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XBox (Games) Games

What To Do With a Free Xbox 360 Pro? 416

Posted by samzenpus
from the donate-it-to-me dept.
OzPeter writes "Last week I won an Xbox 360 Pro. However, I am not a gamer, and after looking at the current MS offerings, I am not tempted to become one. But I am in the market for a Media Center PC that I can use for streaming TV shows off the 'net as well as general web browsing and displaying video through the HDMI port. With that in mind, I again looked at MS and saw they seemed to have positioned the Xbox as an adjunct to a separate Windows Media Center PC and not as a stand alone unit (which is not what I want). So, once again, I did some more research into the Xbox homebrew scene and discovered things like Xbox Linux. But after reading that site, it is apparent that MS is trying to beat down the homebrewers, and I am left wondering how much hassle it would be to go down that path. So my question is: how should I re-purpose my Xbox? Is it worthwhile doing the Homebrew/Linux option (and can anyone share any experiences)? Are there other ways of re-purposing the device that I haven't considered? Or should I just keep it boxed up as a Christmas present for a favorite nephew?"
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What To Do With a Free Xbox 360 Pro?

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  • Why bother? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by M0b1u5 (569472) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:36PM (#29676823) Homepage

    Why let yourself in for a world of hurt for a device which will likely never operate in the way you require.

    Best to give it as a gift, or sell it on eBay and pocket the cash, and invest that in your stand alone box.

    Frankly, I can't believe you are even contemplating it.

    • Re:Why bother? (Score:2, Informative)

      by luther349 (645380) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:50PM (#29676901)
      its a hassle. i don't even bother with modding mine being it wasn't until a few weeks ago any homebrew was released for it and its very first modchip all still very early. 360 linux lacks alot good sound 3d support etc. being none really cared abought it until just recently. i would give it away if your not going to use it for gaming. for a media center your looking for i would go with a small form factor pc theirs plenty out there. it would be small enough to set anywhere like inside a entertainment center top that with a wireless keyboard/mouse and a dvi or hdmi cable to your tv and a stereo to rca cable and your good may not need he rca cable if the sound card has rca out. end game you got a full pc connected to your hdtv some hdtv actually just have a vga port so the dvi cable may also not be needed.
      • by tlhIngan (30335) <<ten.frow> <ta> <todhsals>> on Thursday October 08, 2009 @12:18AM (#29677329)

        its a hassle. i don't even bother with modding mine being it wasn't until a few weeks ago any homebrew was released for it and its very first modchip all still very early. 360 linux lacks alot good sound 3d support etc. being none really cared abought it until just recently.

        The problem with this is just like PS3 Linux. Microsoft and Sony offer a legitimate way to get homebrew on the device - Microsoft with their XNA environment (and a $99/year fee to put your homebrew on your Xbox360 and sell it (yes, Microsoft encourages you to sell your homebrew games - the "Indie Marketplace")). Sony lets people go nuts with the Linux port (until recently - the Slim can't run Linux). Both these measures kept most homebrewers busy actually making homebrew, and leaving any mods to be used for piracy (until recently, the only reason to mod your xbox was for piracy, or "playing backup games").

        But if you have an Xbox360 you don't want, give to to charity or sell it. Hack it only for fun - if it doesn't do what you want, and you don't want to invest in hacking it, then you might as well give/sell it to someone who wants it more.

        • by Joce640k (829181) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @02:57AM (#29677949) Homepage

          With games at 50-60 bucks a pop the actual 'box' part of the XBox is only the beginning of the expense of owning a console.

          • by flitty (981864) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @09:05AM (#29679957)
            This late into the generation though, there are hundreds of decent games you can get for less than $10.

            Here's a few: Dead Rising, Assassin's Creed, Mirror's Edge, GTA4, Viva Pinata. Yes, many of the 360 games are multi-platform, but the used market is usually much cheaper for consoles, due to the volume of games on the market and no DRM-Resell issues that PC games often come with. If you're paying $60 for anything but release date games, you're doing it wrong. (Even then, day of release games can often be found for sale if preordered from places like Amazon.)
    • Re:Why bother? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Nick Ives (317) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @01:44AM (#29677643)

      Frankly, I can't believe you are even contemplating it.

