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Classic Games (Games) XBox (Games) Entertainment Games

Xbox 360 Homebrew Finally Arrives 39

Posted by Soulskill
from the mario's-not-in-kansas-anymore dept.
Busshy writes "Tmbinc has posted a video showing Snes 9X as the first homebrew for the Xbox 360. This coincides with the upcoming release of the Free60 project, which will turn the 360 into the most powerful console for homebrew to date, hopefully with emulators for the Dreamcast, Gamecube, PS2, Xbox and possibly even the Wii."
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Xbox 360 Homebrew Finally Arrives

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  • by MindlessAutomata (1282944) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:20AM (#29102695)

    If the Xbox360 gets Wii emulation then MS may have an incentive not to stop homebrew on it as (obviously) it will hurt one of their competitors.

    Now, if only Wii's gaming library didn't suck for most gamers. (And mods, no, I'm not trolling--the only console I own is the Wii, and I'm disappointed).

    • by rekenner (849871)
      If by most gamers you mean people that only play FPSes, sure!

      I'd admit I'm not most gamers, but I do like a very wide variety of games, and the Wii has managed to stay damn competitive in my mind. Not that the other consoles don't have games I want (My lust for SRPGs hasn't really been sated by /any/ console, though Valkyria Chronicles looked amazing, and still makes me wish I had access to a PS3), but the Wii still has a lot of just fun games.

      Finally, I highly doubt Wii emulation. Once someone gets i
    • by Techman83 (949264)
      I wouldn't say the library sucks, it's probably just not aimed at our market. Personally I find it fun to play with my non geek friends and my Fiancé. They seem to enjoy it because of the low barrier of entry and I enjoy it because I get to interact with the people I'm close with. Most 360/PS3/PC games are aimed for online play or limited local multiplayer, a wii can cater for a dozen people joining in. Alcohol most certainly helps I must admit ;-)
      • by polar red (215081)

        I have the same experience; and the games most enjoyable on those occasions are also the simplest (I suggest the 'Wiiplay'-disk). Now when I have friends with kids, they keep asking to play on my wii ...

      • I said "for most gamers." The Wii simply isn't aimed at -gamers- as a whole. It's aimed to the more casual crowd. I don't know why I got modded down trolling for stating a fact. Probably some Nintendo Internet Warrior...

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by SchizoStatic (1413201)
      Nintendo would just sue M$ saying it is their job to secure their platform from allowing their customers to run "pirated versions" of the WII software.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SQLGuru (980662)

        Who says it's a pirated version? If I have an emulator running and I purchase the disc, pop it in, and it plays.....where's the piracy?

        • by owyn999 (856162)
          The piracy would be as with PS emulation that you would need to pirate the console itself. It is not legal to dump or otherwise extricate the OS from a Wii system. Just as it is not legal to mod a system to play backup games.

          Just saying a Wii emulator is Pirating the OS of the system. I'm sure there was also a fair bit of Reverse Engineering which again is a shady practice at best, and another form of piracy.
    • by Red4man (1347635)
      If you want Wii games, why not just go get a Wii?
      Xbox360 has a failure rate of 54% [ign.com].
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nursie (632944)

        If you *have* an Xbox, then why not make it do both if it's possible? The you don't have to buy a Wii, saving you money.

        That article you link to is remarkably well timed though. I've had mine from just after release date and it failed last week...

        • by Red4man (1347635)
          The you don't have to buy a Wii, saving you money.
          You might be able to buy a Wii and save on the shipping costs from sending the XBoxPleaseFixMe back to MS.
          • by Nursie (632944)

            I repeat - if you HAVE an xBox then getting it to do extra makes financial sense.

  • Took a look at the Free60 Wiki. Getting a 360 to run homebrew is a rather painful and involved process. By comparison, softmodding a wii is childs play.
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      I'll say. You need to have an old enough kernel, patch the DVD-drives firmware, buy a specific game (King Kong), image it, patch the image, and only then will you be able to actually run any homebrew. In my case, for instance, this is a real chore, as I have one of the newer Lite-On drives, which are cumbersome to patch for someone who's new to these things. (I also suspect I don't have an old enough 360, but that's just down to luck)

  • by Drinking Bleach (975757) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @03:29AM (#29102753)
    I saw this homebrew breakthrough earlier today, I was excited until I noticed the very important message to not update the console -- too late, I already did that a week ago (generally, I update because it's usually a good idea). Unfortunate, but I suspect I'm not the only one with the same misfortune.
    • by xtracto (837672)

      I am amused that it took too long to get homebrew running in the Xbox 360... I thought that homebrew was already running.

      Funny that in the case of the Wii, homebrew has been running very well [wiibrew.org] since quite some time now.

      In fact, due to the terrible "official" releases available for the Wii (all the games are soo boring, or as the guy at Zero Punctuation put it, they seem made for wand-shaking-retards), the homebrew has been a breath of fresh air.

