Run MAME on the Xbox

Turn your Xbox into a virtual arcade.

Microsoft’s Xbox is both the most powerful and the most flexible game console on the market. In addition to playing off-the-shelf Xbox games, it can serve as a jukebox, a region-free DVD player, a media center, and an arcade machine. That last bit of magic is done by way of emulators such as MAME, the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator. To run arcade games on the Xbox you will need the Xbox version of MAME, MAMEoX.

Getting MAMEoX

MAMEoX could be called a grey market product. The source code is completely original, and therefore legal to distribute. But the compiled binary— the program that runs on your system—is not, because an official Xbox Development Kit is required to create it.

Developers with the kits are not supposed to distribute programs over the Internet, so you won’t find MAMEoX on any web site. However, there are plenty of retro game aficionados working in the business who will often anonymously upload the newest, compiled version of MAMEoX to an FTP server where anyone can download it. Try a Google search.

It is also worth noting that MAMEoX requires a modified (or "modded”) Xbox with a replacement dashboard installed, such as Avalaunch or Evolution-X. If you do not have a modded Xbox with a custom dashboard, running MAMEoX from the hard drive will be impossible. The nuts and bolts of how to mod your Xbox escape the scope of this hack, but there is a vast Internet community dedicated to the subject. The following ...

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