      The original Xbox remains, once modded, one of the best HTPCs you can get. You guys in the USA even get HD output! Unfortunately that feature was disabled in the European Xbox, but I doubt an Xbox could deal with full 1080p AVC-1 anyway. Still, if you want an SDTV media centre just use an old Xbox, there's nothing better.

      I bought an original Xbox many moons ago after going round to a friends house and seeing him running Xbox Media Centre (XBMC), actually playing games on it was a secondary concern. Having said that, being able to install games on the HD was a very nice feature to have back then and I'm glad MS has replicated it with the 360. If they carry on at this rate then they'll catch up with the homebrew version of their last console by the next-next gen ;)

  • Well, (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Shadyman (939863) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:36PM (#29676825) Homepage
    I like the 'giveittome' tag.

    Though, Xbox Linux is probably the way to go if you want that kind of thing.
  • Sell it (Score:5, Informative)

    by MichaelSmith (789609) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:36PM (#29676827) Homepage Journal

    Its worth less to you than somebody who would use it for gaming.

    • by jollyreaper (513215) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:43PM (#29677173)

      Agreed. I'm a moderate gamer and have a mac mini and a 360 under my tv. The 360 can do some video streaming from XP computers with media player 11 or Vista boxes but it's a pain in the butt. There's products like tversity that can do transcoding but it's so much more hassle than it's worth it's not even funny.

      The short answer: the 360 has the hardware to be a great media center but Microsoft does not want to allow the hardware freedom for that to happen. No custom boot loader, no unsigned code, nothing. Use a purpose-built box for your media center, you will be so much happier. The 360 is only good for games and console games at that. People into games that only really exist on the PC will scoff at the consoles.

      • Re:Sell it (Score:4, Informative)

        by bigstrat2003 (1058574) * on Thursday October 08, 2009 @01:38AM (#29677619)

        The 360 can do some video streaming from XP computers with media player 11 or Vista boxes but it's a pain in the butt. There's products like tversity that can do transcoding but it's so much more hassle than it's worth it's not even funny.

        What?! Streaming video files from your PC to your 360 is dead easy. Is the format DivX/XviD (most files)? Plays with no modification right from the dashboard. If not, set up the media center (can be a bit of a pain, but hardly the epic pain in the ass you claim), install Transcode 360 on your PC, select file, select the Transcode option, done.

        If that's considered hard (where the majority of files play seamlessly, and the rest require only slightly more work), I want to know what the heck easy is. That must be something like "the device picks which files to play for me, and plays them without my intervention".

        • Re:Sell it (Score:3, Informative)

          by skaet (841938) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @02:20AM (#29677805) Homepage

          I agree. Streaming network content to the xbox 360 is the easiest media centre I have ever had the pleasure to work with. I also happen to be one of the lucky ones who has bought 2 xbox 360s and never had either of them RROD in 2.5 years.

          While the media centre offerings on XP can be a hassle to set up - Vista is only slightly less time consuming - the Win 7 setup is by far the easiest and fastest, even compared with 3rd party options like TVersity. With the appropriate codecs installed, simply add the folder to the Videos libraries and in Media Player click "Stream -> More streaming options...". Give permission for the 360 to access your PCs media library, wait for Media Player to index the files, then navigate to the video library on the 360. A list of network devices with media streaming capabilities will appear after a few seconds and simply follow the folder structure to access the file you want to watch.

          While it doesn't allow you to stream internet media, the Netflix service is available for U.S. residents. TVersity will also allow you to subscribe to internet video feeds if local network content is not enough. I am using my desktop PC and a WD My Book World NAS (which natively supports media streaming via PVConnect [TwonkyMedia] and automatically shows up under the xbox video library device list) to download and feed all my music and video, respectively. Any sufficient network should be able to support all types of media, even using the xbox wireless adapter (802.11g) has enough bandwidth to stream 720p HDTV x264 content without waiting to buffer.

