Will you buy the Kinect?

yes, at launch or during the holiday season
maybe later


Crave Online

Week of February 25, 2007
Discover what your Xbox Live name says about you
>> From gamesradar.com:
Few acts in life seem less significant than selecting an Xbox Live Gamertag. After all, it's just a meaningless string of letters and numbers that happen to look good together or happen to be available at the time. Right?

Then again, your name is your identity. It is a symbol of who you are, a representation of both how you perceive yourself and how you'd like to be perceived by others. The fact that it's being used solely for videogames does nothing to lessen its importance - or its impact - when you consider that escapist entertainment is where we play out the roles we wish we could embody in real life. No blaming your parents, either, as this is a name and an identity that you choose.

So is there secret significance hidden within your online handle? We decided to find out.

Full Story: gamesradar.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Saturday 03 March 2007 12:59 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Wii to outsell Xbox 360, PS3 until 2008
>> From gamesindustry.biz:
Nintendo's Wii console will outship and outsell the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3 throughout 2007 and 2008, according to market research firm IDC.

But although the Xbox 360 has enjoyed a full year's head start over rivals, and the Wii is likely to perform well over the next two years, the company believes that this home console cycle will see no clear-cut dominant hardware.
"IDC believes hardware shipments of Nintendo's Wii will capture a little more than a third of the worldwide market by 2008, rising slightly above Sony's PS3 and Microsoft's Xbox 360," reported the firm.

Full Story: gamesindustry.biz
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Friday 02 March 2007 23:29 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

'Hello World' - First Public Homebrew Code Running via Hypervisor Exploit
>> Crawler360 released what looks like the first 'homebrew' program that you can run on a retail Xbox360 using the Xbox360 Hypervisor Vulnerability released Tuesday. The program itself will just display a "Hello, world!" message, so you can see it as a proof-of-concept of the Hypervisor Vulnerability using the King Kong shader 'hack'.
However this isn't a hack the average end-user can try-out already, as for now it'll require the King Kong game, a modified DVD firmware or disc-swap (which are both still fairly easy to do), but you will also have to connect the serial port on your Xbox360, compile the code from sources yourself and you'll need kernel 4532 or 4548 (most of you are probably already updated to the patched 4552 kernel - and right now there's no way to downgrade as Microsoft probably blew up an eFuse to prevent kernel downgrades). If you have a kernel below 4532/4548 you can upgrade 'safely' to 4532 using the burnable HD-DVD software update called HD_DVD_10-2006.zip (the readme includes an URL for it on the MS servers, but the file is already offline ... however I'm sure it'll still out there somewhere, the md5 is cd4db8e2c94266ab73513c361dd5b8f6).

From the readme/nfo:
Xbox 360 Hypervisor/King Kong Exploit

Thanks to Anonymous Hacker's great work, I' m now able to publish my own little implementation of the exploit.

I've used the full version of the King Kong (KK) game, as it has been shown to work by these anonymous people at 22C3, and it was the first one I found with editable shaders. Most games have these - KK was just the first one I've checked.
So you need a KK full (USA or PAL doesn't matter, they are the same) DVD image (including video partition), and obviously a hacked drive firmware.
You could also try hotswapping from your (hopefully existing!) KK original to the modified copy. Then you could go with a stock firmware.
Why not using the KK demo? It would work the same (though the shader file format is different), but requires a firmware hack too, as the possibility to run it from DVD-R was blacklisted in a very early kernel already, which doesn't have the vulnerability.

So, how does the hack work? Basically, the bugtraq post (http://www.securityfocus.com/archive/1/461489 in case you haven't read it yet) explains it all. All I did was to convert the series of memory writes into a shader, and writing a small serial loader stub.

You need to connect the serial port to use this hack. Read Speedy22's fine "Xbox 360 Motherboards and Headers" documentation, it's on J2B1.
NOTE: It's LVTTL. Do not even think about connecting to an RS232 port directly.
RS232 is +-12V, LVTTL is 3V. Think about what's happening when you connect your 110V equipment to 220V. You don't want to happen that on your southbridge. ;)
For example, use a MAX3232, or just use any of these USB serial port adapters which already output 3.3V.
Speed is hardcoded to 115200/8N1.

To modify your existing game image, start the "patcher" tool. It will patch your game image to include the loader. It is a bit lame, but works. The tool will also remove the three startup videos for a faster boot.
When you launch the modified game, it will directly go to the main screen.
Press start on a controller. It should display "LOADING", and then freeze while displaying "Acessing Content". If it doesn't freeze, you don't have the correct kernel version (4532 or 4548, but only 4532 was tested). See below on how to update.

