This day and age, the Original Xbox console is typically a collectors item, a console modding paradise or gathering dust in a cupboard under the stairs. More so given that Microsoft retired the original Xbox Live service on 15 April 2010.
Whilst there are a number of services such as XLink Kai and XBS Link that allow for P2P system link games over the internet, these lack a myriad of online services such as matchmaking and leaderboards.
That could be about to change, as for some time now the Insignia team has been toiling away in obscurity, working to restore the discontinued Original Xbox Live service. More recently the team has shared a whole raft of success in restoring Xbox Live Multiplayer capability to numerous titles.
Recent Insignia Updates:
More recently the team posted an extensive project update to Twitter that I’ve unrolled below. Namely a loose set of milestones that the project needs to meet in order to be ready for release.
In the interest of transparency, I feel like it’s time to share our current roadmap of what still needs to be done before closed beta signups can open.
This may span multiple tweets, so bear with us.
1. User Registration.
GamerTag creation is only working in dashboard 4920 at present. We don’t fully understand the file formats that later dashboards require from the server.
We don’t feel it’s right to launch while users have to jump through hoops (eg. downgrading dash).
2. Connection Tracking
Matchmaking can’t detect disconnects by non-standard means (power loss, etc). This causes sessions to remain in the match with no host assigned
The solution is to have our SG notify matchmaking when clients go missing, but we haven’t built that yet.
User online state, friend requests, game invites, etc do not work yet.
We can’t launch without this: friends are central to the Xbox Live experience.
4. Legal Stuff
This is essential before go-live, to protect both operators and end-users from getting into a legal nightmare, especially where GDPR is concerned in the UK and Europe.
5. Title Whitelisting
Although whitelisting supported titles may seem boring, it is essential that we block games that don’t work yet from connecting.
We have not yet built whitelist capability and running unsupported games can cause your Xbox to crash.
It doesn’t have to be anything too fancy, but we need to have a minimal website, even for private beta: it is essential that users can login to retrieve their account recovery details, change passwords, and delete their account (a legal requirement under GDPR)
We’re pretty much ready from a gameplay perspective, but we currently have some missing pieces we cannot do without.
We cannot give an accurate ETA as the presence service specifically is a huge project with overwhelming scope.
But we are hopeful it will be within this year.
While some of us concentrate on fixing these core problems, the rest of the team will continue to work on adding more games so there should be a steady stream of announcements from now on.
It took too long to get here but for the first time, the finish line is actually in sight.Originally tweeted by Insignia (@Insignia_Live) on 21 June 2022.
The good news is they’re already providing completion updates on some of these key roadmap milestones. User registration seems to be in the bag, and the number of supported games is growing daily.
Confirmed Supported/Partially Supported Titles:
- Phantasy Star Online (PSOX) – Partial/Developing
- Room Zoom: Race for Impact
- Sniper Elite
- Midnight Club 3 DUB Edition Remix
- Midnight Club
- Magic: The Gathering
- Splinter Cell
- Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory – Partial/Developing
- Americas Army – Rise of Soldier
- Doom 3
- FlatOut 2
- CapCom Vs SNK 2 EO
- Mortal Kombat: Armageddon
- Call Of Duty 2
- Call Of Duty 3
- Chicago Enforcer
- Star Wars: Battlefront
- Return to Castle Wolfenstein
- Dead or Alive Ultimate
- Call of Duty 2: Big Red One
Dashboard 5971 Requirement
For those of you interested in joining in after launch the team has advised that you’ll need to be running the Original Xbox Dashboard Version 5971. For users who have modified their original Xbox, this should be as simple as installing the dashboard and running the Xbox executable.
Keep up to date
While theres no firm release date, you may want to keep your finger on the pulse. You can follow the projects development on twitter here: https://twitter.com/Insignia_Live and join their Discord here: https://discord.gg/CWkdVdc