At one point, there was a massive original Xbox homebrew development scene thanks to Xbox Media Centre (XBMC), now known as Kodi. With a few relatively simple steps, it was possible to play movies, television shows and emulated retro games on Microsoft’s now classic console.
While homebrew developers have since moved on to newer consoles, there’s a chance Xbox homebrew development might experience a revival now that the original Xbox’s code has leaked online, according to The Verge. This code includes the Xbox developer kit, emulators, build environments, documentation and even the console’s kernel.
Leaks like this are often used by homebrew developers to create (often illegal) projects for video game consoles. That said, some of the data that is part of the source code has been available in the Xbox homebrew scene for some time.
Along with Xbox code, source code for Windows NT 3.5 also leaked. The operating system was first released back in 1994 but was quickly replaced by windows NT 3.51. Given that there are probably few devices running on the ancient operating system, it’s unlikely this leak poses a security risk.
What’s perhaps most interesting about the Xbox source code leaking is it now might be possible for homebrew developers to create a working Xbox emulator. Current Xbox emulators are only able to run a small number of titles. It’s worth noting that Microsoft offers official Xbox and Xbox 360 emulation on the Xbox One, but only for a select catalogue of titles.
While a working Xbox emulator is undeniably exciting, there are very few games I’d actually want to go back and play for Microsoft’s 2001 video game console. Unlike the 8-bit and 16-bit eras of gaming, the Xbox’s rudimentary 3D graphics haven’t exactly aged well. Also, if I wanted play Halo or Halo 2, I’d just boot up the anniversary edition of both games available in the Master Chief Collection.
The Verge says that Microsoft is aware of the leaks and is currently investigating.
Source: The Verge