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Get Ready For Divx On Xbox

timothy posted more than 12 years ago | from the 200-dollars dept.

Movies 378

donnacha points to this ZDNet story which says that hackers have built a Divx player for Xbox. "As previously discussed ( Divx - The Real Xbox Killer App), the ability to play reasonably high-quality films, speedily burned onto inexpensive CDR media, is going to make (modded) Xbox ownership a far more attractive proposition. This will take Divx beyond the desktops of those with broadband connections and into the living rooms of those who don't own computers. Expect to see a resurgence of Xbox sales and much confusion in MS as to whether or not this is a good thing."

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ia m the god of your (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685237)

i r00z hjoor 4zz
| am the !!!st post3rz 333173

Re:ia m the god of your (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685260)

ps. the prominence of the peoples republic in this message is notably absent.

Re:ia m the god of your (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685304)

pps note that there is no communisimimim in this comment, merely statrment of fact.

does anyone think that the computer hacker badguy in "tomorrow never dies" looks like that well known girty GNU hippy RMS?

actually, it cant be, as he would have forced bond to be renamed:
bond, GNU/james bond.

This is why I got an X Box (1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685240)

Who cares about playing games, it's a nice self-contained PC architecture hacker's toy, like the Dreamcast before it! And it just so happens to have the raw processing ability to decode Divx files in real-time!

Excellent work!

Re:This is why I got an X Box (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685306)

yeah, but dreamcast can already play DivX...
and get online, and play mp3z, and play burned cds...
can't M$ do ANYTHING original?!

Have you tried watching Divx on a Dreamcast? (2, Informative)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685324)

The files need to be resampled at a very low resolution in order for the processor to keep up. With the X Box Divx viewer, we're talking full 640x480 resolution, IIRC.

Check out [] to see how far X Box hacking has come.

Re:Have you tried watching Divx on a Dreamcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685464)

There are two ways you can read his sentence you know ... and Im pretty sure the one which you didnt pick was the correct one.

Re:This is why I got an X Box (5, Interesting)

kyoko21 (198413) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685348)

Yep same reason why I got an XBox. Sure I have a PC. I have in fact several PCs. Too many PCs. But I don't want to move all that stuff into the living room and hook it up to the TV (not to mention buying tv-out cards).

With the XBox hacked to play alternative media formats, such as DivX, VCD, DVD, mp3, WMA, it makes it more useful, and all nicely integrated in the same box.

If MS was smart, instead of letting possible revenue slip away from them, they should just release some form of XBox Media Player that will allow more for more functionality on the XBox. If I could pay $30 bucks to get my XBox to play DivX 3.x, 4.x, 5.x, standard mpeg, standard mpeg2, mp3s, wma, without opening up my XBox, I would pay for it. And since I bought an XBox, and if there are some decent games out there, I just might consider buying a game. (Of course, going back to the issue of quality games because honestly, there just hasn't been that many great ones, except for DOA3 or Halo).

Unless MS want to see potential $$$ slip away, they would jump on the bandwagon. Hey, if you can't release decent games, at least make the box better and get people to buy the console. Heck, it's the same price as the PS2, and I don't see anyone trying to hack that. Though, it is conceivable to get DivX to run on PS2 if you had the Linux Dev kit and compile the code yourself on there... but that's 150 bucks you gota shell out. Do the math.

Re:This is why I got an X Box (3, Informative)

randomErr (172078) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685426)

Dreamcast can play DIVX and standard MPEG4.

Check out PocketDIVX at Project Mayo []

Re:This is why I got an X Box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685427)

Thank you also i griped(?) the xbox because of microsoft thye have teh warez(SP?) I play.:):):)
Ilike the linus bcause the "ghost" but the xbox have "stuff" i have hook. ;););)

Resurgence?? (1, Insightful)

SpectreGadget (465507) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685241)

Expect to see a resurgence of Xbox sales
What? Really think people are going to go out and buy more Xboxes just to hack them and play Divx CD-Rs? Why not just go buy an inexpensive DVD player that plays SVCDs? A lot cheaper.

Exactly.. Plus XBox has no games. Useless system. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685262)

So quit throwing your money at the evil empire already and support true console systems. Go buy a PS2 or a GameCube and let MiscroSoft rot in hell where they belong.

Re:Exactly.. Plus XBox has no games. Useless syste (1)

JesFlemm (584458) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685412)

Yeah, they really choked on original releases. I might actually get MGS2: Substance for it tho.

SVCD and Divx are different formats (3, Informative)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685273)

SVCD is essentially a DVD MPEG2 file, cut down so that it'll fit on a normal CD. You can normally fit around 45 Minutes worth of SVCD video onto a CD. Ideal for TV shows, admittedly.

Divx on the other hand has much more efficient compression, to the point of being able to fit a full movie onto a single CD.

The convenience of only having to find one file and burn the one CD is what's going to assure Divx has a future.

Re:SVCD and Divx are different formats (1) (455481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685384)

SVCDs are not limited to what a CDR can hold. Perfect if you burn onto a DVD-R

Re:SVCD and Divx are different formats (1)

BlacKat (114545) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685503)

Neglecting the fact that it would likely just be cheaper to *buy* the DVD rather then the blank DVD-R (write ONCE media).