          For my needs, this setup fits perfectly. Obviously OzPeter has a much narrow focus for what he wants to do but if others have similar requirements as myself then I can't recommend this enough. I never thought we would see the day when a Microsoft product would "just work" but kudos to them for coming this far.

  • by Macthorpe (960048) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:39PM (#29676843) Journal
    Sell it as new and put the money towards something that's built for the purpose you want it for. Bit easier than spending hours messing about with it.
  • Favorite nephew (Score:5, Insightful)

    by onyxruby (118189) <onyxrubyNO@SPAMcomcast.net> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:40PM (#29676845)
    Offer it as a bribe, perhaps if he does well in school or the like. It sounds like you already have made up your mind about the product not meeting your needs. Certainly things like the linux project would be at best pure hack value, and not much for practical use. If you want to do that, find the right ps3 and relish in a vendor that doesn't actively fight alternate os's and lets you install Linux without all the hassle.
    • Re:Favorite nephew (Score:4, Insightful)

      by EdIII (1114411) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:47PM (#29676885)

      find the right ps3 and relish in a vendor that doesn't actively fight alternate os's and lets you install Linux without all the hassle.

      Last I heard, that premise is patently false or as I like to put it, complete fucking bullshit.

      Sony does actively fight to prevent anyone from having complete control of the hardware they rightfully own. PSP is the perfect example of this.

      When Sony allows you to install Linux AND have complete access to all the hardware, let me know, and I will agree with your statements. Right now, you can install Linux. Yes, that is true. Do you really have access to all the hardware though? Yeah.... you don't.

      Sure you can borrow my car and mess with all the radio station presets. Tires? Well, of course not! Don't be silly. I'll keep those at home.

      • Re:Favorite nephew (Score:3, Interesting)

        by snuf23 (182335) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:16PM (#29677017)

        It's worth noting that the PS3 Slim doesn't support Linux either. So if you want your relish you'd have to buy the older model.

      • by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@cUMLAUTox.net minus punct> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:33PM (#29677117)

        as of Firmware 3.1, I can still install Linux on my big and bulky PS3.

        Yes, Sony is fighting to prevent people to completely control their PSP and PS3, why? Online cheating, piracy, etc. It's not like they're keeping you out of the sacred land of home brew for really no good reason.

        (it's working too, I'm thinking about either buying a spare PSP *just* for games that want FWs above 5.00(I haven't installed 5.50 GEN yet) or ditching CFW entirely. Gran Turismo Portable, you damned temptress.)

        • Re:Favorite nephew (Score:5, Insightful)

          by EdIII (1114411) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:53PM (#29677219)

          really no good reason

          It is not a good reason. It is not ethical, moral, legal, etc. Sony does not rent me a PSP or PS3, they sell me one. I have had these arguments before, and quite simply, it is corruption in our legal system that allows them to continue.

          The DMCA is absolute fucking bullshit. I have the absolute unequivocal right to completely own my hardware. To use a car analogy on Slashdot, there have been cases similar to this with auto manufacturers. All of the cases had been decided in the favor of the consumer. So why is electronics any different? They brought copyright infringement into it.

          Without the DMCA it would be absolutely legal for you to put whatever you wanted onto a PSP or PS3 and Sony would have absolutely no recourse at all. However, since they used those cock-sucking whores in Congress to create a law that states my perfectly moral and ethical enjoyment of my own property circumvents Sony's bullshit, that I am somehow a criminal.

          Last time I checked we can still own guns in this country. Well, by Sony's logic, they can take away my guns since it could possibly be used for something bad. That logic does not work, and thankfully, has not worked yet to deprive me of my right to bear arms.

          This fallacious logic that is being used to deprive citizens of their rights and properties has to be fought at all costs. It has to stop.

          Let me put in another way. I brutally raped some young girl because I was horny. "It's not like I did not do it for really no good reason"

          • Re:Favorite nephew (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Cryacin (657549) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @12:27AM (#29677357)

            Last time I checked we can still own guns in this country. Well, by Sony's logic, they can take away my guns since it could possibly be used for something bad. That logic does not work, and thankfully, has not worked yet to deprive me of my right to bear arms.

