Wish you could play original Xbox games on your PC? And not just the ones on Xbox Game Pass? Well, now you can, thanks to a handy fan-made emulator!
The underground emulation scene has been thriving in recent years, with consoles as recent as the Xbox 360 being able to run commercial games at near to full-speed.
It's a far cry from the late-nineties, where it was a struggle to run even a SEGA 32X emulator, with 'Knuckles Chaotix' at full speed.
However, the original Xbox scene has been making leaps and bounds in having games run at full speed, and one in particular has been updated this week that's now made it the de-facto emulator if you want to play 'Blynx the Time Sweeper' once again on your PC.
While we don't condone running commercial games on an emulator in the slightest, it's interesting to see how a community can run a console from twenty years ago on a 2021 PC. With that, here's the details of what's happened.
Playing an Xbox-exclusive game would have to require owning a classic Xbox console, and finding the game at your local second-hand store.
However, thanks to Microsoft's backwards-compatibility mission, you're able to play at least some of the games from that era on your new Xbox Series S/X, or Xbox One console.
With PC, there wasn't much progress until 2015, when emulators such as 'cxbox' and 'xemu' rose to the surface and showcased 'Halo 1' in-game, alongside 'Project Gotham Racing'.
As we arrive at 2021, there's plenty of games on both emulators that can run at full speed, albeit with missing textures and random crashes now and again.
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The Rise of XEMU
The 'xemu' emulator is in-fact a 'fork' of another emulator called 'XQEMU', an open-source emulator back from March 2018.
Now reaching its 0.5 version, the below video shows just how the application has improved in leaps and bounds with its audio and graphics across many games.
Even low-end laptops are able to run the emulators like 'xemu' and 'Dolphin at near-full-speed now. Even computers that run on ARM chips such as the MacBook Air have proven to run these at 60FPS.
Time will tell if we will see greater compatibility for 'xemu' or even 'cxbx' in the coming months, but it's encouraging to see the scene flourish and keep a certain side of game preservation alive.
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