DVD+RW would be more efficient for this type of thing really. ;o)

Re:SVCD and Divx are different formats (2)

uradu (10768) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685511)

> You can normally fit around 45 Minutes worth of SVCD video onto a CD

Only if you have unreasonably high standards. I've put all of Shrek onto one single CD, and the quality is almost indistinguishable from the DVD on my 35" TV except for a few high-motion scenes that show brief pixellation. In fact, I would say for average consumption you can fit many if not most 90 minute movies onto a single CD. Of course, that's without the bonus material and alternative soundtracks. This is not to say that I wouldn't prefer my DVD player to be able to play DivX, because I would. You should be able to fit a two hour movie onto a single CD with considerably less artifacting.

Re:Resurgence?? (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685278)

I think your right about the sales, this probably won't affect sales that much, although it would sway the computer enthusiasts away from PS2. But that's a really small percentage of people. I think /.ers just exaggerate a bit when it comes to Microsoft.

The reason why XBox would be better than an inexpensive DVD player is that XBox would be able to play SVCDs, DivX, and DVD. DivX, by the way, has far higher quality than SVCD with files of similar sizes. (That's been my experience anyway).

or simply... (2, Informative)

hexdcml (553714) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685355)

watch DIVX on LARGE TV, by plugging in a £25 A/V cable into my iBook, and playing the divx movie - which is mirrored onto the TV.

Now, I know the iBook itself is more expensive, but then again, it is a laptop, and I bought it NOT solely for games and videos. The latter are just a bonus, and for £25, it is well worth it. That said, with a PowerBook, you don't even need to purchase a properitary (s?) AV cable, just use a standard Yellow/Red/White thing :) which you can probably pick up for £5.

Anyway, going a bit off topic... i think divx on xbox is pretty kewl.. but a bit useless for me - apart from the gaming part - but the GC looks better (and smaller!!).

BTW.. does anyone know how to watch divx .mov (quictkime) on PC's.. after converting the AVI to MOV - since QT can't handle avi with mp3 audio? I'd like to watch all my movies on both mac/pc.

Slashdot Beatitudes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685242)

And seeing the multitudes, He went up unto the mountain: and when He was set, his disciples came unto him: And He opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,

"Blessed are the poor in threshold: for theirs is the Kingdom of the Page-Lengthening and Page-Widening Posts.

"Blessed are they that mourn the death of *BSD: for they shall be comforted with an ultradense Linux server from VA Linux, now sold by California Digital Corporation.

"Blessed are the posters of smug one-liners: for they shall inherit an Account Capped at 50.

"Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after The First Post: for they shall have the Third or Fourth Post.

"Blessed are the karma whores: for they shall obtain "Score: 5, Insightful".

"Blessed are those who dismiss out-of-hand: for they shall fail to see the Point of the Original Post.

"Blessed are those who seek to associate themselves with the latest techno-fad: for they shall be called 3L33T for at least Another Half Hour.

"Blessed are they which are persecuted for their own self-righteousness' sake: for theirs is the Kingdom of "Ask Slashdot".

"Blessed are the over-eager, who believe that Open Source is a social movement heralding the rise of a new generation: for they shall not realize that There Are No Sacred Cows.

"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for the sake of your Favorite Operating System.

"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.


Re:Slashdot Beatitudes (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Cow (Jerk) (583562) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685422)

Amen father. Religion rocks!

Over hyped (4, Insightful)

PyroMosh (287149) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685245)

The person who submited the article is seriously overestimating the importance of this. People without computers don't hack their x-boxen. Trust me on this one. I doubt anyone is going to go out and buy an x-box just because of this. But I do wonder weather MS will think this a Good Thing(TM) or not.

Re:Over hyped (3, Interesting)

Slashamatic (553801) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685334)

There are plenty of other consoles that have been mod-chipped, and many of those are in the hands of non-techies. Quite often it is just so that they can get over regional encodings on games.

Maybe if DIVX is all that the mod will give the non-techie types, then it will fail.

Re:Over hyped (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685368)

"The person who submited the article is seriously overestimating the importance of this. People without computers don't hack their x-boxen."

Says you now.

If the X Box becomes entrenched like the PS and PS2 I predict you will see a whole mod chip industry spring up. I already see PS/PS2 mod chip posters on the telephone poles where I live (Toronto).

Re:Over hyped (2, Interesting)

scott1853 (194884) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685397)

I don't think MS will like this. Remember they lose money on every box sold, so if you're not buying games, you're an evil pirate.

Re:Over hyped (5, Interesting)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685411)

The person who submited the article is seriously overestimating the importance of this.

Um... that would be me. I don't generally have a tendency for hype but, in this case, all the pieces that are needed to make Xbox a powerful proposition are falling into place. It's important to stress that I'm not pro or anti MS, I'm just trying to predict how things will be in about a year or so.

People without computers don't hack their x-boxen. Trust me on this one. I doubt anyone is going to go out and buy an x-box just because of this.