Now, the serial loader gets active. You should see a "Xe>" on the serial port. Now, upload your binary code (just as a binary blob). To terminate your upload, send 16x 'x'. It will be loaded to 0x01300000, and executed.
Be warned, only CPU #0 is trapped. The other threads/cores are still happily executing, so you need to catch them.

"Hello, world!"
Use the source, luke!
compile with
powerpc64-linux-gcc hello.S -o hello.o -Ttext=0x1300000 -nostdlib
objcopy -O binary hello.o hello.bin

HOWTO UPDATE (to the correct kernel)
To clarify things again:
* If you have 4552, you are screwed. Sorry.
* If you have 4532 or 4548, it has to work. If it doesn' t work, something else is wrong, but please don't try to update.
* If you have pre-4532: Grab HD_DVD_10-2006.zip [URL in readme is already offline] (check MD5SUM first: microsoft could have changed this file! the correct md5 is cd4db8e2c94266ab73513c361dd5b8f6). Burn it to a CD, and start it. It will update your console to 4532.

Official Site: n/a, by Crawler360 (tech/research discussion on xboxhacker.net)
Thanks to GaryO.P.A. for news/file/link.
Download sourcecode: rapidshare.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink - Digg | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Friday 02 March 2007 00:55 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xecuter Blaster360: Xbox-Scene High-Res Sample Pictures
>> We received a sample of the Xecuter Blaster360 (pre-order: USA/CAN|EU/UK|Asia) last week from Team Xecuter. I've been testing it over the last few days and will post more details about the installation process (which is fully solderless btw) and how it operates in another news post very soon. In meantime I'll already share these exclusive high-res pictures I took of all components (incl. internals of the external switch board etc) and the packaging.
However keep in mind Team Xecuter told us our sample is still a pre-production model with some hand-soldered parts etc ... so don't see this as the final product yet.

The Xecuter Blaster360 is an external switching device when, once fitted, allows you to flash your DVD Firmware without ever having to open up your Xbox 360 case ever again.

Here's an overview of the content of the package:
Xecuter Blaster 360

Here's how the packaging looks like:
Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360

The external Blaster360 unit - fully opened for you to enjoy ;)

Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360
Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360

Multiplex Switching Unit (MSU) and Power Control Unit (PCU):
Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360
Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360 Xecuter Blaster 360

Official Site: www.team-xecuter.com
Pre-Order Blaster360 ($80/€60): Divineo USA/CAN | ModchipStore USA/CAN | ShopNeo UK | MrModchips Europe/UK | Divineo Asia
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Thursday 01 March 2007 23:17 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

'Racist Undertones' in Anti-Games Fears
>> From next-gen.biz:
A leading sociologist says videogames have become the scapegoat for violent acts perpetrated by white middle-class criminals, pointing out that crimes committed by African Americans are rarely blamed on games.

Writing in the American Sociological Association's journal Contexts, USC's Karen Sternheimer says, "Blaming video games means that the [criminals] were set aside from other violent youth, frequently poor males of color. The video game explanation constructs the white, middle-class shooters as victims of the power of video games, rather than as fully culpable criminals. When boys from "good" neighborhoods are violent, they seem to be created by video games rather than by their social circumstances. White, middle-class killers retain their status as children easily influenced by a game, victims of an allegedly dangerous product. African-American boys,

She tears into the many studies that have been published on video game violence in recent years, "The biggest problem with media-effects research is that it attempts to decontextualize violence. Poverty, neighborhood instability, unemployment, and even family violence fall by the wayside. Ironically, even mental illness tends to be overlooked in this psychologically oriented research."

Full Story: next-gen.biz
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Thursday 01 March 2007 21:35 EST) - (Category: GamingGeneral) - (Posted by:: )

XDVDMulleter Beta 7
>> Badsheepy released a new version of XDVDMulleter(info), an ISO extraction/creation/rebuilding tool for Xbox and Xbox360 discs with several features making it useful for more precise dumps as required by xtreme firmwares.