            I live in Australia. In the 90's some loon named Martin Bryant went ballistic with a few guns and shot up a bunch of people in Port Arthur Tasmania. Our illustrious Gruppenfuerer John Howard took it upon himself to ban "semi-automatic" rifles. Unfortuantely for us, he slipped a mickey and made it very very difficult to even own a .22 bolt action.

            Sadly, over here that thought already holds true...

          • Re:Favorite nephew (Score:3, Insightful)

            by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@cUMLAUTox.net minus punct> on Thursday October 08, 2009 @12:58AM (#29677475)

            Christ. You talk about fallacious logic but you really run face first into some of your own(the whole bit about Sony taking guns away should be enshrined as a shining example of what an improper analogy is, for instance).

            I said that Sony does have good reasons why they would lock down a console like the PSP or the PS3 to keep out cheating and piracy. No where did I mention the DMCA.

            Sony doesn't care whether or not YOU go through the hoops to tinker with your PSP. Just don't expect bug fixes, new firmware updates, warranty, etc. Your PSP as sold, is YOURS. Their update software is THEIRS.

            Is Sony coming to your house to take your modded PSP? No. Sony isn't even serving C&Ds or DMCA take down notices to the GEN team or Dark Alex, or anyone who's hosing the files necessary to get CFW working. They're just doing the libertarian thing and setting rules on what happens when you install their new firmware, and what firmwares go out when they ship consoles out of their factories(hint: Google GEN-B 5.50 PSP).

            To use a proper gun ownership analogy with Sony, Sony is saying, "Do you want to own a gun? Great. Don't bring it into my place of business." You forget that when you play online, you're playing on their infrastructure, or the infrastructure of who ever's providing the online servers. You're also playing against other people and you cheating ruins their experience with Sony's product. Much like how business owners can throw you out of their place of business for bringing a gun into their domain, Sony is locking down Firmware updates and new consoles sold in stores.

            • by EdIII (1114411) * on Thursday October 08, 2009 @01:47AM (#29677665)

              Christ. You talk about fallacious logic but you really run face first into some of your own(the whole bit about Sony taking guns away should be enshrined as a shining example of what an improper analogy is, for instance).

              You say it is fallacious because you are twisting what they have done to suit your argument, flat out ignoring it, are just can't figure it out.

              I said that Sony does have good reasons why they would lock down a console like the PSP or the PS3 to keep out cheating and piracy. No where did I mention the DMCA.

              The DMCA is an integral component of the overall problem and you cannot begin tho discuss the situation without it.

              Let me make this perfectly CLEAR. There are no good reasons why Sony can deprive me of my rightful enjoyment of my property. Ever.

              Your PSP as sold, is YOURS. Their update software is THEIRS.

              That would be perfectly fine if Sony was not deliberately obstructing you from running your own software. Which they are. Their arguments against you doing so use blanket statements that are effectively, "Homebrew and custom software can only be used piracy". That is where the DMCA comes in the picture. Only through the DCMA can they state the otherwise perfectly legal, moral, and ethical act of replacing the software is illegal. To be precise, it is not the installation of the custom software, but the removal of theirs which constitutes a violation of the DMCA.

              That is why you cannot discuss free ownership of electronic property without the DMCA. The DMCA is used to effectively rob you of that, since there does not exist any other legal vehicle to do so. Much less, a moral or ethical one.

              To use a proper gun ownership analogy with Sony, Sony is saying, "Do you want to own a gun? Great. Don't bring it into my place of business." You forget that when you play online, you're playing on their infrastructure, or the infrastructure of who ever's providing the online servers. You're also playing against other people and you cheating ruins their experience with Sony's product. Much like how business owners can throw you out of their place of business for bringing a gun into their domain, Sony is locking down Firmware updates and new consoles sold in stores.

              I was never even talking about that at all. The PSP and PS3 are still mine. I can run whatever software I damn well please on it. However, you are right. When I want to connect up to Sony's property (their infrastructure, their servers, their games, etc.) I must abide by agreement between us. Part of which, is that I run their software and not mine. Personally, I elect to run my own software and not connect to their servers.

