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Sunday, February 29: Xbox Mod Chips

Kevin Rose

Why mod the Xbox? Well, the Xbox is more than just a gaming machine. It's the most powerful computer you can purchase for $199. Under the hood, the Xbox is equipped with a 733-MHz Intel Pentium III processor, an NVidia graphics subsystem, hard drive, Ethernet, and four USB ports. Modding the Xbox turns it from a gaming console into a fully functional PC that can still run games.

Important note: Xbox mods aren't supported by Microsoft and may be illegal under the DMCA. If you mod your Xbox, you're willingly voiding the warranty and potentially breaking the law. If done improperly, modding could damage your Xbox.

Choose a Mod Chip

There are close to a dozen varieties of mod chips, all with different options and features. Rather than bore you with the details on each chip, here are the best mod chips on the market:

  • Xecuter2 Pro v2.2 Plus. This chip has a parallel interface so you can flash the BIOS directly with your PC. The Pro lacks a BIOS and needs to be manually flashed before using.

  • Xecuter2 Lite v2.2 Plus. I prefer the Lite chip because it's pre-flashed. Be careful when purchasing your mod chips online. There are lots of shady fly-by-night websites that are just out there to take your money.

Solder the Chips...or Not

Another reason to like the Xecuter Plus chips? Unlike most Xbox mod chips, you don't have to solder the chip to the motherboard. All you have to do is align the chip and screw it down.Once you've screwed the chip into place, boot your Xbox. You should see the Xecuter logo instead of Microsoft's. If you see this, it means you installed the chip correctly and it's functioning.

I've found that Xbox-Scene (http://www.xbox-scene.com) is the best resource for Xbox tutorials on the web. Other good site are The Console Corner (http://www.modchip.ca) and http://www.xbox-modchips.com.

The Mess over Mod Chips

Dave Roos

Lik Sang International (http://www.lik-sang.com) used to be one of the most popular sites to purchase mod chips for Sony's PlayStation 2, Microsoft's Xbox, and Nintendo's GameCube, but it was forced to halt sales of its mod chips due to a lawsuit filed by Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.

In the United States, the best argument for keeping mod chips legal is that they let gamers play backup copies of their own games. This is the same argument that's used in the fight against strict copy protection of CDs. Many gamers and music fans believe they should be allowed to make copies of their property according to common "fair use" guidelines.

Should mod chips be stopped? Do most gamers use mod chips to play pirated software? Does Lik Sang have a chance against the "big three" of gaming?

Should mod chips be illegal?

Yes 14%

No 86%

Site of the Day: Yahoo! Games (http://games.yahoo.com)

This site is responsible for single-handedly sucking more productivity out of The Screen Savers staffers than anything else, except maybe UT2003 (http://www.unrealtournament2003.com).

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