AMD Mantle could be the key to Xbox 360 emulation

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Piston 360

Unless you’ve got an Xbox 360 console, there’s no other way to play Xbox 360 games. And yes, that did sound a lot less obvious in my head. For folks who don’t see things my way however, there’s always emulation, which is a whole other can of worms when it comes to legality and morality. And for those PC gamers that want to get their fix on with Xbox 360 games, AMD’s Mantle may be the key to doing so.

Xbox 360 Xenia is a project that is all about creating a working emulator for the console, with various hackers working on making a stable version that won’t crash like an ill-prepared attempt to move a beached whale.

According to the lead developer on that project, it’ll be AMD’s new Mantle technology that makes that emulator work sooner rather than later, as he explained on Reddit via Cinemablend:

Author here. Yeah, the readme is meant to scare off people. Even with it I still get people on IRC or email asking me if they can play game X or where they can get a copy. The note about no downloads is for all those who download 360 emulators from shady YouTube links and such – there’s a surprising number of fakes packed with malware and viruses floating around.

Status of the project is that it’s coming along well, after a long period of inactivity. Many games get to title screens though don’t draw much. I’m really hoping AMD gets its shit together and releases Mantle soon, as that will make emulating the GPU related things significantly easier.

So what could potentially run that software? A savvy gamer with enough hardware know-how could easily set it up on any of the upcoming Steam Machines, thus making that hardware even closer in design to consoles than anticipated.

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The PC architecture there could make those devices the media hubs that Microsoft could only dream about, provided you buy one of the more heavyweight rigs that’ll be available. of course, that in itself raises a whole new set of questions, including legality and whatnot.

But then again, numerous Xbox 360 games made the jump to PC, and there are only so many out there that remained exclusive to console. And when you’ve got a PC version that can be modded with all manner of graphical-enhancing tools and kits. Then again, this might be the kick up the bum that the Xbox One needs with regards to backwards compatibility, something that Sony is managing to sidestep with their efforts on PlayStation Now.

Last Updated: January 27, 2014

Darryn Bonthuys

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