              We can agree on that, and it was never in dispute, and was never a matter for discussion.

              Now if you like to attack my analogies, how about this one:

              Sony is selling me a blue car. I want to paint it green. If I do so, I cannot drive it on to Sony's property. Sony also takes the step of making sure that the removal of blue paint is a crime.

              Sony doesn't care whether or not YOU go through the hoops to tinker with your PSP-------Is Sony coming to your house to take your modded PSP? No. Sony isn't even serving C&Ds or DMCA take down notices to the GEN team or Dark Alex, or anyone who's hosing the files necessary to get CFW working. They're just doing the libertarian thing and setting rules on what happens when you install their new firmware, and what firmwares go out when they ship consoles out of their factories(hint: Google GEN-B 5.50 PSP).

              Wrong. They do care. Otherwise, they would not be working so hard to obstruct my ability to remove their software. We both know they work VERY hard at doing just that.

              lock down a console like the PSP or the PS3 to keep out cheating and piracy.

              • Re:Favorite nephew (Score:3, Insightful)

                by RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) <taiki@cUMLAUTox.net minus punct> on Thursday October 08, 2009 @02:20AM (#29677803)

                My analogies are perfect. Sony is preventing me from having full unfettered access to my system so that I can use it without their control and software. That it is not something I am making up. Your "good" reasons are anything but.

                Saying Sony will take your guns away was stupid. Really. really. stupid.

                I'm not sure if you're an idiot or a troll or whatever. If you're not a troll, then I hope in good faith you understand the next following statements. Sony is in business to sell games and consoles and make money, not general purpose computing machines.

                It's no shock to anyone when you, or some other OSS, or Free Software or whatever movement zealot screams this. They lock down their games console so that way some schmuck with a HDD to USB adapter couldn't just dump games to the hard drive, and run them with out paying for it. This would hurt their business, severely. Why would they ever expose themselves to that kind of risk?

                Many consumers also recognize the fact that while some devices do have similarities to general purpose computers, they also recognize the fact that why someone would pigeon hole such a device towards one task and set their expectations accordingly, and in many cases, accept it and purchase a machine. Some don't. Sony is not forcing you to purchase a PS3. This is not a totalitarian regime with forced consumption.

                The DMCA is obviously at issue here because there would be no way on God's Green Earth they could stop me without it. Once again, not by the use and installation of my own software, but by the removal of theirs. You act like I can just choose not to use their software freely and without hindrance. That is a damnable lie.

                The DMCA is not an issue here. When has Sony ever issued a DMCA notice to Dark AleX or the GEN team or anyone else in the PSP hacking community? This is why I'm pretty sure you're a troll, or some sort of blind crazy zealot.

                How are they stopping you? By implementing a DRM scheme that activates when reading EBOOT.PBP files off of the memorystick and chosing not to run software that doesn't validate. That's how. Not DMCA take down notices, or other legal threats. Using technical means, not legal ones. Shut up about the DMCA already. It is a red herring.

                Christ I feel like I just wrote an article for simple.wikipedia.org

      • Re:Favorite nephew (Score:3, Insightful)

        by NeoOokami (528323) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <flowoen>> on Thursday October 08, 2009 @12:13AM (#29677313) Homepage

        On top of that, given that the new model PS3s don't allow linux at all, this seems particularly laughable. Apparently the hardware change was too radical to keep Linux installed but the rest of their software doesn't skip a beat? Sure....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:43PM (#29676859)

    Penny-arcade.com has a charity called "Child's Play" which provides hospitalized children with toys and electronic entertainment. If I were at a loss for what to do with a new video game console, that would be the way to go for me.

    Congratulations on your good fortune.

