Xbox Emulation Is Coming Along Nicely

Illustration for article titled Xbox Emulation Is Coming Along Nicely
Screenshot: xemu

While platforms as recent as the PS3 and even the Switch are now running very nicely in emulators, the original Xbox has remained something of a thorn in the side of the scene. So it’s cool to see the xemu emulator making such solid progress.


xemu’s v0.5 has recently been released, and this video shows some of the games that are able to run in it, including big releases like Halo, and, well, not such big names.

While the video above is promising, it’s also using so many random/terrible games for a reason: the majority of the console’s library remains unplayable in the emulator, hence this being a progress video for a v0.5, and not a triumphant full release.

If there’s a multiplatform game from this generation you’re dying to try out again, you’re probably better off trying the PS2 version, since emulation is so much more mature for that platform. But if it’s an Xbox exclusive you’re after, stay tuned for further developments like this!


Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs


Moose Kung Fu

I was always perplexed why it took so long for a system that was pentium x86 based, with Microsoft code running under the hood, to be emulated on PC. From what I gather, it’s due to several projects starting and stopping, with none getting far enough along to be of any real consequence.

Still, the Xbox was functionally a late-90s gaming PC with controller ports, so it can’t be THAT hard compared to something like Dolphin, which has to handle 3 generations of bodged-together PowerPC consoles developed and engineered in Japan...

EDIT: Just looked it up again to make sure, and yeah, the original Xbox was a Pentium III strapped to a cut-down Nvidia GeForce 4 and a spinning hard drive - with some Bill Gates firmware holding it all together. I’m happy the community is finally getting to work on it, but it feels like we could have had great Xbox emulation on PC by 2006 if we’d really wanted it.