That's not how it will work. There's already a burgeoning community [] of people willing to either mod people's existing Xboxes or sell pre-modded machines. The wholesale prices of these chips appear to go as low as $30 and they are becoming increasing easy to fit, with 12 wires options now replacing the original 29 wire options.

I would suggest that it will become quite common for people to offer modding for about $90 dollars or pre-modded machines for about $270. In somes cases the prices will be even lower than this as budding entrepaneurs, just like MS themselves, will subsidize the initial costs in the interests of developing a substantial customer-base in their own community to whom they can sell films and games on an ongoing basis.

In terms of both skill and capital, the bars to entry are extremely low and I expect that everyone will soon have a "friend-of-a-friend" who will offer these services.

and why do they have space for 3 bios images (3, Interesting)

johnjones (14274) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685559)

ok micrsoft are not complete fools

first of all the bios will be updated and so I am guessing will be the OS to support Windows Media

MS has signed a bunch of DVD people to the wmp format and will at some point start to release films now for a studio whats better
o expensive media due to the newness
o lots of region independant players (so they cant really relase when they want)
o cracked so that people can copy them

WM format
o can use a CDROM and boy are those cheap
o Control over regions
o Control over Copying
o Control
o Total Control

yes if it starts up then soon their will be a crack for wmp formats (search for version7)

now the mods will have to be invented for the Xbox as sson as then change the bios

thank god MS didnt use a decent arch and put the whole thing on a chip so we can Bus snoop (-;


john jones

Re:Over hyped (2)

Geek In Training (12075) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685573)

In somes cases the prices will be even lower than this as budding entrepaneurs, just like MS themselves, will subsidize the initial costs in the interests of developing a substantial customer-base in their own community to whom they can sell films and games on an ongoing basis.

This is my beef: you're talking about blatant, illegal (duh) piracy of games and movies. "Budding enterpaneurs" in this field are underground morons who think that they won't get caught, but always do; and giant asian piracy cartels, who also generaly get caught with a shipment of 37,000 units before they hit the streets.

That is a lot different that people who "preview" movies on KaZaa and then go see them. This is "pay $4 to me, d00d, and get SpiderMan instead of/before the DVD."

What, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685417)

you mean the same way in which absolutely no non-geeks have modded multi-region DVD players?

Stick to playing Quake, mr industry pundit.

Re:Over hyped (1)

jgartin (177959) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685462)

I agree. According to the author, "This will take Divx beyond the desktops of those with broadband connections." What a load of crap. My question is this--how will people without broadband download those huge DivX files?

Re:Over hyped (1)

mixbsd (574131) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685556)

But I do wonder weather MS will think this a Good Thing(TM) or not.

Who cares what M$ thinks? Once you've bought the hardware, it's your property to do with as you please, unless there's some weird EULA that forbids it. Come to think of it, with M$'s track record, nothing surprises me anymore!

The best thing for Microsoft to do... (1) (455481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685246)

..would be to release a free media player themselves. This would stop those thinking of getting a mod chip, just to see movies, from doing so. No mod chip = no playing backup software.

Re:The best thing for Microsoft to do... (1)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685269)

Not really. The best thing that MS can do is let this work itself out on its own. If people want to illegally pirate (redundant?) movies, let them. The X-Box is designed to play games. It isn't designed to be a circumvention device. MS has nothing to worry about if they do nothing.

Re:The best thing for Microsoft to do... (1)

wrax (570032) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685375)

Is to do nothing at all. The people who are hacking their Xboxs are voiding any warrenty that they may have had on the machine, and M$ is therefore not out anything if all these hacked xboxs start turning up fried out because of some botched mod job. Just come out with a statement that people who want to watch movies on the xbox can purchase a "special" mod from M$ that lets them do this....and it only costs $19.95! WOW.

divX-BOX (0)

LordYUK (552359) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685256)

hmm, still, I have a computer, what the heck do I want a Divx-box for?

would this class (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685261)

the X-Box in the same class as Napster?

Re:would this class (1)

purpledinoz (573045) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685374)

the X-Box in the same class as Napster?

This is the kind of BS that /.ers keep moaning about. Seriously, I'm tired of this crap.

I think (1)

Budgreen (561093) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685263)

That this is what M$ was hoping for..

easy hacks and ability to do this will boost sales it's basically a cheap PC. it won't be to long before we start seeing xbox games on home pc's also.. as much as they seem to hate piracy they set themselves up for this one.

Re:I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685333)

If MS were making a profit on each XBox then this would be a good thing.

However since they need game licencse fee revenenues and your average DivX user is too cheap to shell out for a DVD let alone a much more expensive XBoX game.

Also MS will not like this one bit because they wanted the XBox to be a hardware platform that they could control (unlike the PC) and letting anyone write & run code on the platform (again unlike PC) is not on their plans.

Re:I think (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685401)

Not really ...