  • In similar news I just won a million dollars, however I am not much of a consumer. Anyone know of any good ways to spend this cash?
  • by djh101010 (656795) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:44PM (#29676867) Homepage Journal
    If you don't want it and won't use it, sell it on eBay and move on. This isn't a complicated thing. For centuries, people have won random shiat they don't care about in lotteries. Sell the useful shiat, profit, live happy, and let whatever minor player who buys (thing you won) manage it. Sure, they might do better than you might have. Yet, say, 20 Million now, vs. 40 million if you guess right, well, I'm with the $20M right now crowd of thinking. You should see our datacenter. Holy crap, how could anyone do better?
  • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:46PM (#29676875) Journal

    Seriously, you're trying to use a proverbial hammer to saw a tree. An XBox 360 is the wrong tool for anything but gaming, which is what it was built for. Therefore trying to run Linux on it or do other cool stuff is a waste of the machine UNLESS you're into that cool stuff to start with and THAT is the game. Given that you're still wondering how to use it, the answer is simple. Use it for gaming. Or sell it and let someone use it for gaming. Or give it away and let someone use it for gaming. As a media center, there are better options - if you sell it put the money towards buying one. As a linux PC, an XBox isn't the best solution. Sell it and buy a nice Intel or AMD based machine.

    The world's full of interesting geeky stuff to do. One of the least interesting things you can do is to waste time forcing a machine to do something it's not designed for. Especially since you'll be using it not writing the software to do it in the first place. Life's too short.

    • by EdIII (1114411) * on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:54PM (#29676921)

      One of the least interesting things you can do is to waste time forcing a machine to do something it's not designed for

      Huh. Really?

      I guess by that logic McGuyver was one of most boring shows on the fucking planet, and Mr. T from A-Team was the lest interesting man on television. I pity the foo.

      • by syousef (465911) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:06PM (#29676963) Journal

        I guess by that logic McGuyver was one of most boring shows on the fucking planet, and Mr. T from A-Team was the lest interesting man on television. I pity the foo.

        Knowing things about common household chemicals was very interesting, but when MacGyver started saving whales and diffusing nuclear weapons with duct tape I must admit I stopped watching. (Years later my wife and I, who both watched the show as kids, bought the episodes on DVD. For her its' more about remembering time spent watching with her grandmother though).

        As for the A-Team it was interesting, but lets face it, the show was more about the wronged underdog rising up and beating the stuffing out of his oppressors. As such it was more about action than tinkering. The tinkering montage was just a theatrical device.

        • by EdIII (1114411) * on Thursday October 08, 2009 @12:01AM (#29677265)

          As such it was more about action than tinkering. The tinkering montage was just a theatrical device.

          Dear God. Hand in your geek card NOW.

          I could not disagree MORE. A-Team was about how this group of expertly trained ex-military personnel kept constantly getting trapped in spaces full of parts, tools, various types of fuel and explosives, and other various materials. That coupled with Mr. T's magical tools which just coincidentally looked like a bunch of gold jewelery on his neck, allowed them to break through the various walls comprising their temporary prisons with a different death machine each week.

          That show was a gold mine for little geeks growing up that have been tinkering and hacking away since then. It was definitely more about the "tinkering" than the "action". Any true card carrying geek on Slashdot knows this.

          Come on. Hand it over.........

    • by mpoulton (689851) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:59PM (#29677247)

      The world's full of interesting geeky stuff to do. One of the least interesting things you can do is to waste time forcing a machine to do something it's not designed for.

      And here I though that was the MOST interesting thing to do, and one of the most geeky. Guess I've been wasting all my free time! I should find a hobby that's actually interesting.

  • by Lije Baley (88936) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:46PM (#29676877)

    HTPC/Media centers are a pain in the a$$ and streaming video is for kids with 22" screens and huge pipes. Get a PS3, it's not perfect but it's an excellent blu-ray player, will stream stuff, and you won't have to spend an hour fiddling with it every other time you use it. Use it with TVersity or the like for more flexibility on streaming. Or if you do have just a small screen, keep the 360 and stream all you want.

  • by Michael Wardle (50363) <mikel@@@mikelward...com> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:47PM (#29676879) Homepage

    Isn't that what XBMC [xbmc.org] is for?

    • by snuf23 (182335) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:57PM (#29676925)

      XBMC was originally made for hacked classic Xboxes. It doesn't run on the Xbox 360. While it was great at the time, the old Xbox didn't support HD output which limits it's use these days.
      XBMC has however been ported to run on Windows, Linux and Macintosh operating systems and does support HD output on these systems. This makes for a pretty good home theater PC setup and is more flexible than the built in stuff on Xbox 360.