What's new/fixed:
* Added: Whole lot of new iso loading options, now you can load from pretty much any source I could think of.
* Added: New sector reading dvd mode, so you can read from dvdrs with video on them Note: My pioneer reads VERY slow in this mode, whilst my Lite-on reads faster than normal.
* Added: WXRipper style hotswapping for reading from retail discs
* Added: Further iso optimisation.. movies (.bik, .wmv, .sfd) moved to start of disc (any ideas on how to do more optimisation automatically would be excellent)
* Added: Rudimentary shrinking support (Very, very minimal. only removes dashupdate.xbe, default_orig.xbe, default.bak files and the demomovies folder.. but this should be enough for you to back up an original halo 2 at least :)
* Added: Added support for building qwix style doubly optimised ISOS. Note: will break original layout (files keep same order but different position, folders are moved to start of filesystem)
* Improved: Added check for UnleashX(info) downloads so you can leave boost mode enabled at all times now
* Improved: Added Output ISO summary on last page
* Improved: Mulleter now loops back to start page on completion of a task
* Improved: Simple ISO create menu removed, Rebuild ISO contains all previous functionality from there
* Improved: Now displays summary before ISO creation so you can check details
* Improved: Now checks if you try to make an iso from a folder without a default.xbe or default.xex file
* Improved: DVD9 Optimisation: movie files on second layer, and if that doesnt make enough space, the biggest files are moved until there is, both layers padded to outside of disk
* Improved: PFI, DMI, SS are all checked not just for existing but also for correct format on 360 isos now. DMI isnt checked on xbox 1 (cause i cant work out what to look for)
* Improved: Added an add video option (Was already possible before, but now you can do it from a button instead of rebuilding)
* Fixed: Extract data partition, video partition, split iso is all now threaded properly (I forgot i didnt do it to begin with, and never testesd it since)
* Fixed: Fixed stupid PFI writing mistake (wrote it in wrong place)
* Fixed: Fixed stupid DMI writing mistake too
* Fixed: Loading a layout will place all files not in the layout before it in the ISO (before, it would get its position from the original iso, even if that meant messing up the file order)

Official Site: n/a, by Badsheepy
Full Readme/News-Source: xbins.org
Download: n/a (contains files built with XDK)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Thursday 01 March 2007 00:29 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Register for Games for Windows Live beta
>> From xbox360fanboy.com:
Microsoft is now accepting registrations for the Games for Windows Live beta. The service promises to allow PC gamers to enjoy the Live experience as well as connect with Xbox players everywhere (in games like Shadowrun, for example). Registration for the beta is fairly straight forward, especially if you've registered for a Microsoft beta before. Registrants will need a Widows Live ID and must fill out a survey to qualify.

Full Story: xbox360fanboy.com
Official Site: https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=363
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Thursday 01 March 2007 00:22 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

MC360 XBMC Skin Updated to v1.03
>> Team BlackBolt released a new version of their MC360 Skin for XboxMediaCenter(info):
MC360 for XBMC has been updated from 1.02 to 1.03. Below is a changelog since the last release:

* Fixed: script up a little.
* Updated: script_exists_xbmcscripts.py now asks you if you want to download the installer if its not installed and installs it :) big thanks to blittan.
* Removed: mc360 version of the XBMC Scripts installer because it was out of date and didn't work properly instead it is replaced by a short cut script thanks to Nuka1195 that will run the official/updated/working version of the script installer that you need to have it installed into you "xbmcdir\scripts\XBMCScripts" folder it can be downloaded from here http://www.xbmcscripts.com/scriptservice/ or comes with t3ch most times anyway.
* Updated: Translate.xml with spelling fixes. Updated: welcome.txt with correct information.
* Added: A new skin Script option for XBMC_Lyrics that places a lyrics button on the Music OSD. This also updates the Translate.xml file with 2 new strings that will need to be added to custom language ones or you may get errors. You can download a working copy of the script to install here http://blackbolt.x-scene.com/skins/other/XBMC_Lyrics.rar.
* Changed: Removed the AMT and Accuweather skins from the SVN because they are out dated just update your scripts from the scripting svn you can find here http://xbmc-scripting.googlecode.com/svn/trunk/ they contain the latest skins.

Official Site: blackbolt.x-scene.com
Download: here
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Wednesday 28 February 2007 23:29 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

XPR Express v1.0.1 by EqUiNoX
>> From Team BlackBolt:
Our good friend |EqUiNoX| has released an update for his XPR Express tool(info). Fixing some of the issues that people have been having. A list of changes is below:
* Fixed: Internal special edition of XBMCTex enhanced to allow for GIF's containing local pallettes.
* Fixed: Extraction progress bar was hidden.
* Fixed: Gif animation preview works with frames now with 0 delay.

