It’s finally happened. The source code for Microsoft’s original Xbox has been leaked . At this point, an enterprising individual could basically create their own OG Xbox at home. Although it would probably be difficult.
It’s tough to know how Microsoft should feel about this. On the one hand, any leaks are a sign of bad security. After all, if someone can leak this source code they might be able to leak the Xbox 360, or One source code.
On the other hand, it’s the OG Xbox. This is a console that hasn’t been in production for a decade and a half. At this point, maybe Microsoft should just give it their blessing.
Currently, there are only 39 OG Xbox titles that work on the Xbox One . That’s less than 5 percent of the consoles’ library. It’s understandably difficult to get these older games running well, but that’s why the community is so important.
I get that it’s not commercially viable to get more of these games running on modern hardware. After all, what’s in it for Microsoft? It’s not like they make any money from these old games. Plus there are licensing concerns to worry about.
If Microsoft gave the modding and homebrew community blessing to use this source code, it would be a slam dunk. Not only does it not cost them anything, but it’s also a great PR move. There’s no way to make a community love you more than by throwing them a bone once in a while.
A little while ago I wrote another op-ed on a similar subject. I suggested that Microsoft should produce its own emulator for the OG Xbox to be made available on PCs. Even at the time, I didn’t really think that it was going to happen.
This leak of the source code presents such a good opportunity. Now, Microsoft doesn’t even have to put in work itself. Just making the code open source is even better than producing your own emulator.
Not only does it allow enthusiasts to create their own Xbox software, but it also means that real hardcore fans could even produce their own home-made OG Xbox consoles with the right tools. This is an opportunity that Microsoft shouldn’t pass up.