Saturday, July 26, 2014

XQEMU F.A.Q. (Updated 7/30/14)

Since I get asked the same questions over and over again, it's time I wrote a FAQ based on the most common questions (as well as the most annoying questions).  So, if you have a question, it probably has a simple answer, which I will address here. :)

1. Q: What's the status of this emulator?

A: It's still in it's early stages and is a little over a year old.  It's capable of launching the BIOS, Dashboard, XDK Launcher, and runs a few games.

2. Q: What games are playable?

A: At the time of writing, only a few games go ingame, and even fewer would I consider "playable".  Smashing Drive, being the simplest of Xbox titles, generally works okay.  This emu is largely untested, so be patient, or try it yourself.  In the mean time, watch the compatibility list.

3. Q: Does game work?

A: Probably not at this point.  Once again, check the compatibility list.  If it's not there, it's either untested or not working.

4. Q: Where can I download XQEMU?

A: The emu is in source only form.  If you want to run this emu, you'll have to build the source code yourself.  If you are not capable of doing this, then chances are you shouldn't be using an emu in it's alpha stages so casually.

5. Q: Can I play "Conker"?

A: I get a ridiculous number of requests for this game.  So far, only the demo has shown to do anything, but doesn't go ingame, and is not playable.  As far as I know, the full game hasn't been tested, and I highly doubt it works.  Also, if it did, don't you think I would have told you by now?

6. Q: Can I play "JSRF"?

A: Again, I get a RIDICULOUS number of requests for this game (even more than the previous).  It does not work.  Don't ask when it will work because I'm not psychic either.  Once again, if it did anything at all, I would have told you already.  This is one of my favourite games and I want to see it playable too.  Just be patient, please!

7. Q: Can I help?

A: If you are knowledgeable of C/C++, x86 assembly, Xbox, and emulation in general, go check out the source on github.  Be warned, this isn't a project for someone who is new to programming.  There is a steep learning curve and it's a tough project.  You are more than welcome to try.

8. Q: Can I be a beta tester?

A: Although you are welcome to test (provided you can create your own builds), but official beta testers are not what we are looking for.  The dev side is the most important right now.

9. Q: What are the system requirements?  Is my machine fast enough?

A: It's too early to tell, so that's not a question I can accurately answer right now.  Right now, only the software MMU is used; no hardware based KVM yet.  The speeds I've been getting have been moderate to somewhat slow on my Macbook Pro (2.93Ghz Core 2 Duo, GeForce 9600 GT, 4GB Ram) without hardware virtualization.  This Macbook is about 5 or 6 years old, so maybe that will give you an idea.

That's about it.  I might update this in the near future.  Now, I appreciate the enthusiasm, support and everything, but I can't answer the same questions over and over again. :)

If you want to learn more, join us on one of our IRC channels: #cxbx on efnet or #xqemu on freenode :)


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Progress by JayFoxRox on XQEMU.

Okay, enough shenanigans, time for something serious! :)

In case you haven't seen them, I wanted to share a few screenshots of progress from JayFoxRox's Linux branch.  Although he says he's busy with University studies, etc., it looks like he's got more time on his hands than I do!  The screens speak for themselves, have a look!

Xbox BIOS logo:

Retail Xbox Dashboard:

4x4 Evo 2

Conker: Live and Reloaded (Demo)

Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX 2 (Demo)

Forza (Demo)

Rollercoaster Tycoon

Smashing Drive (looks perfect now).

Sonic Heroes (E3 Demo; ingame)

Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (Demo)

"What else can it do?"  That's a good question.  One of these days, I should get a Ubuntu or Linux Mint installation going on my Mac Pro.  Unfortunately, I don't have a video card with a Mac compatible EFI, so I can't see the boot screen and select what OS I want to run.  My PC is in my office, so I have limited use of it right now, so I'll have to think of something later.

So, if you haven't already, take a look at his github fork:

Just want to keep you all updated on what is happening.


EDIT: For all of you Rare fans, now that we're getting somewhere with Conker, please... stop asking me if it can or cannot be done.  Kthnxbai!  :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A Fake Cxbx Video, lol!

I normally don't pay much attention to nonsensical stuff, especially involving fake emulators, scams, trolls, attention whores, and what have you, nor do I have any interest in giving such trolls more attention than they deserve.  But THIS one is so bizarre, I just had to share this with you all for a laugh or two.

There's some kid, presumably in Russia or some other soviet country, who claims to have Cxbx running Battlefield 3.  Someone on youtube tipped me off about it, so I went in and took a look.  It was so terribly done, that anyone with an ounce of logic, experience or common sense could tell that it was fake.  Aaaaaaand, the user's responses to the comments proving that it was fake also told us everything we need to know.

