

      And play Halo before you write off the XBox for good. Then again, there's nothing saying you can't have both an XBox and a PS2. or an XBox and a Gamecube, or PS2 and Gamecube, or even all three.

  • I have no idea if this has been talked about, doesn't anyone here feel that xbox games could be easily had on a computer with comparable features? GF3, DVD-ROM, x-box games. Don't they already use directx to develop their software? I don't know, seems to me that Microsoft could easily put out something. Be it hardware/software, like what Sega did for the Saturn.
  • I wonder. (Score:2, Interesting)

    How many game studios are being told that, if they want the SDK's early, or even at all, that they must sign exclusivity contracts with M$ ? My prediction for sure, is this. No game released for Xbox will ever be released for linux. My 80% sure prediction is this... no game released for Xbox will be released for ANYTHING else.

    Sega is gone. It's possible Nintendo is hurting. How far can they be pushed, before they have to give up too? Even Sony might have to pull out, if M$ behaves as I've suggested. Bingo. Video Game Industry Monopoly.

    But... it gets worse. The powers that be have always HATED people building their own computers, upgrading them. Here is a viable PC platform, that is almost completely sealed. Even a bigger hard drive might be impossible for a user to install, if M$ wants to really cheat. If they release this as a home pc, or even business... and Office XP2 is released for it, what then? "People buy the Xbox, it's the end to all those hardware conflicts, software too!". Compaq(HP?), Dell, Gateway... their days are numbered.
    Bingo. PC Industry Monopoly.

    Won't affect you, you say? "I'll always buy my own, and build as I chooose!". Noble thoughts. But the fact is, the prices you pay for hardware are in part subsidized by the fact that everyone else is doing the same. People like you and I might be left paying prices similar to those that corporate enterprise purchasers are paying, since they will be the only other market that won't be able to use a sealed system like Xbox. The future looks grim, my friend.

    • First thing... the Xbox is not going to replace the pc market. It is going to play games... and there will always be a market for PCs. There are businesses out there that have to buy PCs. Programmers that have to bu PCs. Server people that have to buy servers.... hooked up to PCs.

      If the computer revolution has taught us anything, it is that computers got more complex, interchangeable, and personlized. In the beginning you had Texas Instruments and Commodore. Now how many technology manufacturers are there? You theory is that the marketplace will become less diverse. People will all line up to get the same system... under someone else's idea of what services they want. That is insane. People have been bucking M$ for years. And their product does pracitcally anything the user friendlies want on their computer.

      This topic alone is counter to your argument.
      There you show your Xbox, the universal computer replacement, and IN DAYS people are already customizing it. Making it more diverse. Making it to their liking. Cracking it. They aren't lining up to do all the same things, they're breaking out.

      So the ideas that everyone will be planting the Xbox4 in the bowels of their home next to the washing machine is preposterous. The world will never dance to the tune of one drummer forever.
    • Uh what prices enterprise's are paying? they are a hell of a lot cheaper than pricewatch when you are buying 1000 dimms ram etc.
    • My prediction for sure, is this. No game released for Xbox will ever be released for linux.

      You'd be wrong. Carmack has said he plans Doom3 for Xbox, and I'd like to see MS stopping him from releasing under Linux too.

  • by atomray (202327)
    Hmmm, a virtual LAN...this sounds familiar. I believe that a software package called Kali (www.kali.net) has been doing this for years and years. I remember using this for doom or quake or something like that.

    IIRC it's a decent package. Check it out.
    • Re:Kali? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Forkenhoppen (16574)
      That was for piping IPX traffic over TCP/IP. This is for piping whatever comes out of an XBox (lan TCP/IP, I'd expect) over internet TCP/IP. Same idea, different protocol.

      See, essentially you just wrap all the packets coming from the XBox in a TCP/IP packet, and throw 'em over the internet. On the other end, you unwrap 'em and send 'em on. Not too difficult. (in theory..)

      Main problems are looking after people joining and quitting, and the problem of finding other people to play against. These are reasons why services like Battle.net and Kali took off; not so much because of the software, but because of the meet-others service that they provided.
  • I was wondering what OS the xbox is based off of the games use directx 8 and such so should it be a fairly easy thing to get the game to run on a win32 box?
    • It uses a stripped-down version of the Win2k kernel optimized for a console (i.e. everything runs in ring 0 at the kernel level, etc).
    • The Xbox runs a modded version of windoze XP, the games won't run on ur comp right off the bat. The xbox has a modified geforce3 and a unique memory setup (someone correct me if im wrong) so it'll need some SERIOUS hardware and one hell of an emulator. Personally I'm hoping for a VGA adapter so I can play halo on my 21 inch monitor :^>.
      • but its running a 733 Mhz IIRC p3 and 64 megs of ram(Unified Memory Architecture) my home computer 1200 Mhz and 512 megs of ram and 64 meg radion i think that it wouldnt be a problem of hardware for most home users
        • Re:Xbox OS? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by Namarrgon (105036) on Friday November 23, 2001 @04:29PM (#2604652) Homepage
          It's not a PC. The CPU might use a PIII and the OS might be based on Win2k, but it isn't Win2k, even the DirectX8 being is significantly different, and the system architecture is quite different to a PC.

          All software runs in kernel mode, unified memory means the CPU and GPU get equal access to textures & vertex data, a second vertex pipe & some other fancy texture stuff on the GPU, specialised controllers - none of that exists in the PC space, and would all have to be emulated.

          Of course, it'll be much easier to port an Xbox game to Windows & vice versa, compared to a PS2, but it's still far too different to just run.

          • Re:Xbox OS? (Score:3, Interesting)

            by vrmlknight (309019)
            "...unified memory means the CPU and GPU get equal access to textures & vertex data..."