      I have had the Wii since the day it came out (I *preordered* it,

      • by KDR_11k (778916)

        You can get Swords & Soldiers for the Wii, it's pretty unconventional but a lot of fun and fairly cheap (10$/€). I think there are some RPGs in the works (Monado, Arc Rise Fantasia) but I don't know when they are coming out (there's also an RTSRPG named Takt of Magic).

      • by csartanis (863147)

        The 360's security system includes a signed bootloader located on a rom on the cpu die itself, and burns out actual fuses to prevent a lower number version of the kernel from being allowed to boot. The security is very tight and this new hole is only the second one every found in the entire life of the 360.

      • by Gizzmonic (412910)

        Hey buddy, you pre-ordered a Wii because you were hoping to play RTSes and RPGs? And you don't like "wand shaking" mini-games? The only thing you should be disappointed in is...YOURSELF!

  • by rsmith-mac (639075) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @04:55AM (#29103155)

    Because the ability to run unsigned code directly on the hardware (e.g. not sandboxed as a user of the OS) is both great for homebrew development and the fundamental building block of a pure software loader for pirated games, this development is going to scare the hell out of the bean counters and the department heads. They're going to have to deploy most (if not all) of the tricks left in their bag of countermeasures, otherwise inside of a year the 360 will end up like the Wii and the Xbox 1 - completely and utterly cracked open for piracy.

    As the Free60 homepage has already noted, MS has deployed an update to the first stage of the bootloader, something they've never done before. Such an update is risky because if it fails there is no chance for recovery, it's the equivalent of failing at a BIOS update on a PC. However it's also an effect update; it blocks the only publicly known low-level security hole in the 360, so systems with the new bootloader are fully locked down. Adding even more fuel to the fire is that this was probably one of Microsoft's last unused countermeasures, as no one in the 360 hacking community is immediately aware of any other similar countermeasures. MS may have just played their trump card as far as DRM on the 360 is concerned.

    Anyhow, the point of all of this is that this is an excellent and quite scary example of increasingly improved DRM systems being deployed. It's taken just shy of 4 years to crack open the 360 to just this point, and MS has shown the ability to lock it back down with a single update*, one that they'll undoubtedly bake in to new games too in order to snuff out as many vulnerable 360s as possible. In spite of the fact that no DRM system thus far is perfect, this is clear example of where the future of DRM lies: it's going to get better.

    Pay close attention to what happens to the 360, because where Microsoft succeeds with DRM is going to show up in other systems. The Zune, the iPhone, the next generation of consoles, cable set top boxes, etc, are all looking for the holy grail of DRM. And every time they fail, they get a little bit closer. With enough failures under their belts, one of these days they may no longer fail.

    * The lack of the ability to fully update the bootloader is the biggest flaw in the Xbox1 and Wii. In the case of the Wii, boot1 has a signing bug and is hardcoded - any system with the faulty boot1 can ultimately be cracked by replacing boot2 with a vulnerable loader, such as BootMii

    • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday August 18, 2009 @05:15AM (#29103297)

      I wonder if this update is why my 360 has started to RRoD in the last few days?

      I got one of the first ones available in the UK and it's been fine until now. On friday it started to RRoD pretty much on alternate days, with no way to persuade it not to except leaving it. A dodgy, rushed low-level code update could explain its behaviour....

      • by Roxton (73137)

        I wonder if this update is why my 360 has started to RRoD in the last few days?

        Quick note: For RRoD's, Microsoft has extended the warranty to 3 years. Free shipping both ways, and they give you a full one-year warranty to boot. All you need is the serial number on the unit.

        • by Nursie (632944)

          Unfortunately I got mine about six months too early for that to be of any use to me now. But for others it may be useful.

      • Nope. A bad bootloader replacement would be an instant 100% bricking. Besides, the RRoD has a specific meaning - something to do with the gfx controller I believe. You just got unlucky - my xbox360 died a couple of weeks ago after intermittently failing to start up. If you got one of the first ones available it means you were like me - you got one of the ultra-high-failure-rate models. DRM isn't to blame here, bad manufacturing/design is.
    • by Golddess (1361003)

      the point of all of this is that this is an excellent and quite scary example of increasingly improved DRM systems being deployed. It's taken just shy of 4 years to crack open the 360 to just this point

      Not being in the scene I could be widely misinformed on this, but I believe that all this did was close off a software exploit available to anyone with an unmodified 360. It did nothing to any hardware modchips.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by tlhIngan (30335)

      Because the ability to run unsigned code directly on the hardware (e.g. not sandboxed as a user of the OS) is both great for homebrew development and the fundamental building block of a pure software loader for pirated games, this development is going to scare the hell out of the bean counters and the department heads. They're going to have to deploy most (if not all) of the tricks left in their bag of countermeasures, otherwise inside of a year the 360 will end up like the Wii and the Xbox 1 - completely a

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