Official Site: http://blackbolt.x-scene.com
Download: here
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Wednesday 28 February 2007 20:07 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

BugTraq: Xbox360 Hypervisor Vulnerability - Unsigned Code on Kernel 4532 and 4548
>> This was posted moments ago on Security Focus' BugTraq list and looks like a follow-up to the anonymous 23C3 Hacker Congress presentation held end december. Looks like some huge news (Unsigned Code Execution in Hypervisor Mode) even if it's already patched by Microsoft in the latest kernel release:
Security Advisory: Xbox 360 Hypervisor Privilege Escalation Vulnerability

Release Date:: February 28, 2007

Author: Anonymous Hacker

* Oct 31, 2006 - release of 4532 kernel, which is the first version
containing the bug
* Nov 16, 2006 - proof of concept completed; unsigned code running in
hypervisor context
* Nov 30, 2006 - release of 4548 kernel, bug still not fixed
* Dec 15, 2006 - first attempt to contact vendor to report bug
* Dec 30, 2006 - public demonstration
* Jan 03, 2007 - vendor contact established, full details disclosed
* Jan 09, 2007 - vendor releases patch
* Feb 28, 2007 - full public release
Patch Development Time (In Days): 6

Severity: Critical (Unsigned Code Execution in Hypervisor Mode)

Vendor: Microsoft

Systems Affected: All Xbox 360 systems with a kernel version of 4532 (released Oct 31, 2006) and 4548 (released Nov 30, 2006). Versions prior to 4532 are not affected. Bug was fixed in version 4552 (released Jan 09, 2007 - not a Patch Tuesday).

We have discovered a vulnerability in the Xbox 360 hypervisor that allows privilege escalation into hypervisor mode. Together with a method to inject data into non-privileged memory areas, this vulnerability allows an attacker with physical access to an Xbox 360 to run arbitrary code such as alternative operating systems with full privileges and full hardware access.

Technical details:
The Xbox 360 security system is designed around a hypervisor concept. All games and other applications, which must be cryptographically signed with Microsoft's private key, run in non-privileged mode, while only a small hypervisor runs in privileged ("hypervisor") mode. The hypervisor controls access to memory and provides encryption and decryption services.

The policy implemented in the hypervisor forces all executable code to be read-only and encrypted. Therefore, unprivileged code cannot change executable code. A physical memory attack could modify code; however, code memory is encrypted with a unique per-session key, making meaningful modification of code memory in a broadly distributable fashion difficult. In addition, the stack and heap are always marked as non-executable, and therefore data loaded there can never be jumped to by unpriviledged code.

Unprivileged code interacts with the hypervisor via the "sc" ("syscall") instruction, which causes the machine to enter hypervisor mode. The vulnerability is a result of incomplete checking of the parameters passed to the syscall dispatcher, as illustrated below.

Preconditions (registers set by unpriviledged code):
%r0 syscall no.
%r3-%r12 syscall arguments

Priviledged code:
13D8: cmplwi %r0, 0x61
13DC: bge illegal_syscall
13F0: rldicr %r1, %r0, 2, 61
13F4: lwz %r4, syscall_table(%r1)
13F8: mtlr %r4
1414: blrl

The problem is that the "cmplwi" instruction compares only the lower 32 bits of the given syscall number; the upper 32 bits are ignored. The "rldicr" instruction, however, operates on the complete 64 bit register value.

The syscall handler address is fetched from the syscall handler offset table at 0x00000000.00001F68+%r0*4. Setting the upper 32 bits of %r0 to something other than 0 will change the upper 30 bits of the address used for the syscall handler offset table lookup. We will now explain how the Xbox 360 security architecture interprets and aliases these upper bits.

When processing the syscall, the processor is running in "hypervisor real mode", with the MMU switched off. However, when accessing memory locations with the MSB cleared, an additional offset, the Hypervisor Real Mode Offset (HRMO), will be applied to all memory addresses.

Due to the Xbox 360 security architecture, main memory is aliased to different addresses with different properties, in order to conditionally enable the security features (encryption and hashing). The hypervisor sets the value of the HRMO special register so that the hypervisor code, including the syscall jump table, resides in memory which is hashed as well as encrypted, even when using zero-based addresses.

When accessing memory locations with the most significant address bit set, the HRMOR setting is not applied. Due to the bug in the "cmplwi" instruction, setting the corresponding bits in %r0 on syscall entry allows setting the MSB, thereby overriding the HRMOR setting and tricking the address lookup of the syscall handler to fetch from memory without any security features.

