Week of May 19, 2002
News from xboxmods.co.uk
>> XboxMods posted some interesting news today.
They tested both the final Xtender & Enigmah and they confirm that also the final Xtender boots all games without problem.(without patch).
They also received information that the Enigmah coder is working on a DivX player for Xbox ... and it's in an "advance stage".
That was the good news ... now the bad news :
It seems like some XBOX DVD Rom units are shit quality. (selective on what media it boots).
They are trying to find out why there is sush a big difference between different xbox consoles , and check if there's a possible solution.
More news about this as soon as we got some!
UPDATE : XboxMods replaced the ROM from a "good" console to the "selective" console and it now boots flawlessly now.
>> Big thanks to Matt and www.gamesaccessories.co.uk for these pics of the new 1.1 version of Xtender with Macrovision OFF
Click images for Full size picture
The new Xtender modchip is also said to work with the previously "BAD" ProjectX releases such as Bond 007 Agent Under Fire XBOX-ProjectX. Looks like a great comparison between Enigmah and Xtender now, And with those incredible specs released by MessiahX we will just have to see who can stay on top. Pretty even race right now, if you ask me though.
We have the MessiahX specs !
>> Messiah-X (MX chip) development was completed this weekend (Saturday 25th May) for the X-Box.
The specs for the chip :
29 wires (reducing to under 20 during the next 2 weeks)
All import games and backups boot on any region console
Macrovision disabled (DVDmovies)
homebrew software will boot (unsigned code)
Use any Region DVD Dongle and remote without region locking
The Messiah-X should be available from "Messiah suppliers" next week.
Install diagrams will be available during the next two days.
Official MX website : China-Messiah
Xtender & Lik-Sang
>> For all those who bought an Xtender from Lik-Sang :
"Our first limited supply of Xtender Xbox modchips came in this morning and have been dispatched to those customers who made their reservation on its first preorder day. If you are among the lucky ones, you will receive a shipping confirmation e-mail shortly. More chips will come in early next week and will cover all current preorders that are placed before the end of this week. Sufficient supply should then finally become available around end of next week."
Japanese HW sales week ending May 19th
>> Here are the latest hardware sales in Japan.
1/PlayStation 2: 53,766
2/Game Boy Advance: 26,699
5/Game Boy Color: 2,212
7/Wonder Swan Color: 924
No comment ...
Xbox-Scene launches a forum!
>> Yep , that's right.
After some days of hard (euhmm...) work the forum is finally ready for launch.
Alot of thanks goes to NooDleS (hosting) and caLLous (gfx).
Visit our forums now at http://forums.xbox-scene.com , sign-up , post , chat , discuss .... and keep it legal :)
>> An interesting new feature for the xpad drivers ...
"Hello all, Slayer is a champion, after we done some research in to how the pad operates and what voltages are required, in the end Slayer has found out how the Rumble options work and his test program worked like a charm. ( " It even almost fell off the table, the pad vibrated at it most powerful setting ") Absolutly insane. There will be more info to follow...... "
check here for more info.
Enigmah on sale 27th May 2002.
>> Enigmah explains why their chip is a bit later then expected :
"We have to apologise for the delay in the shipping of the Enigmah. But we do have very good reason.
We feel that the whole scene has been rushing to bring out a mod first without the necessary testing and performance enhancing. Several issues bugged us. First of all it was the actual use of any copywrited code. It's always going to be argued that a mod is illegal and that's that. But there is no way you would win any argument if you were using actual code from the console - this would especially be a disaster for resellers of the mod. Secondly the MCP runs at 3 volts - so how could any mod possibly expect to run efficiently and safely for a long period of time on 5 volts? We were also very unhappy that certain games required a patch. Even though it is no fault of the mod itself as it was down to the actual rip, it is still an inconvenience to the end user - namely you!
So a few days ago we decided to attack the design with a vengeance, and are happy to announce an absolute awesome and complete modchip for the XBOX. Not only have we made this design rock solid, we've added several performance enhancing features to increase the desirability of this product.
Enough of arguments and stupid rumours. This is the real deal. On sale from 27th May 2002."
hehe ... small chip ;) (this is just the chip , the enigmah will be sold on a pcb)
The RRP of this mod has been set at $65USD / £45GBP / €69EUR (like expected).