So, without further adieu, here it is:

Look closely...
  1. Battlefield 3 is an Xbox 360 game.  Last I checked Cxbx does not emulate that, nor does it support the loading of .xex files, conversion of PPC64 -> x86-64, or anything related to the 360. There's one, and only one legit 360 emu, and it's not even close to emulating Battlefield 3.  That alone proves it fake, but there's more.
  2. Note how the video is intentionally blurred so you can't see if the user even loaded anything into the emulator.  Cxbx tells you if you have successfully loaded a .xbe file.
  3. It's a video placed over the window, nothing more, nothing less.  You can still see part of the Cxbx logo because it's not fully covered.  He could have at least tried to cover the entire window.
  4. You don't convert an ISO to .xbe, you extract an ISO and RUN the .xbe...
So, I responded just to see what he'd say.  After pointing out all of these, and the fact that I am an actual Cxbx dev, his responses were, "this is not fake, try it and see for yourself" and another one that was even more laughable was "can you prove that you are a dev?", well obviously I am.  So I linked this blog, as well as the SVN I spent years working on, and his response was "I don't have time".  What??  If you had time to respond to everyone proving that your video is fake, as well as create this fake video, then how come you don't have time to click two links I gave you?  I even told him you can easily google my nickname, and all the proof you need will be there.  And yet, his response was "stop talking nonsense".  So, facts are nonsense?  Right, get real...

But on a serious note, why do people make these fake emulator videos and stuff?  I don't get it.  There have been some who wrote fake emulators as trojan horses or survey scams for money, but why??  Are people this desperate and/or gullible?  I hate to say it, but anyone who falls for a fake emulator scam/trojan, I compare you to someone who falls for the "legendary trap":

I'm sorry, but that's how I honestly see it.  Anyway, for those of you who like getting a good laugh, or want to flag the hell out of it, have at it!  I think I've had my fair share of fun shredding this to pieces already.  Thanks Alex!


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

XQEMU Compatibility List (Updated July 21, 2015)

Okay, I've gotten a few requests/inquiries for XQEMU's compatibility, so I'm going to write and maintain a compatibility list.  Personally, I'd like to keep it focused on commercial games right now.

The following is a representation of progress made with all 3 major branches between espes, JayFoxRox, and myself.


Total Games: 58
Playable: 2
Ingame: 11
Menus: 14
Intros: 16
Nothing: 15

1. 4x4 Evo 2
Status: (Ingame) (*)

2. AMF Bowling
Status: (Intros) (**)

3. Conker: Live and Reloaded (Demo)
Status: (Intros)

4. Dave Mirra Freestyle BMX (Demo)
Status: (Intros)

5. Forza (Demo)
Status: (Intros) (**)

6. Rollercoaster Tycoon
Status: (Menus) (**)

7. Smashing Drive
Status: (Playable)

8. Sonic Heroes (E3 Demo)
Status: (Ingame) (*)

9. Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2X (Demo)
Status: (Intros)?

10. Wreckless: The Yakuza Missions (Demo)
Status: (Ingame) (*)

11. Jet Set Radio Future
Status: (Intros)

12. Panzer Dragoon
Status: (Playable) (*)

13. Panzer Dragoon ORTA
Status: (Menus)

14. Antz
Status: (Ingame) (*)

15. Aquaman
Status: (Ingame) (*)

16. Apex
Status: (Nothing)

17. Azurik: Rize of Perathia!
Status: (Menus)

18. Blinx
Status: (Nothing)

19. Broken Sword
Status: (Nothing)

20. Brute Force
Status: (Intros)

21. Castlevania: Curse of Darkness
Status: (Nothing)

22. Cel Damage
Status: (Menus)

23. Conflict Vietnam
Status: (Menus)

24. Crazy Taxi III
Status: (Ingame)

25. DaiSenryaku
Status: (Nothing)

26. Dead to Rights
Status: (Intros)

27. DeusEx
Status: (Intros)

28. Dead or Alive 3
Status: (Nothing) (***)

29. Dead or Alive Xtreme Beach Volleyball
Status: (Nothing) (***)

30. Dragon's Lair 3D
Status: (Nothing)

31. Dynasty Warriors 3
Status: (Intros?) (***)

32. EggMania
Status: (Intros?) (***)

33. Finding Nemo
Status: (Nothing)

34. Fusion Frenzy (Demo)
Status: (Menus)

35. Gun Valkyrie
Status: (Menus) (*)

36. Gun Griffon Allied Strike
Status: (Menus)

37. Halo (Demo)
Status: (Menus)

38. House of the Dead 3
Status: (Nothing) (**)

39. Innocent Tears
Status: (Ingame) (*)

40. Kameo (Beta)
Status: (Intros?) (***)

41. Lamborghini (Demo)
Status: (Nothing)

42. Mademan (E3 Demo)
Status: (Nothing)

43. Oddworld: Munch's Oddyssee (Demo)
Status: (Menus)

44. Myst III
Status: (Intros)

45. Nakashima Tetsunari no Othello Seminar
Status: (Intros)

46. Namco Museum
Status: (Ingame)

47. Otogi
Status: (Menus)

48. Outrun 2
Status: (Intros)

49. Petit Copter
Status: (Menus)

50. Pinball Hall of Fame
Status: (Intros)

51. Quantum Redshift (Demo)
Status: (Menus)

52. Rayman Arena
Status: (Ingame)

53. Shenmue II (Demo)
Status: (Nothing) (***)

54. Toe Jam and Earl III (Demo)
Status: (Nothing)

55. Unreal Championship
Status: (Ingame) (*)

56. Unreal Championship 2
Status: (Intros)

57. Whacked
Status: (Nothing)

58. Zapper
Status: (Ingame)

(*) Distorted gfx
(**) Hangs or crashes
(***) No idea what it's doing (flashy or distorted colours, etc).