With the syscall handler offset table aliased to unencrypted memory, the syscall handler table can now be modified to direct the hypervisor to jump to any location in code space that is designated for the hypervisor.
In the proof of concept implementation, a jump to existing hypervisor code is used with a pre-loaded register value as a trampoline to force the ultimate execution path to an arbitrary, unencrypted and executable location in memory.

Proof of Concept Details:
As it is not possible to directly overwrite even non-priviledged code, existing code needs to be tricked into calling the hypervisor syscall with the desired register set. This can be done by setting up a stack frame and forcing a context switch to this stack frame. The bug can be exploited using the following series of physical memory writes:

Setup context switch to stack @80130AF0:
00130390: 00000000 00000000 00000000 FDFFD7FF MSR mask
00130360: 00000000 80130AF0 00000000 00000000 New stack pointer

Setup stack:
00130BD0: 00000000 80070190 00000000 00000000 NIP to context restore
00130C90: 00000000 00000000 80070228 80070228 NIP, LR after context
restore point to syscall
instruction in kernel
00130CA0: 00000000 00009030 00000000 00000000 MSR

00130B40: 20000000 00000046 00000000 80130af0 r0 = syscall nr
r1 = stack
00130B60: 80000000 address1 r4 = address to jump to

00002080: 00000350 points to mtctr %r4,
bctr in hypervisor code

Code to be executed should be placed at "address1", which can be an arbitrary unused memory address.

Example code to output '!' to the on board serial port:
li %r3, '!'
bl putc
b 1b

lis %r4, 0x8000
ori %r4, %r4, 0x200
rldicr %r4, %r4, 32, 31
oris %r4, %r4, 0xea00
slwi %r3, %r3, 24
stw %r3, 0x1014(%r4)
lwz %r3, 0x1018(%r4)
rlwinm. %r3, %r3, 0, 6, 6
beq 1b

Vendor Status: Vendor was notified anonymously, and after cordial discussions a patch was promptly released.

Recommendation: Remove R6T3.

News-Source: BugTraq mailinglist (thx to dibbz)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink - Digg | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Tuesday 27 February 2007 20:13 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

ZsnexBox v3.0 Final
>> Nes6502 released the 'final' version of ZsnexBox(info), a port of the Zsnes Super Nintendo emulator to Xbox1 on our forums.
What's new/fixed:
* Reverted back to the old input polling code to hopefully fix the Xbox adapter issue one user was having
* Added an option to specify the screen refresh. Options are: Vsync (recommended), No Vsync, Every other screen refresh, Every third screen refresh. Maybe this will result in more responsiveness for the users who were experiencing some input lag.
* Added an option to have the screen dim when resizing.
* Updated the FAQ
* Optimized the code some more.
* A general source cleanup

More details about this 'final' version by nes6502:
This is the final release of ZsnexBox.
I'm sure many of you will be disappointed to read this, so I apologize. My new work is keeping me far from my personal PC, and I'm struggling to find time to work on this project anymore. I really can't see when I'm going to get time to add the last few features I talked about adding. So, I decided to release the source and make my final release.

It's been a great run and it has (in my humble opinion) become the best SNES experience to be had anywhere (PC or console - including the Wii). It progressed into something far beyond anything I ever intended it to become.
And in the end I brought the greatest SNES emulator to the greatest home console. I'm also really thankful for the chance to meet all the great people here at Xbox-Scene.

It's truly a great community. A special thanks goes out to Xbox Scene, Xantium, Andrew_Roy, Diontae18, VampX, Xport, Carcharius (I didn't misspell it this time), Consoleman!, Hopefull, and neverwill (THE best skinner past or present in the Xbox scene). I'm sure I likely forgot someone, so thanks to everyone else.

To future developers:
This includes a full source code release. In my whirlwind of releases, I have had little time to clean up the code. So be warned, it is absolutely atrocious from a developers standpoint. Even experienced developers will likely have trouble making heads or tails of much of it. Meaningful variable names and comments are few and far between. So, I don't really recommend anyone picking up this project if they are not willing to suffer through the code for a LONG while. However, much of the code is VERY sophisticated and I'm very proud of it, but a lot of it is written with a speed/hack/get it done anyway I could mentality. Structure and organization are also elusive contents of the source tree. It's an absolute mess. I'm the first to admit it. It is also in a very delicate state and can be broken very easily.