MS is loosing money on the box (as any console builder). They're making their money on the games and license to develop game for the platform.
So MS don't want people to be able to hack so easily their console. Rumors says MS has spend as much money to develop the box to protect it (and it fact, it was pretty hard to figure out how it was secured but finally people made it : 6 months to hack a basic PC is a LONG time).

The box is MUCH cheaper than is equivalent is store so if you wan to run a rendering farm, just buy a few dozen XBOX, hack them and run you custom soft (like BEOWULF cluster) and you have a super computer. A real supercomputer is way more expensive than the price of a few dozen XBOX : U have 100 Mbps LAN, PIII 700, 64 Mo and 10 GB (don't really need the fancy multimedia features).

On the other hand, it will be hard to run XBOX games on standard PC : remember console are fixed hardware : one video card, one sound card, don't need to handle all the different cases that make PC a really hell for developpers. And GFX is only 640x408. You might be able to build a "virtual XBOX", like a virtual machine and run games on it (by mapping call to XBOX drivers to the actual video card driver) but to go beyond 640x408, you'll have to hack the game code and hacking such a code isn't that easy (screen size could be hard coded all along the game so U'll have to hack the game for every single call to the display size).

Re:I think (1) (455481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685431)

The GFX are not limited to 640x408. The Xbox has support for Widescreen and HDTV both of which have a higher resolution.

But well done for being the first to mention "BEOWULF cluster" :-)

Re:I think (1)

Nogami_Saeko (466595) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685415)

The problem here is that it's generally known that MS isn't making any money on the X-Box and is probably selling below cost to compete with other platforms.

People buying the units just to play movies on is NOT going to generate any additional revenue for MS. They make the money on the games.

Why would I do that? (1)

aelfwyne (262209) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685264)

Why would I buy an X-Box, mod it up, and spend all that money, to watch pirated CD's at low quality? I already have a computer, and most people who would have access to such CD's and modded equipment already do.

I don't see my grandma getting an X-Box for example... people that have fallen behind on technology so far as to not have a computer are more likely to stick to their trusty VCR for pirated movies.

Re:Why would I do that? (2, Insightful)

UPSBrian (470009) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685312)

I could see it from a convienance stand-point. My computer is set-up in the basement; my X-box is hooked up to a 32" TV with surround sound upstairs. That is far superior set-up than the 17" monitor in my spider infested basement.

Re:Underestimate quality. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685549)

Well encoded DivX movies, typically 2 dics but I have seen well done single disc movies, are perfectly acceptable quality when viewed on a television system, with plain stereo audio.

In fact I have several DVDs which exhibit more noticable compression artefacts than good DivX rips obtained from a different source.

Not everyone has big screen TVs or home stereo systems. However DVDs (and DivX CDs) do not wear out in any useful timeframe. Very useful for kids, who tend to watch the same movies over and over. Besides Seeking is virtually instant.

Not likely. (1)

arglesnaf (454704) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685266)

Chances are if I have a Modded X-Box, and access to Divx, I probably have PC and a broadband connection. The average consumer will not Mod such an expensive piece of equipment for the occasional Divx.

This is more for geeks to set up their GF's and Mom's with.

Re:Not likely. (1) (455481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685287)

You have not been to the same computer fairs that I have. DiVX and (S)VCD are sold openly.

Re:Not likely. (1)

arglesnaf (454704) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685359)

People who own an X-Box and not a PC probably won't go to computer fairs.

xbox processing power (1)

matt4077 (581118) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685270)

Does anybody have information on the xbox's processing power? Would it make sense to replace those expensive IBM-Servers by a flock of cheap xboxes? Shouldn't take long till you can install everything on them you like.

Network? (0, Offtopic)

stere0 (526823) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685309)

It's got a 10/100 base-T ethernet card and a modem inside, right?

They'd certainly look nice in a beowulf cluster.. "yeah stere0, to reboot apache gracefully, you press up-up-left-A-kick-down. You earn less points if you do an apachectl restart." "Thanks for saving me Mario, but Princendmail is on another vhost!" Hours of fun ahead

x box (-1)

Yr0 (224662) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685274)

an anagram of xbox
bet you didnt know that!

As much as I don't want an Xbox... (2, Interesting)

bjb (3050) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685283)

Microsoft might be trying to dominate the console market, and at the same time, they're trying very hard to prevent hackers from running unlicensed software on it. This has probably stopped many a person from buying the Xbox, instead going for a PS2 because of its relative open-ness.

Wouldn't it make sense for Microsoft to just open the box up a little more, thereby causing numbers of people to purchase it on hack factor? I could see that their numbers would increase, which couldn't be too bad. Yes, I realize that they're selling the hardware at a loss, but wouldn't this help their standing in the "Top 40 Charts" of video game consoles?

just a thought...

a nice little quote from a programmer.. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685293)

"Face it, piracy *is* the killer app"

no mass market effect (2, Insightful)

colmore (56499) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685299)

somehow i doubt it, Tim.

i don't think there are that many people who will be willing to crack open their X-Box just to play pirated movies, especially when VCD enabled DVD players cost about as much as an X-Box.

Saying that an X-Box modchip is going to bring DivX to the masses is like saying the PS1 mod chip brought Japanese-only retail games to the masses. It was cool for a handful of enthusiasts, but it was never a very big thing.