Sphere for Xbox
>> Gravi-t Game Studios told us they will (probably) release an upgraded version of their (just released) pc game , named Sphere v 1.1 , for modded xbox consoles.
Sphere is a unique 3D puzzle game with spheres featuring 60 levels of increasing difficulty.
Sphere for the PC can already be downloaded from gravi-t.com.
Will this be the first "unlicensed" game for the xbox? As you can see , modchips open up a whole new world for xbox users :-)
>> As some of you know , xbox iso's can't be extracted like with normal iso's for pc. Extracting programs give an error if you try to extract the iso to your HDD , but on the other hand burning programs won't give any error.
Squirelly from the XboxHacker.net forum posted a tool that will alow you to read/extract Xbox ISO's.
You can download the program here
>> Here`s a drawing of board design of the final enigmah :
They also told that the Enigmah NTSC-PAL selector CD will make online gaming between PAL and NTSC users compatible.
If you want to play online with gamespy now , NTSC machines can't communicate with PAL machines , however by converting your PAL machine to NTSC (or vice versa) you are now compatible.
We should receive our samples before the weekend , and enigmahs will be on sale this saturday @Bowlers.
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(Wednesday 22 May 2002 16:02 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by::
More news about Xbox Live
>> "Xbox Live launches in North America, Europe, and Japan this fall and begins its steady rollout this summer with a consumer beta program in North America. Allard said Xbox Live will support five Xbox Live exclusive games this year, including "Unreal Championship" (Infogrames) as well as "MechAssault™," "Whacked!™," "NFL Fever 2003" and "Midtown Madness® 3" (Microsoft Games Studio). By the end of 2003, at least 50 Xbox Live-enabled games are scheduled to be available worldwide."
"At launch, U.S. consumers can purchase a starter kit for $49.95. For the estimated retail price of a single game, the consumer receives a year's subscription to Xbox Live, an Xbox Communicator that plugs into the Xbox controller and facilitates all voice communication with other players, and "ReVolt," a fun, online racing game from Acclaim Entertainment. Pricing and specific offers in regions outside of North America will be announced locally at a later date."
Check the full article
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(Wednesday 22 May 2002 01:27 EST) - (Category: (default)) - (Posted by::
>> With the modchip coming out , we decided to open our software page.
All "homebrew" xbox software/projects will be added there. (as long as it doesn't use copyright protected code).
For now just the Linux-Project & the Enigmah PAL<->NTSC bootdisk are there.
>> Flukes launched "The DOA3 Booster Hack Page" :
"Here you will learn how to make the most of the boosterpack available with the June Official Xbox Magazine by renaming the model files on your Xbox hard drive. This will allow you to use the new models with any of the characters' fighting styles!"
It requires to connect your xbox HD on a PC and circumvent the HDD protection.
If you are interested , click here
New enigmah diagrams & Video Mode Select CD
>> The new (final) diagrams for the enigmah are online on our modchip page.
Enigmah also released their "Video Mode Select CD" (converts any NTSC console to PAL (output) and vice versa).
You can download it here(1.6MB) (it needs a modchip to boot ofcourse). (file hosted by www.modshack.co.uk)
Xpad update (xbox controller for pc)
>> From xpad.xbox-scene.com
"Hello All, l would like to give "Slayer" our new GUI tool programmer to the team and below is some of the features that might be in the final form. I do repeat these are ideas that we all at Xpad are working on to achieve. I know we are working abit slower than "Lord Victory", who has just released his Alpha driver. But we are hoping to achieve that same goal, that you all want. To be able to use an Xbox Controller on your PC. I am in the stages of researching the Rumble Pack features and also very soon work on the Memory Pack as well. All the features will in time appear and l apologise for the lack of posts, as l couldnt access my web host server to update the page. Thanks for all your support and also don't forget about the Xpad Team as they are doing a great job."
Check out Xpad for more info.
>> Red-Mercury posted an interesting article about the console pricewar.
"Microsoft makes $5 to $10 on each XBox software title sold, no matter who publishes it (the major publishers probably negotiate this down to $5, and for low-cost titles, the kickback could be lower). They are counting on this money from software sales to subsidize all of their extra costs. Microsoft really bought in to the idea that they can lose a lot of money up front and make up for it later with this software kickback.
