The mod is not particularly complex. The Microvision 360’s creator [PvP_LostKnight] only removed the working parts from the Xbox 360’s case and mounted them to the back of the TV. A few of the inputs of the TV had to be moved and rewired, and a repurposed and painted tupperware container was added to cover the Xbox 360 parts. Unfortunately, [PvP_LostKnight] did not post a writeup, and even added “The wiring for this is horrible, I would not recommend anyone trying this.”
Setting aside his recommendation for a moment, a few of the advantages to his design are improved airflow to the Xbox 360 and better space usage. What we’d like to see added more than anything is power integration, with a single button to turn on both and a single power source powering the TV and the Xbox. See the proof of concept video after the break, or more photos and comments at the read link.
[F00 f00] of Acidmods was not satisfied with his first-person shooter gaming experience, so he modded an Xbox 360 controller so that A, B, X and Y buttons are on the underside of the controller, on the inside edges of the wings where the player’s fingertips usually go. He also moved the right thumbstick up a bit so that it would be level with the left one. He designed it to improve his ability to play first person shooters, but the advantages go beyond one genre of game. The right thumb is free to remain on the right thumbstick, and the colored buttons can be pressed by four fingers instead of just the right thumb. We love this mod for it’s simplicity and effectiveness, and we’re eagerly awaiting the internal photos he promised.
Notably, the prosecution did not argue that he infringed copyrights, but merely facilitated copyright infringement by selling modchips that circumvent the Xbox’s ETM. Since the copyright infringement argument was not made, existing law continues to hold sellers of pirated games and owners of modded consoles responsible for infringing the copyrights of game developers, as they are the ones who illegally copy the software. Pirated game sellers’ violation of the law is plain to see, but owners are still held responsible the moment they place the pirated disc into the loading tray and boot it up. The infringement in these cases occurs exactly when any part of the pirated game is loaded onto the console’s RAM, as this is considered another illegal copy.
[Higgs]’s charges hinged on whether the Xbox’s piracy prevention methods were intended to completely prevent pirated games from being played or merely act as a hindrance. The court felt it was the latter, and so they reversed the charges.
The case does not add any new functions to the console, but it improves its efficiency on several levels. To deal with the noise produced by the DVD drive, they installed sheets of sound insulation foam around the drive, greatly reducing the sound it makes when it spins up. They did even more for temperature control, replacing the standard dual 70mm fans with a single 120mm fan that cools more efficiently and quietly. The case is also larger and features a frontside grate, allowing for vastly improved airflow. Lian-Li designers even left opening in the back for option water tubes in case you want to add a liquid cooling system.
The Universal PCB project lets you make any controller (specifically arcade sticks) console agnostic. A PIC microcontroller is used to translate between the button presses and the signals for the specific console you’re connected to. It uses a DB15 for the external plug. The PIC knows which console you’re plugged into based on which pins are high or low in your console specific adapter cable. The board includes a piggyback plug so you can plug in an Xbox360 controller board (like the one above) since the console requires authentication. The PIC’s firmware is conveniently upgradeable over the USB cable.
XBMC (formerly Xbox Media Center) has always been a popular choice for retiring an original Xbox. Maybe people install it for lack of something better to do or maybe it’s the pride in having better media support than the 360. The XBMC team has found another device that has a pretty weak television experience, the Mac. Lifehacker took the latest XBMC for OSX beta build for a run now that it supports remote controls. It seems like a much more functional than Apple’s built in Front Row. There are a few things that don’t quite work yet, which you can find in the FAQ. We’re definitely going to try this on our old Mac mini… once we upgrade it to Leopard, which is an unfortunate caveat that might prevent people from running XBMC on legacy hardware. There is no Apple TV support planned because of limited horsepower and the hacking hurdles that might be required. If you’re interested in repurposing your old Xbox with XBMC, check out Lifehacker’s install guide.
[Paul] let me know about a new way to get a hacked kernel on a XBox 360. A new timing attack will soon allow you to install an older kernel with without having the CPU key which was the catch 22 situation before. The proof of concept ressurected a bricked XBox by doing some interesting things to one of the NAND (memory) blocks on the machine. Great news for the homebrew/hacking scene!