Aside from the hyperbole, this is pretty cool. I'm still happy with my Gamecube, though.

Re:no mass market effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685454)

VCD enabled dvd players are selling at a low of $59 right now. (US) QUITE a bit lower than an x-box.

Apparently... (4, Funny)

NTSwerver (92128) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685300)

...XBox developers are going to be the first to move into Microsoft's new headquarters. []

Legal Options.. (1)

mrgrey (319015) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685303)

From the zdnet story []
Microsoft representatives have said the software giant is investigating legal options to shut down makers of mod chips.

I'm pretty sure Sony tried the same thing, and we all know how well that worked. I love how large corporations try to rule the far corners of the world where US laws don't apply.

Sony Tried and.... (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685339)

It worked in the UK

Re:Sony Tried and.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685435)

But then again, UK can pretty much be considered an US state.

Sales? (1)

Silverstrike (170889) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685316)

A resurgance of sales? Maybe if you're only looking at the Slashdot Community. Although. I seriously doubt the 0.5% of the public market technically savvy enough to implement a mod is going to recreate another buying frenzy. Like most technically interesting, but corporately unsponsored things, this will be the area of a few people willing to take the time and money to mod the box and download all the necessary utilities to use DIVX.

Value of an XBox (2)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685319)

Maybe at $200, having a set-top Divx player would be worth it to some technophiles out there. And of course, every XBox sold is another $100 or so loss for Microsoft :)

Personally, I'd rather spend $200 on a nice DVD player, or a cheap DVD/surround home theatre system.

Re:Value of an XBox (1)

da_Den_man (466270) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685380)

Actually, the cost & shipping of the Mod chip($80USD),

the cost of the XBox itself ($199.00 USD),

the cost of time & effort to download the DIVx Files and burn them to CD($40/hr *3),

and the time to get it to work properly( Who knows?)...You have invested a lot into just getting the ability to play DiVX (which are LOW grade to begin with) on your TV. You would be much better served going out & buying a "cheap" DVD player and just converting to VCD.

Re:Value of an XBox (2)

nuxx (10153) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685459)

(I hope I don't get flamed down for making Anti-MS statements. That's not what this is. This is just a clarification.)

Remember that while MS may lose $100 on the sale of an XBox, that same XBox sitting on the shelf unsold would be a $300 (or greater) loss for MS as they would be shelling out the entire cost of the product and recouping nothing.

In short, if you truely desire to hit MS where it hurts, don't buy an XBox. Just let it sit there on the shelf.

Re:Value of an XBox (2)

Marx_Mrvelous (532372) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685482)

No, you're wrong. That's seriously, seriously flawed logic.

If I don't buy an X-box and it stays "on the shelf" MS loses $300.

If I buy an X-box, MS replaces that X-box with another one (they keep stock levels constant). Hence, MS loses $100 from the one sold to me, plus $300 for the new one produced. Total = $400.

If MS had a fixed number of Xboxes, then yes, not buying one would hurt. But they don't, so by *not* buying an Xbox, you're actually helping microsoft.

Re:Value of an XBox (2)

Lonath (249354) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685523)

But they don't, so by *not* buying an Xbox, you're actually helping microsoft.

You're making my head hurt. Stop confusing me. :P

A Slashdot comment is not news! (1, Flamebait)

Xenex (97062) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685323)

As previously discussed ( Divx - The Real Xbox Killer App [] )

As previously discussed? You link to a comment to a mildly related story from a few weeks ago, and try to pass that off as a story. However, it's not just any old comment; it's one you made yourself!

Blowing your own trumpet ahoy! I've never seen this type of thing on the front page before!

The ZDNet article is nice and all, but rehashing some comment you've posted then linking to it is not news.

And, it's written 'DivX' [] . Ha! I just linked to myself! I'm so cool!

Well said! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685428)

Too bad I have any mod points right now man.

Re:A Slashdot comment is not news! (1)

JohnPM (163131) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685480)

I've never seen this type of thing on the front page before!

Uh, don't the editors do it all the time? The editors are no more journalists creating stories than the "readers" of slashdot (just look at JonKatz). Also it seems that the story being passed off was the ZDNet article, not so much his own comment.

Re:A Slashdot comment is not news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685510)

Too bad I have any mod points right now man. hehe

Just what every modded xbox needs: pr0n (2, Funny)

Sagarian (519668) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685343)

DivX : Putting the X in X-Box.

Solder....ooooppss..... (1)

MikeD83 (529104) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685345)

Hacking the X-Box is a double edged sword for Microsoft. On the positive, it may drive up sales. On the negative, what happens if your hack goes bad? You drop solder on the board, you pull out the wrong chip and break it, etc. A lot of people will go crying to Redmond demanding a replacement or at the very least- tech support. Microsoft is under no obligations to support hacked hardware and will just end up with many headaches from amateur hacker goof ups.

Microsoft benefits from this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685371)

"drop solder on the board, you pull out the wrong chip and break it, etc. A lot of people will go crying to Redmond demanding a replacement or at the very least- tech support."