For Microsoft's sake, let's debunk that mythical "sell the hell out of blades" (translated: "make up for extraordinary hardware and marketing costs with software sales") part of the equation. If, on average, every XBox owner buys 7 software titles over the life of the console (a reasonable estimate), that's $35 per console sold that the first party gets without investing a penny more in development, manufacturing, or marketing. That's nice to have, but in light of all of the costs involved, it's not going to pay for extra hardware expense and still turn a profit. That little $35 figure kind of blows a hole in the whole razors and blades thing, doesn't it? Even if Microsoft's kickback is closer to $10, Sony and Nintendo can bring that down by starting a software price war. Sony and Nintendo are perfectly happy to let you believe that they are selling their hardware at a big loss. They are even happier to let Microsoft believe that. Sony and Nintendo both know that software sales are for profits, not for hardware subsidies."
"Some seem to think that it doesn't matter if Microsoft loses millions or billions on the XBox, because they will just release the XBox 2, and everybody will buy that, according to some larger Microsoft "strategy" to "own the living room". Game consoles don't work that way, for some reason. If the XBox goes the way of the Dreamcast, nobody… NOBODY is going to be clamoring for the XBox 2 (how many millions of people are eagerly awaiting Dreamcast 2? That's right, zero million.)
The economics of the XBox don't add up now, and they get worse with time. Sony and Nintendo can kill the XBox on cost alone. The "software subsidies" that Microsoft expected are a myth. Game console prices will continue to drop, from $199 to $149, then on down to $99. Will Microsoft ever make it to the $99 level of this game? We'll see. According to XBox economics, it all depends on how much money they are willing to lose."
Check out the Full Artcile
Pricewar goes on ...
>> REDMOND, Wash.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 20, 2002--Less than one year after successfully launching NINTENDO GAMECUBE(TM) at a mass-market price, Nintendo of America Inc. is dropping the MSRP to $149.95, effective Tuesday, May 21, 2002.
To date, Nintendo has shipped more than 4.5 million systems worldwide and its hit title, Super Smash Bros.(TM) Melee, has topped the 2.5 million mark.
Check the full press release here
Enigmah ... More info
>> From XbodMods.co.uk :
"There was a problem with NTSC XBOX's playing games in black & white on PAL TV's, and playing PAL games in black & white on NTSC TV's. Well Enigmah have now fixed that - there will be a boot cd to set your console to whatever output you want. For example we have a JAP machine that plays through a composite lead to a PAL TV. The picture is black and white. Use this new Enigmah Video mode disc and you can set to PAL output - works 100% and its permanenet until you want to change (you wouldnt need to though). Another plus is you can toggle from 50hz to 60hz in the menu :)
Tested on JAP, USA & PAL consoles - all kernel versions. I've also had a sneak peek at some more stuff comeing out on "homebrew" - you are SO gonna love it :)"
Enigmah will also post new diagrams soon 'cause some points changed.
Macrovision off will NOT be included in the first version of enigmah as this would delay the chip even more.
We should also receive some samples from the enigmahcrew soon ... so we'll be able to fully test the modchip and maybe even giveaway some :)
Stay tuned ...
Pandora development stopped
>> It seems like Pandora just stopped all development on their Xbox Modchip.
Both the website and irc channel are closed.
"www.pandorachip.com has been closed down and all mod development stopped. All irc channels have also been closed.
Please do not email us regard mods or mod chip development.
Pandora chip will not be completed or sold."
We don't have more information at this moment thought.
Bowlers computer show in Manchester
>> The guys from XBOX365 visited the Bowlers computer show in Manchester this saturday.
They saw a working enigmah and took some pictures of it : check out the article here.
(note: there is some wrong information in the article , please ignore it ... just go watch the pictures ;))
>> Here an update from lik-sang for all who pre-ordered a xtender or enigmah mod.
"We have received our first Xtender Modchip samples today and took a couple of new additional pictures which can be reviewed on its product page. Stock for all preorders are anticipated to arrive in the next week.
There has been no update concerning the Enigmah Modchip at present. We expect the chip to be delayed slightly, an update will be posted once further news are available. Any customer who previously made a reservation for the Enigmah chip can leave us an e-mail to upgrade his purchase to the Xtender mod for shipping in the following week. No credit card for the Enigmah has been charged at present."