The DSP1 code seems to break every other compile with no apparent reason. If you make a new build, load up Super Mario Kart and Pilot wings. Once the game starts make a save state (I do this on the title screen animations).
Then load that save state. Repeat the loading of this savestate a few times repeatedly. If the game doesn't crash, you have a good build. Otherwise, rebuild it again. This seems to happen randomly (and recompiling often will fix it), but I always test this before I make a release. Tweaking the compiler settings is a really easy way to break DSP1 support. There is also a stack corruption issue that I never was able to solve (never had a debug Xbox). I have essentially hacked around it (by increasing the stack size) but it is still there. This project is NOT for the beginner or the timid. So any future developers who intend to pick up the project: good luck and I'm sorry =)

This project pretty much consumed my life for 8 straight months. Thanks to all that contributed to ZsnexBox with code, answering posts on the forums, researching, testing, or just offered a "good job" in one of my threads. The support is the only reason I kept going. It was actually at a state I wanted it to be many months ago. I don't have any plans for any more ports. So with a lot of regret (and satisfaction over the end result), ZsnexBox has been officially retired.

And to all the "would be porters": It's not nearly as hard as you might think. All it takes is the desire and dedication and you can port anything you want. ZsnexBox is living proof of that.

Official Site: n/a, by Nes6502 on forums.xbox-scene.com
Download: n/a (built with XDK)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Tuesday 27 February 2007 19:33 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Moore: Motion Control on 360?
>> From xbox360fanboy.com:
Speaking to Game Informer, Don Mattrick and Peter Moore discuss the future of the Xbox 360.
According to Moore, Microsoft began to see the significance of the casual market when the Wii was still known as Revolution. Moore states that Microsoft's strategy is more than simply throwing more E rated games onto the 360, saying "it's more experiential than that." This quickly leads to the speculation that Microsoft may have a motion controller of its own in mind. At this point it remains pure speculation. After all, Mr. Moore could easily be talking about more games involving the Vision Camera.

Full Story: xbox360fanboy.com and gameinformer.com
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Tuesday 27 February 2007 16:20 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

XboxMediaCenter (XBMC) 2007-02-26 SVN rev7937 build - T3CH
>> T3CH released a new SVN compile (rev7937) of XboxMediaCenter(info) for Xbox1.
This T3CH-compile is a complete snapshot of what is in SVN at the time the build was compiled, with just a few small additions.

Special Notes and Noteworthy/XML/Script changes:
* added: Video HD Mode and Aspect Ratio settings (means you can tweak this now without eg. MSDASH)
* Sorry for the late build, my fellow XBMC lovers. I had one planned for the weekend, but SVN wasn't stable enough..
* I'm including a package of "Picture Icons" for use with new TuxBox Client, see _tools/PictureIcon.rar.
* There's no new mplayer TEST version since my last build, but you can still report issues with old TEST here It's located in the TEST subfolder, simply replace the 2 files in XBMC/system/players/mplayer/ if you want to help Team XBMC test it.
* I've also tweaked the win32 run_me_first.bat so it runs and then unmounts the virtual drives when you exit.
* I'm also including the XBMC Win32 PC environment.exe that is meant for skinners & python developers, read more about the concept here. It was built using Microsoft DirectX Summer 2004 SDK.

Here's the added stuff since the 2007-02-16 SVN Rev7841 Build:
* added: scrap support for tvshows
* added: Video HD Mode and Aspect Ratio settings
* added: Scrapers referrer spoofing for thumbnails. added: Adult CD Movies scraper
* added: option to force dvdplayer to use a specific dvd region, should fix those dvd that detect us as a region free player.
* added: AdultFilmDatabase Scraper fixed: scraper post method wasn't working correctly fixed: scraper referrer spoofing wasn't working correctly
* added: [ 1667605 ] Python arguments in sys.argv by Asteron
* added: url tag support for scrap
* added: httpapi command QueryVideoDatabase
* added: startup and shutdown broadcast (httpapi) events
* added: ControlProgress to xbmcgui in Python
* added: Ability for scrapers to spoof a referrer header and send post variables
* added: reading registry files from system or userdata directory for windows registry emulation. template and schema exist in docs repository.
* added: Scraper support for nfo files
* added: memory tracking of virtualalloc/free_registry added: emulated wide version of RegQueryValueEx fixed: dll fixup's outside of sections would make changes to other parts of the dll fixed: dllloader would crash if the dll headers didn't contain pointers to export table added: attempt to load exports after dllmain have been called. (PECompact2 compression of export table has this effect).
* added: [ 1662752 ] filmweb.pl scraper - update
* added: localized the 'votes' string in video info window.
* added: [ 1662734 ] filmweb.pl scraper - update
* added: allocine.fr scraper written by l8tig. thanks!
* added: code to handle 1ghz cpu (model = 8, stepping = 6)
* added: container.folderpath and container.folderthumb info labels.
For the full changelog (fixed/changed/updated stuff) click here.