In the end, they'll have to end up buying a new XBox. Looks obvious that Microsoft gains if someone buys an Xbox, wrecks it, and has to buy another one. I can't imagine much headaches for Microsoft: it is hard enough getting into their phone system for legitimate reasons. I'm sure they will easily filter out the "I wrecked my Xbox doing something that I wasn't supposed to do" calls.

To MS it can only be a bad thing (2)

truthsearch (249536) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685377)

...much confusion in MS as to whether or not this is a good thing.

AFAIK the cost of building the XBox is still more than the $200 they're selling it for. The original idea was to lose money on the hardware and make huge profit on the games. So if people are to buy the XBox but no games, it's a loss for MS (at least $$$). When it's hacked in a way to simply use it as a linux PC without much hastle, you can buy the hardware, theoretically taking money away from MS, and have a relatively powerful cheap PC.

How much more? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685416)

How much more than $200 does it cost Microsoft to build these things?

Microsoft gets some of its "benefit" back (game sales) if this means many more Xboxes are sold. The more people with Xboxes, the more people who might say "I have this thing already for movies, why not get some games for it too?"

In other words, I don't see it as a "Bad thing" for Microsoft to have a larger base of potential game customers out there from more X's being sold.

or you could... (5, Insightful)

numatrix (242325) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685390)

So let's see, I can spend $200 on a machine that I probably wouldn't otherwise buy to watch divx movies, or I can buy a $50 dreamcast [] and use the divx player [] that's been around for a while on that. Hmm... difficult decision. Not to mention there are already emulators [] for ALL of your favorite old-school platforms for the dreamcast. -jordan

Re:or you could... (2, Funny)

Latent IT (121513) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685497)

From your own freakin' link:

Videos can be up to 496x496 but 320x240 or lower recommended.

320x240 or lower recommended? Ye-haw. Pardon me while I go re-rip all 120 of my 720x480 rips so that I lose 75% of the clarity, and squint the whole time instead of spending the extra $150. I know that the weeks of re-ripping will pay off, so long as I consider my time worth less than $.25 an hour.

And no, I didn't pull 75% out of my ass, either. 320x240 is 1/4th (more or less) of 720x480.

Conflicting Information... (3, Interesting)

cornjchob (514035) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685406)

I followed the link to the story, then to an xbox hack site, XBOXHACKER, and upon entering that sites FAQ, it said that DivX play wasn't possible, at least not yet. Who's right? the faq's here []

I'll get one if it works (1, Offtopic)

b0bby (201198) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685419)

As it happens, I've been looking into small form factor / silent pcs for playing DivXs, and I can't justify the cost. The K6/500 I'm using now is maxed out, a bit too noisy, and won't play all the movies I have. Plus it won't fit in the armoire. If I can get a $200 box to do what I want (with a modchip, ok), that'll fit in with the other stuff & not have a bunch of fan noise, I'll get it. If I can play games on it that's fine too, but I really don't care about games too much. Maybe my daughter will like it when she's a bit older.

Re:I'll get one if it works (1) (455481) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685460)

"I've been looking into small form factor / silent pcs for playing DivXs, "

The Xbox is far from silent! The fan is quite noisy.

What gives? (1)

Linuxthess (529239) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685420)

From the ZDnet article:

"and versions 3.x and 4.x of DivX, a controversial compression format used to swap videos over the Internet"

Is it just me, or is this very slanted news?


loss or not for MS? (1)

sketchkid (555690) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685430)

well ill tell you what theyre going to think. theyre going to realize that this is really bad since their main objective is to sell games. they lose money on the Xbox and know it. they only use that as a tool to get in the home owner's living room and gain market share. they know that massive Xbox sales that are not matched with massive game sales will be extremely bad for them.

Killer App? (3, Interesting)

DarkZero (516460) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685436)

I don't see how this is ever going to be a killer app for the X-Box. Unless Electronics Boutique and Toys R Us start selling pre-modded X-Boxes, far less than one percent of X-Box customers will have DivX functionality. The same really applies to all modded systems. With a modded PS2, I can download hundreds of free games. However, PS2s with mod chips are so rare that the international community of people online that are trading PS/PS2 games is, at most, ten thousand people out of the twenty-six million plus PS2 owners in the world.

Sure, this is a killer app for a couple of geeks, but it isn't going to change the X-Box's sales or revolutionize the movie industry.

much confusion? (1)

k2enemy (555744) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685438)

Expect to see a resurgence of Xbox sales and much confusion in MS as to whether or not this is a good thing.

i'd be happy to clear up the confusion right now: MS won't think its a good thing. they lose money on every box they sell. if people are buying them so they can chip the box to play divx movies, msft isn't making money on game sales. plus, if the box has a chip, the games people actually play will probably be burned copies anyway.

not to mention pressure from the mpaa...

carry around your portable divx player... (2)

kipple (244681) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685447)

...instead of some expensive video-cd player. Plus you can play on it. I can imagine the scene:

CEO: "What is that toy?"

me: "Sir, it is a new prototype to show customers our marketing ads in standard format. See? You can carry them around like regular CDs, plus they can be made at a very low cost, thus increasing our productivity, lowering our expenses, and making our company look like we are constantly hitting the technology cutting edge while taking care of our customers. And it has been made by Microsoft, it is a Very Reliable thing."