Now, I won't stop anyone from making requests, but on a serious note, I can't cater to everyone's personal preferences at once.  This list will be updated periodically, so check back every so often.


Tuesday, April 29, 2014

XQEMU: Smashing Drive Ingame

Okay, we're moving along here faster than I anticipated.  Just a few moments ago, I added a few texture related fixes to XQEMU, and now Smashing Drive goes ingame!  Although there isn't too much visually impressive in this game, it's proof that LLE is a feasible idea.

In my experience, Smashing Drive has always been the easiest Xbox game to emulate (the game is only 90mb, making it the smallest known commercial Xbox game that I know of!), so I'm not really too surprised it's working this well.  You're probably wondering why the colours are inverted, lack of colour keying and depth testing, etc.  The emu actually doesn't appear to implement any render states at all at the moment, and we're still working out how certain texture formats should be interpreted in OpenGL.  Other than that, everything runs with minimal issues, minus the random freeze likely caused by race conditions.

So, just wanted to give you all a quick update on XQEMU's progress as of late.  Thanks for reading!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

XQEMU: Sonic Heroes (E3 Demo) *Almost* Goes Ingame!

Quick update everyone.  Just wanted to share with you all a bit of progress that's happening with XQEMU.  So after spending some time chatting with espes and JayFoxRox, I took a little time this weekend to dive into the code a bit.  So, I fooled around a little, and eventually Sonic Heroes started booting up, and went straight to the menus.  There's no screenshot of the menu here because the screen flickers too much, so I couldn't get any screens of that.  Since the emu isn't stable enough, there are sometimes race conditions that cause it to randomly freeze, so it's not guaranteed to get that far on your first run.

The primary reason I'm so impressed with this is that I never could get this to work at all in Cxbx to save my life, and yet this new emulator comes along (which barely runs any content so far) and puts me to shame!  It's a bit humiliating, but I'm glad to be humiliated for the sake of progress!

And now I have to run out the door.  Later guys!


Friday, April 18, 2014

My Debug Xbox is Dying...

Although I'm doing quite well these days, my debug Xbox is not.  Right now, it's currently suffering from an internal hardware issue that has been known to happen every so often to original Xboxes (mostly to the v1.0 and v1.1 models).  This is quite tragic, and highly disappointing.

What's wrong with it?  I came home from work one day, and upon walking into my apartment, I discovered that my debug Xbox was ON and Panzer Dragoon ORTA was playing because I had lazily left the disc in there.  Apparently, I had also forgot to turn off the TV, so I heard it as I was walking inside.  At first I was thinking someone else was in there, which shouldn't be because I live by myself, but nothing in my room was altered, so that wasn't the case.  Instinctively, I walk over to turn it off, and the power button wasn't working, nor was the eject button, IIRC.  So I ended up unplugging it, and off it went.  As a test, I plugged it back in, and not only did it turn back on, I heard a little spark as I put it in.  Strange, huh?

Baffled as to why this was happening, I made a post on, and discovered that this was a problem that occasionally happens to original Xboxes.  My thread was especially sad, because they had never seen this happen to a debug Xbox before.  What typically causes this?  A number of issues can be the cause of this problem:

  • A corroded bus line connecting the power button.
  • A blown or leaked capacitor.
  • And another issue I forgot involving the board that the power button is on, IIRC.
I haven't determined which one it is yet, because I don't have my torx screw driver set handy.  Since I have no soldering experience whatsoever, I'll probably look into finding someone else who can fix the problem, assuming it comes to this.  But looking on the bright side, my debug Xbox has lived a full and blessed life and it helped me learn more about Xbox's inner workings, much of which for the good of emulation.  Of course, I'm not letting it die without a fight, because it's a privilege to own one of these, and chances are I will never find another one.

And lastly, I just wanted to apologize for disappearing.  I didn't realize that it's been over a year since I've said anything.  Right now, I no longer have a healthy PC running 32-bit Windows to test on.  As of late, I've been primarily using a Mac to get my work done (don't worry, I'm not an Apple fanboy; although I like this OS, I only have a Macbook because I needed it).  I do have a working PC, but it's running x64, and x64 support still isn't too stable yet.  Frankly, I'd like to look into the issues with Virtua Cop 3 some more, and see if I can figure out why the JVS error is occurring.

Thanks for reading.