Xbox 360 emulators
|Type||Home video game console|
The Xbox 360 is a seventh-generation console released by Microsoft on November 22, 2005, and retailed for $399. It had a triple-core PowerPC Xenon CPU that ran at 3.2 GHz with 512 MBs of RAM and an ATI Xenos GPU. The console's life saw the option of a motion-sensing camera called the Kinect.
|PC / x86|
|Mobile / ARM|
- RX 7900 series and RTX 3000/4000 series might have some issues with Xenia. One of the recent canary builds comes with an option named "d3d12_remove_retc_from_geometry_shader", which is a workaround/fix for RX 7900 GPUs but might cause issues and hardlocks. If, for whatever reason, your Xenia canary starts/works slowly on boot, please check if recent.toml isn't bugged. Something (still researching it) causes it to break and use all available space! Discord link for more info
- Xenia (compatibility) (canary-compatibility)
- The emulator that's made it the furthest. 302 out of 1619 tested titles (18%) can be reasonably played from start to finish with little to no issues; an additional 981 (61%) have functional gameplay but either can't be finished, have serious glitches or lots of crashes; and the remaining 317 (20%) titles either only display an image, hang on boot, or have functional menus before any gameplay but don't make it past the menus; and lastly 16 titles are entirely nonfunctional. There is no "Xbox Live Indie Game & XBLIG" support at the moment but Xbox Live Arcade Games & XBLA games supported. For emulation on Linux and Android, it's necessary to use Vulkan (or wrapper; recently vkd3d had some improvements for xenia that can allow you to play some working titles on linux) and compatibility layer; Quick tutorial for Steam Deck and Steam OS.
- Fission (compatibility)
- The official emulator on the Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S consoles. It supports 632 out of 2154 (29%) games. Load times are faster, but emulation suffers from input lag due to forced vsync. Beyond this, Fission supports some hardware features like Xbox Live, System Link, Achievements, Friends/Party, Notifications and Xbox Guide dash menu unlike xenia. See this section for more information.
- Xbox One X and Xbox Series X further improve on the emulation with better framerate, texture filtering, higher resolution and auto HDR in some games. Note that an Internet connection is required to download each game on its first run.
- However with November 2021 update Microsoft ends the program and said: "This latest and final addition of 70+ titles to the backwards compatibility program was only possible through the passion and feedback from the community," Microsoft said. "Your constant requests for specific titles and enhancements encouraged the Backwards Compatibility team to partner with the original creators to preserve thousands of games from over four generations of Xbox. While we continue to stay focused on preserving and enhancing the art form of games, we have reached the limit of our ability to bring new games to the catalog from the past due to licensing, legal and technical constraints. Thank you for being part of this journey with us."
Hardware Features and Peripherals
|System Link||✗*||✓[N2 2]|
|DVD/HD DVD Player||✗[N2 4]||~[N2 5]|
|Rock Band 3 MIDI Pro Adapter||✗||TBD|
|LEGO Dimensions Toy Pad||✗||TBD|
|Disney Infinity Base||✗||TBD|
|Drums and Guitars||✗||✗[N2 3]|
|Big Button Pad||✗||TBD|
- Supports only Xbox 360's Xbox Guide dash menu, Friends/Party and Notifications.
- Xbox 360 System Link compatible games for Xbox One
Xbox 360 System Link compatible games for Xbox Series S/X
- Games like the original Guitar Hero and Rock Band series won't work as they require proprietary accessories that aren't compatible, nor do any that require the original Kinect motion camera. Even if you have an Xbox One Kinect still, it is not compatible with previous Xbox 360 Kinect games using Fission.
- Just like DuckStation for VCD movies, PPSSPP for UMD movies, RPCS3 for DVD/Blu-Ray movies, xemu for DVD movies and PCSX2 for DVD movies there is no DVD or HD DVD movie support for xenia at the moment.
- Only DVD movies supported. There is no support for HD DVD movies.
The Kinect was Microsoft's version of the EyeToy, a camera that also doubled as a motion tracker and microphone capable of detecting gestures and voices in order to play games without a controller. This was in contrast to the Wii with its Wiimote and the PS3 with its PlayStation Move. Despite getting native support on Windows, users have made open-source drivers for it.
[Xenos] was a playground for experiments — it was developed near the end of the Direct3D 9 era, but still before Direct3D 10, and contained many features not standardized or even available at all on the PC, but when they ended up on the PC, the actual implementation could be significantly different; it also included completely unique features. [...] Contrary to a common misconception, the Xbox 360 [isn't] just a “DirectX 9 box”. It essentially contains a [tile-inspired] mobile-like GPU with much more raw power than a comparable mobile GPU. If you compare the registers of the Xenos and the Qualcomm Adreno 200, you can see that most of them are the same, as they are almost the same GPUs — the Adreno 200 was called the AMD Z430 before having been acquired by Qualcomm and was even referred to as the "mini-Xenos"!"
Due to requiring a large number of resources (see Dolphin and PCSX2 for specifications for their respective consoles), as well as the hardware not being properly documented yet, Xbox 360 emulation currently isn't at a point where people can reliably emulate most of the game library. However, Xenia is making slowly but surely progress on that front. That, plus the fact that Microsoft has implemented their own official emulation of the system through the Xbox One, however with November 2021 update Microsoft ends the program.
For more information about Xbox 360 system and reverse engineering;
- Rodrigo Copetti: Xbox 360 Architecture Analysis
- Xenon Wiki
- Xenia Discord server (For general and development discussions on Xbox 360 emulation, especially for xenia and xenia-canary)
- MVG: Xbox 360 Emulation on the PC with Xenia takes a huge step forward, Why Microsoft switched from Intel to Power PC for the Xbox 360, The Story of Xbox 360 PartnerNet Game Leaks, How a Mini drill tool defeated security on the Xbox 360, How the Xbox 360 Hypervisor Security was Defeated, Why YOU need a Modded Xbox 360 in 2018, The Xbox 360 is still awesome in 2019
- Xenia GitHub repository issue page filtered by "state-playable"
- Xenia GitHub repository issue page filtered by "state-gameplay"
- Xenia GitHub repository issue page filtered by broken games and Games that require XBOX Live Account Sign-in
- Xenia GitHub repository issue page filtered by "state-nothing"
- Triang3l (May 30, 2022) Vulkan-based GPU emulation implementation (Issue Discussion). Xenia GitHub repository.
- Margen67 (August 20, 2021) FAQ. Xenia.
- Triang3l (November 30, 2021) Roadmap. Xenia.
- Github (October 20, 2018) Kinect Support (Issue Discussion). Xenia.
- Triang3l (April 27, 2021). Leaving No Pixel Behind: New Render Target Cache, 3x3 Resolution Scaling & Three Years in Xenia’s GPU Emulation. Xenia.
- Building an Xbox 360 Emulator