Keep in mind this is a SVN snapshot of the current development tree. It's not an official (stable) point release. Use only if you know what you are doing.

Official XBMC Site: www.xboxmediacenter.com (manual and FAQ)
Official T3CH Site: t3ch.xil.us (release RSS feed)
Download Binaries: n/a (built with XDK) | Download SourceCode: here
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Monday 26 February 2007 21:38 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Soft-Mods.com Interviews Team Xecuter
>> The guys over at soft-mods.com posted an interview with Team Xecuter. Here's an excerpt:
* Soft-Mods: How far away do you think we are from having homebrew on the xbox360.
* Team Xecuter: Xbox360 is so very close yet so far away at the same time. We have a dedicated team working on this all the time. You would be surprised how much has been discovered and achieved however we are still far away from this. As you are away this area is our speciality, I think a lot of the 360 newcomers to the scene don't know this :)

* Soft-Mods: Many people think you guys haven't done much for the xbox360 scene, what do you guys think about that and is there something in the upcoming future that will change their minds?
* Team Xecuter: They would be correct. We've released a couple of useful toys like the X360USB and Connectivity Kit v2 (along with the blaster) and they have done very well - because they work and do the job however our area of expertise hasn't had an opportunity to be exploited yet on a widespread level. All I say is when that happens - just remember the bios's and hacks and other toys we hammered out on the Xbox1 - it will be play time all over again. Believe me we miss the action, I just find some people very fickle - they forget easily what we've done before now and what we are capable of and now they just trash talk like they are some pimp coders or that we owe them something ? Funny people. In the meantime MUCH respect to the ODD hackers like the Specialist, Commodore4eva, Garyopa etc etc - Great work.

Full Interview: soft-mods.com (via digg)
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink - Digg | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Monday 26 February 2007 17:46 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Schtrom360Xtract v3.2
>> Schtrom released a new version of Schtrom360Xtract(info), a tool that will allow you to easily dump Xbox/Xbox360 gamedata, extract/patch the Security Sectors, PFI and DMI and fully prepare the image for burning in 1 step.

What's new/fixed:
* extraction speed up, caused by increasing the block size extracted in one loop from 16 to 32 sectors, the following applies for XBOX360 discs extracted with "whole disc (stealth xtreme 3.0)" style extraction
-on the SH-D162C extraction at 16x speed takes 08:33 minutes, V3.1 09:58 minutes
-on the TS-H943A extraction at 12x speed takes 15:03 minutes, V3.1 16:20 minutes
* images have the iso extension
* predefined filter values for file dialogs removed, you can choose any file (*.*)
* removed annoying message boxes on cancel file dialogs
* titles of predefined custom cdb commands are now listed in ini file order
* options for block and single sector re-reads set to 20 as default, sector mapping for XBOX1 is turned on as default
* DeviceIoControl is now checked for returned status and the returned sense from the drive, this should give better error detection
* fixed Star Trek Legacy and Fusion Frenzy 2 issue, the sizes of video and game partition are now calculated from the pfi and the alternative pfi in the ss, this should give a working image on future games with a different video or game partition size
* options dialog now remembers the last active drive and disc type
* check for NTFS file system on file extractions greater 4 GBs
* any DVD-ROM drive is now displayed in the drive combo box
* extraction of backup discs supported on kreon's drives and normal DVD-ROM drive
* on the TS-H943A backup extraction is not possible, cause the drive disables 0800 mode on insertion of a backup disc at least for me

Official Site: n/a, by Schtrom
Download: here
News-Source: xbins.org
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Monday 26 February 2007 15:58 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

Xbox Backup Creator v2.4
>> Redline99 released a new version of Xbox Backup Creator(info), a tool that will allow you to easily dump, create/patch and burn Xbox and Xbox 360 images with full support for SS, DMI and PFI.