CEO: "Good good. Keep researching."

me: "Yes sir. I'm gonna borrow the TV in the main hall to test it in the server room for the presentation of tomorrow, if You wouldn't mind."

"A resurgence of xbox sales"? WTF? (3, Insightful)

mcc (14761) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685450)

Why do you think this will be a huge thing for x-box sales? Just because the xbox is a PC doesn't mean it's the only thing that could do that. It would be absolutely no harder to create a divx player for playstation, or dreamcast, or just about anything else. OK, so no one bothered. Someone could, and probably will if it turns out there's a demand for this kind of thing. Keep in mind, of course, that the nonexistence of a playstation etc version of this might mean that no one thought it was worth the bother, not that no one could or that Sony stopped them.

I mean-- OK. Let me start over. First off, this is a nifty hack, and second off i'm glad people are making steps toward unlocking the stupid "copy protection" controls that keep any really independent development from happening on the xbox.

But i just don't see this being something revolutionary. I know people for whom this would be useful, and i know people who would use it. But think: it can be assumed anyone with the ability to burn cds also has the ability to play divxes on their computer. So, lets look at their options:
  1. Buy an inexpensive computer->tv tuner/converter cable thingy from Radio Shack that would allow you to use a tv as the monitor for your computer. Watch divxes on your tv using whatever program it is that runs divxes fullscreen now.
  2. Buy a several-hundred-dollar Xbox, go through a complicated, possibly expensive transaction in which your xbox is modded and your warranty is broken. Hook that up to your tv. Then, every time you want to watch a divx, you have to burn it to a CD-- which costs money-- and transfer it to your xbox.
I don't think so. This will probably raise publicity and possibly interest by people in the xbox (though i can't imagine it would be much), and this will probably be something really neat for people who own xboxes already. But i can't realistically imagine this becoming something people would buy an xbox for.

That being said, i think this is the funniest line i've ever seen on zdnet:
The developer, who identified himself only by his hacker name, "d7o3g4q," said in an email..
Whatever. Wake me up when they get linux running on it.

P.S. : I hate divx. I wish MPEG4 didn't have these stupid licensing terms. Grr.

A Simple Copy Protection (1)

kb3hag (584560) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685570)

A mod chip will not be always needed. developers forget we have a hard drive in it that is huge for that system. it could be possible to mak an attachable mod chip for it, then install the divx player, then play divxs. it might be somewhat complicated, bu the average Xbox player could be able to do the install routine. and all that would be required is to put a attachable modchip on it, burn a divx with a special burner that added boot code and started the player, and then played the divx. this might be very confusing but it is simplified in the end usage. these are the steps of the finished product. 1. Attach mod-chip module 2. turn on xbox and insert DivX player cd 3. Follow on screen directions 4. Turn off xbox 5. Burn DivX with special burn program 6. Take out burned cd 7. Step #1 if not still on 8. Turn on xbox and insert divx cd
9. Watch DivX
10. Eject disk, toake off mod-chip, then use normally got it? good

But.. (2)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685470)

But, the Xbox can already play a high quality movie format. Plus, that format supports mutli-channel surround sound. Comes on really special discs that look like CDs, but hold anywhere from 10 to 30 times the data. AND, a two hour movie, with tons of extras, languages, and so on, often costs less than a 30 minute music CD.

Oh Please . . . (1)

dlharper (129703) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685471)

. . . Timothy, quit taking lessons from the "Jon Katz" school of journalism. It cheapens you. And for the life of me I can't understand the logic behind "buying an X-box so that Microsoft loses money". Hey, Einsteins, what happens to Microsoft if you buy NO X-boxes? Just a little common sense goes a long way, folks. It's a cool hack. It's not going to affect jack otherwise.

The Irony will be Sooo Rich (2)

dbretton (242493) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685472)

With XBox sales slouching below predicted levels, it would be so terribly ironic if DivX, OSS, and hacking were to come to the rescue and SAVE MICROSOFT's product.

err (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685474)

My girlfriend's mom thinks you can copy a DVD onto a CD-R

Re:err (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685501)

Look up Divx. We will expect a written report in the morning.

Re:err (1)

MrJerryNormandinSir (197432) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685558)

Not onto a CD-R, a CD-RW, the disk is called
a video CD. Qulaity is that of SVHS.
My Sony plays them. I'm burning family home
video to disk.

Xbox PVR? (1)

Cpt_Kirks (37296) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685485)

Since the Xbox has USB, why couldn't a USB TV tuner be added to turn the Xbox into a PVR?

A browser and some other bits ported over would turn the Xbox into a decent set top box.

I always thought microsoft was a fine hardware company...

