XQEMU is a free software emulator of the original Microsoft Xbox and Sega Chihiro games consoles which runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux, with an unofficial experimental port for the Nintendo Switch under Linux. It is currently capable of playing some homebrew games, as well as some commercial games, such as Halo: Combat Evolved and Jet Set Radio Future.
XQEMU is a "low level" emulator which uses the QEMU x86 emulation project as a base.
There are many aspects of the Xbox hardware architecture which make it more difficult to emulate than other consoles, particularly the lack of documentation for the custom nVidia NV2A GPU and the modified version of DirectX. Other earlier attempts at a creating a working Xbox emulator, such as Cxbx, took a "high level" - using high-level system draw calls - approach to emulation but ultimately failed to gain traction due to these challenges. XQEMU uses a "low level" approach, emulating the underlying system hardware in software rather than trying to use compatible system and graphics drawing calls.
As a result of the difficulty, there was a functional Xbox 360 emulator, Xenia, before there was a working Xbox emulator, despite the fact that the Xbox 360 was released four years after the first Xbox.
XQEMU is a system emulator, so some non-free software from the original Xbox must be used, particularly the MCPX Boot ROM image and flash ROM (BIOS) image. In future, XQEMU may ship with a custom Free software kernel derived from the ReactOS project.
XQEMU uses the same license as QEMU, and is free software, mainly licensed under the GNU General Public License (GPL for short). Various parts are released under the BSD license, GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL) or other GPL-compatible licenses.
The source code is available on GitHub..
- "XQEMU Project Homepage".
- "Nintendo made to run Halo via XQEMU".
- "XQEMU Dev Preview: JSRF & Halo Audio WIP".
- ""Last Console To Crack: An In Depth Interview On Original XBOX Emulation"".
- "Decontstructing the XBOX Boot ROM".
- "Run Xbox Games on React OS".
- "License - QEMU". wiki.qemu.org.
- "XQEMU on GitHub".
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