Xbox 360 emulators

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Revision as of 21:58, 23 March 2023 by Ahayri (talk | contribs) (Comparisons)
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Xbox 360
Xbox 360.png
Developer Microsoft
Type Home video game console
Generation Seventh generation
Release date 2005
Discontinued 2016
Predecessor Xbox
Successor Xbox One
For other emulators that run on Xbox 360 hardware, see Emulators on Xbox 360.

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.


Name Platform(s) Latest Version Xbox Live System Link FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
Xenia Windows v1.0.2817
[N 1] [N 2] [N 3]
Fission Xbox One Xbox Series X/S Patch based [N 4]
Xenia Xbox Series X/S 1.1.1 [N 1] [N 2] ~
  1. 1.0 1.1 "Kernel" Pull Requests, Games that require XBOX Live Account Sign-in
  2. 2.0 2.1 Work-in-progress at the moment, Discord link for more info
  3. 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
  4. Xbox One Xbox Series S/X


Xenia (compatibility) (canary-compatibility)
The emulator that's made it the furthest. 295 out of 1599 tested titles (19%) can be reasonably played from start to finish with little to no issues[1]; an additional 975 (61%) have functional gameplay but either can't be finished, have serious glitches or crashes[2]; and the remaining 314 (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[3]; and lastly 15 titles are entirely nonfunctional[4]. For emulation on Linux, Android, Windows 8, or Windows 7 (until 12on7 and OpenGL are integrated into Xenia), it's necessary to use Vulkan.[5] Dashboard, netplay and achievement emulation still work-in-progress at the moment; Discord link for more info
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, playback is incredibly faithful to the original system (support system features like "Xbox 360's Xbox Guide dash menu, Xbox Live, System Link, Achievements, Friends/Party and Notifications" etc.). 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."[6]

Emulation issues

[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[8], Xbox 360 emulation currently isn't at a point where people can reliably emulate games. However, Xenia is quickly making progress on that front. That, plus the fact that Microsoft has implemented their own official emulation of the system through the Xbox One, brings much promise to successfully emulating the system in the future.


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.

Xenia does not currently have any support for the Kinect [9], with development on the feature unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future. [10] [11]