Re:Xbox PVR? (1)

NETHED (258016) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685574)

w/ a 10 gig hdd, doubtful. UNLESS you can dump a larger HDD into it, which would make it kickass, i agree.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 12 years ago | (#3685498)

A resurgence? Oh you mean the only thing keeping ALL THOSE PEOPLE from purchasing an Xbox is a MPEG4 player and modchip that potentially breaks the unit as well as nullifies and voids your warranty? Let's get some perspective here, kid. This is a niche market at best that might push a few hundred units.

Say what? (5, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685499)

  • much confusion in MS as to whether or not this is a good thing

You are joking, right? First, this requires a hardware mod, which Microsoft despises - hey, it's a Microsoft Xbox, packed full of juicy Microsoft intellectual property and trade secrets, right? They'll likely have mods prosecuteds as DMCA violation, because they bypasses DRM mechanisms.

But worse than that, it allows godless heathens to run FREE SOFTWARE on their hardware. Given the foaming-at-the-mouth FUD they vomit forth whenever the GPL is mentioned, expect them to suggest that Evil Pirates will run the notorious hacker OS Linux on it, allowing the viral GPL to spread throughout the whole Interweb, corrupting and assimilating all that it touches. ZDnet will faithfully reproduce pretty much any FUD they produce about this.

Further, given that PVR opponents seem to have escaped a mainstream press drubbing for describing ad-skipping as theft, expect them to assert that Xbox purchasers have an implied obligation to purchase Microsoft - and only Microsoft - games and add-ons for it, to support the subsidised initial purchase. I'll even predict the phrase, which will be spoken by a flat voiced, dead eyed corporate zombie: "Of course, the Xbox is about having fun, and we want legitimate Xbox purchasers to have fun. But they have to be responsible about it, and support legitimate software development. We think its very important that we educate legitimate Xbox gamers about this, and that we explain why hacking our Xbox and running pirate and viral GPL software kills legitimate developers. And their children, their beautiful golden haired children. Won't someone think of the legitimate software developers' golden haired children!" Er, OK, that last bit might just be implied (or feature as a ZDnet "editorial"), but you get the point. ;-)

And lastly, what do they care about DivX? They are busy touting the DRM benefits of WMF and trying to persuade hardware manufacturers to support WMF alongside MPEG2. They do not want other players in this game. Note that their apologists at ZDnet invite you to infer that DivX is only useful for piracy. Yes, I know that de facto it is heavily used for distributing unlicensed copies, but that's because it's a damn efficient codec with cross platform implementations. If unlicensed copies switch to using WMF (with the DRM turned off) to distribute, will that become a "controversial" format? I think not.

No, I don't see that Microsoft will be in confusion about how to handle this. It's their box, containing their trade secrets, and we should keep our filthy commie hacker hands off of it. The hobbyist market is simply too small to make a difference to their income: in fact, every Xbox purchased by a hacker loses them money. They won't like this. They won't like it at all.

hey wait a minute... (2, Informative)

paradesign (561561) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685513)

i thought ZDNet was afiliated with Micro$oft. is this just another stunt to keep the Xbox in the news?

Microsoft Larger Scale Ambitions (2, Insightful)

donnacha (161610) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685539)

This comment in a discussion last month [] pointed to Microsoft's apparently unnoticed but reasonably obvious larger scale ambitions and suggest that they will be willing to spend a great deal more on winning this fight than Sony and Nintendo not because they have more money but because they are playing for far higher stakes.

The most important thing to realize is that their primary objective is to establish the Xbox as a sort of hardware (and therefore competition-free) incarnation of MSN Messenger, positioning it as a communications device with a far, far more mainstream audience than just gamers. This is the motivation behind their massive global investment in Cable companies and their apparently insane over-investment in hosting capability.

Modding will hurt game sales, no doubt about it, but it will, especially with this new Divx capability, greatly accelerate the machines market penetration. MS are secretly delighted to exchange their short-term earnings on content to further their progress towards becoming the world's chat-room / paid dating service / whatever else comes with total control of the largest network on the planet (and don't forget that a $199 price will get them into a lot more homes that even the cheapest Dell machine - think India, think China).

More important than you think... (1)

Vesuvias (584893) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685541)

What may not be obvious to most is that this could be nice first step toward something with great value. First of all a modded xbox will allow the owner to play divx's on DVD-rs something that even DVD players that support VCD won't do. This is useful beyond just pirated DVDs digital home movies benifit too. Also remember the xbox can output 780p and 1080i. The DVD decoder internal to the xbox doesn't support 480p however maybe a hacked software solution will? While the current DivX solution may be small potatoes, the potential is HUGE! Ves

DivX on CD sucks (1)

JohnPM (163131) | more than 12 years ago | (#3685561)

I don't think we're going to see that much of a resurgence of sales from this. The fact is that most of the time you can't fit a whole DivX movie on a single CD. They usually almost-but-not-quite-fit, so you need 2 CDs which is a real pain. I believe it's already possible to convert DivX to MPEG-2 CDs (video CDs) and play them on a normal DVD player. I have a friend who has burned hour-long TV shows to a single VCD from the downloaded DivX (which admittedly was less than half the size of the MPEG-2 version).
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