            This is where AGP comes in it was originally designed so the GPU can access system RAM I don't know how hard it would be it implement due to no one using AGP this way and as for running in kernel mode I know enough to BS about how to get around that...

            "specialised controllers"

            They are USB but w/ a different connector and I'm sure someone could figure out how to use a CompUSA USB controller and remap the buttons or rewire the connector to a USB connector... I'm not saying I know how to do this but theirs a lot of people out their and I haven't seen anything talking about running xbox games on a regular win2k box or something similar
            • Sure, the idea was for AGP to provide pseudo-unified memory that the CPU and video card could share (mostly to reduce costs), but it's way too slow (i740 anyone?). Only (theoretical) 1 GB/s vs. 6.4 GB/s on the Xbox. There is no substitute for the real thing, as SGI will repeatedly insist.

              And yeah, I'm sure the controllers could be very easily adapted to fit a standard USB port. AFAIK it's only the physical connector that's different - all the interface chips are normal USB, to take advantage of economies of scale (like the rest of the hardware). Of course, that doesn't mean your target market will have one...

  • Are there still plans for HALO to become an MMOFPS as originally intended by Bungie? Or is it just going to become another 32 player DM thing?
    • The PC/MAC version is still in development so it's possible, but really not likely. Hopefully halo2 or maybe a mod. Keep your fingers crossed!
  • what is the state of broadband kits for the PS2 or GameCube? things become infinitely more fun when an actual person is involved, rather than just the cheesy, predictable game AI.
    • Tony Hawk 3 is compatible with a bunch of USB ethernet adapters (check out the review at ps2.ign.com ... I think they listed them there). I'm not sure whether this is a feature of the ps2 or if it's due to work by the team that created tony hawk 2 though. It seems sensical for sony to make a USB ethernet add on though... I can't see where else it'd plug in.
  • You'd better be careful on those index page posts, before you know it Microsoft will say that they have been endorsed by Slashdot!

    > I want an X-Box so bad, or as I would call it, a DOA3-Box.
  • XBOX vs. * (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brat Food (9397) on Friday November 23, 2001 @04:24PM (#2604641) Homepage
    This program is a godsend. I have a feeling MS wont have a netplay service set up for some time, and now i can play with my friends full screen w/o having to drag TVs and such over to one persons house. The XBOX may have 4 controller ports, but playing 4 to a screen really doesnt compare to haveing a screen to yourself. Console NET gaming will take off. SEGA made huge headway in to this arena, and it will only get more popular. XBox is going to be hacked left and right, and i cant wait =)

    And to gaming bigots - I am an avid collector of consoles, and have a PC and MAC for gaming as well, and what ticks me off more then anything is people who have some blind attachment to one way of gaming, usually because its what they blew 300 bucks on. Heres the point, for all those who still dont get it:

    ITS ABOUT THE GAMES STUPID

    Finally, about seeing Xbox games directly playable on PC... its going to be a while if ever. Fist reason is MS wont want to cannibalize their own market(although a lot of games will be ports, the strength will be original titles, and XBox first titles, to drive sales). The second is a technical hurdle: XBox on the surface may look just like a PC with a gForce3, but, it has one very important advantage: the programmers have ONE target spec to reach the whole audiance. This has always been a console advantage from a game making standpoint. So while on paper its looks like less then a high end pc, in then end you have better looking games because programmers write games to take full advantage of what resources are available, the target output is a TV (relativly low resolution and a constant), and no huge OS overhead.
  • how this is any different than, say, setting up an ethernet bridge?

    How is this specific to the xbox?
    • Re:Someone tell me (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Have Blue (616)
      According to the site, it's different in that it doesn't require a huge investment in professional VPN software and a huge investment of time in learning how to set it all up.
  • wtf (Score:5, Funny)

    by gtx (204552) on Friday November 23, 2001 @05:26PM (#2604876) Homepage
    I want an X-Box so bad, or as I would call it, a DOA3-Box.

    who are you and what the hell have you done with rob malda?
  • XBox (Score:2, Funny)

    I want an X-Box so bad

    Are you sure you wouldn't rather have Mandrake Gaming edition [slashdot.org]

  • by SilentChris (452960) on Friday November 23, 2001 @08:09PM (#2605332) Homepage
    "I want an X-Box so bad, or as I would call it, a DOA3-Box."

    Wow, that was a quick turnaround. I've been arguing for the benefits of an XBox in the living room for awhile (one of my posts during the release day Slashdot article generated over 20 replies), but I never expected Taco to become a convert.

    Makes you wonder, though, if he has some kind of syndrome? :) Swings from one technology canvas to another. There should be something in the DSVIV for CmdrTacoism.

  • How is building an ethernet bridge something new? I mean, great that they packaged it up like this...
    but this is nothing new.

    Some mention KALI.. kali was based on bridging IPX I believe....

    Of course, MS could always just make the damn game support tcp/ip in the first place...
  • by Blackwulf (34848) on Friday November 23, 2001 @10:20PM (#2605646) Homepage
    I can safely say that these launch titles were not supposed to be on the Internet in the first place. Now, I have a cable modem, which is second tier to the DSL's I was running agianst. I realize this. But, the game was created with LAN play in mind, with 1ms ping times. However, when I was getting a 350ms ping time (awful, I know), it wasn't compensating at all.

    For instance, you can look around when you lag, but can't move or shoot in Halo. Since there's no error detection built into these games, you wind up in strange places when you resync with the server, and then get blown to bits. Many times.

    The server doesn't lag, obviously. But the clients do.

    Now, the game isn't bad multiplayer, but it was made with a LAN in mind. So, before everybody goes out and buys XBox's because of this, have that in mind. The programmers didn't think they would have to deal with Internet Latency in Halo, so there is nothing to help you if you have a high ping.

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