What's new/fixed:
* Added - Image Browser/Extractor. Right mouse click in Tree/List for extraction options. Use File menu to load an iso image from HDD
* Added - Region Checking xbe/xex
* Added - Support to burn image in ImgBurn (Currently doesn't get correct exit code?)
* Added - Support to burn image with Nero (COM component)
* Added - Support to detect identity changing between Hitachi and Samsung. I've been too lazy to hook my Hitachi back up with a modified firmware so this has not been fully tested by myself. :)
* Added - Support to Extract/Inject Video
* Added - Support to read PFI, DMI, SS and whole image off of a backup
* Added - Support for iso's that dont have PFI, DMI (will substitute standard values)
* Changed - SPTI Timeout values, hopefully fixes more than creates problems :)
* Changed - Drive Open method for burner to Exclusive Access
* Changed - Changed verbiage on ISO Tools tab from Merge to Inject
* Changed - Relaxed PFI check to allow for oddballs like Star Trek Legacy
* Changed - Timeout value when setting layerbreak from 10 seconds to 120
* Changed - Method to detect current visible partition, a little slower now though
* Changed - Removed SGD-605B until I have the time to properly support it
* Changed - Removed Save Firmware button, there are better tools for this
* Changed - Removed Get DriveKey button, there are better tools for this
* Fixed - Not being able to quit if the drive space was low and user selected cancel
* Fixed - Initial lock state for Kreons drives
* Fixed - File Handle not being closed after FindFirstFile
* Fixed - Issue with non-standard video or game partition sizes (Star Trek Legacy)

Official Site: n/a, by Redline99 with help from Schtrom, Tiros and sosotiit
Download: here
News-Source: xbins.org
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Monday 26 February 2007 15:47 EST) - (Category: Xbox_Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

>> SICKmods released a new version of their XERC IR-mod for Xbox1:
The latest update to the XERC family is now for sale - the XERC 2 XE. This version includes a diode onboard so you can directly connect the MS DVD Kit dongle to the XERC to share the same IR receiver.

If you are unfamiliar with the XERC, it is a small device which allows you to turn your Xbox on and off with your remote. It also allows you to eject and emulate long and short power presses, to enter different boot modes if you have a modchip installed. The MS DVD Kit dongle can be internally hardwired to share the same IR receiver as the XERC 2 XE.

The XERC can be configured to work with many different remotes, and you can change the button setup at any time without opening your Xbox. It also includes a bonus LED Fader feature on the status light. For more info on the XERC, and to view a video of it in action, visit http://xerc.sickmods.net/.

Official Site: http://xerc.sickmods.net
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Monday 26 February 2007 00:36 EST) - (Category: Xbox) - (Posted by:: )

Sales of Xbox 360 in India: The Real Story
>> From gameguru.in:
Xbox 360, the only next-gen console to be launched in India. Yet it is still one of the most mysterious gaming devices in terms of the total numbers sold. There were many reports on international gaming websites such as Kotaku, Joystiq and Gamasutra regarding the Indian chapter of the Xbox 360. So we decided to investigate the real story behind the Xbox 360 in India and opted to do a telephonic survey. We went to the Xbox website and found out the names and the numbers of the dealers who were selling the Xbox 360 in India. The stats were quite fascinating as we found that the premium version was doing much better than the core version.

Sales figures on Xbox 360 in India (from 123 dealers out of 509 official delears):
* Total Xbox 360 sold: 839 (458 premium, 235 Core, rest unknown)
* Total Xbox 360 Game CDs sold: 1359

What we can make out is, that compared to the global figures, Xbox 360 is not doing that well in India. But the ones who will be happy to hear this are Sony, as Sony PS2 has become a rage over here. But on the flip side, if Indian customers find the Xbox 360 expensive, they will definitely find the PS3 steep too.

Full Story: gameguru.in
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Monday 26 February 2007 00:19 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )

AACS cracked again: WinDVD key found
>> From engadget.com:
AACS has already been compromised in at least two widely known ways, after DRM hackers posted on the Doom9 forums methods to retrieve and utilize volume, and later, processing keys to copy every Blu-ray and HD DVD movie released so far. Today a third method has appeared, as poster ATARI Vampire reports they were able to find the "sub device key" of the WinDVD 8 playback software. That key identifies the player and allows it to decode AACS protected titles.

Full Story: engadget.com, slashdot.org and forum.doom9.org
Discuss this news item on our forums: forums.xbox-scene.com

Spread News: PermaLink | Add us on: Twitter - Facebook - RSS
(Sunday 25 February 2007 13:52 EST) - (Category: Xbox360) - (Posted by:: )


Giganews Newsgroups