      • by Albanach (527650) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:23PM (#29677053) Homepage

        Indeed. It sounds like he's in the market for XBMC and not an Xbox 360.

        To make life really easy, he could see the xbox on ebay, the use the cash to buy an appleTV. The USB installer will have XBMC running in a flash, and, AIUI, the AppleTV is at least good for 720p.

    • by marcansoft (727665) <hector@@@marcansoft...com> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:01PM (#29676941) Homepage

      That's for Xbox1 (and now Win/Mac/Linux), not the 360. The Xbox1 does make a great media center, but although some HD capability is claimed, it's damn near useless for anything above 480p. There are also legal issues with XBMC on an Xbox1 running natively (the native/original port is compiled with the Xbox SDK and therefore distributing or having binaries is copyright infringement). Running Linux on an Xbox1 is also pretty tight because it only has 64MB of RAM. I upgraded mine to 128MB and managed to get the MythTV frontend working very well, though.

  • Hospital (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:47PM (#29676881)

    Give it to a local children's hospital. Cheer up some kids that could use it.

  • by l00sr (266426) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:47PM (#29676887)

    Simple. Wait 'til it RROD's, hit up that class action suit, then... Profit!

  • Lets see... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:49PM (#29676895)
    You can either A) Use it to play games and some media B) Sell it C) Donate it/give it away. I have no doubt that a local children's hospital would be eternally greatful for the gift. You could always donate it to some guy like Ben Heck (http://benheck.com/) to use in a mod to help a gamer with disabilities (or just to look pretty cool as a mod), or if worse comes to worse, keep it in its box and save it for a few years and sell it then in mint condition.
  • I say... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Fizzol (598030) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:53PM (#29676913)
    keep the xbox and use it as a media extender. I rarely game, almost never, but I use my 360 to play Netflix streaming movies, DVDs, and downloaded videos. It works great.
    • by Fizzol (598030) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:59PM (#29676937)
      Sorry to reply to my own post, but I forgot another big plus. I can watch shows and movies recorded on my Media Center PC on the xbox, rather than sitting at my computer desk. I like that a lot.
    • Re:I say... (Score:2, Informative)

      by ender- (42944) <doubletwist.fearthepenguin@net> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:27PM (#29677069) Homepage Journal

      I'll second this. Look, maybe it's not as sexy as having a Linux based media hub or something, but I've been using my XBox 360 as an extender for a Vista MediaCenter PC and it works great. There's a ton of great games for it, and it still spends many hours a day acting as the prime interface for our living room media needs.

      It's the Media Center Extender for a media PC [Vista] with Dual HDTV OTA tuners, I can stream Netflix directly [with XBox Live Gold], I can stream my XVID+AC3 movies with full surround from the media PC [using Media Player sharing]. If you really don't want to mess with a back-end media center PC, you can also just copy your XVID/DIVX/H.264 movies to a USB hard drive, and play them directly. I can play DVD and HD-DVDs. That's what's available natively.

      On top of that, by paying $30 [one-time] for PlayON to run on the media center PC, I can browse and watch Hulu and Youtube and various other video sites [or Netflix if you don't want to pay for XBOX Live].

      And if you do use a back-end media PC, I'm pretty sure you can use multiple XBox360s as front-ends to different rooms.

      The only thing it can't do is play BluRay.

      The PS3 can do most of that as well, plus play BluRay. It'll still need a back-end PC to do Hulu/Netflix and such. I'm not sure what the PS3's capabilities are with regards to acting as an extender for a back-end Tuner/DVR solution [maybe a MythTV front end? I dunno].

      So it boils down to if you don't already have a BR player, and if you want to deal with selling the XBox, and paying the difference to get a PS3.

  • ebay (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @10:57PM (#29676931)

    ebay

  • by pizza_milkshake (580452) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:03PM (#29676951)

    Blow it up.

    • Re:Simple. (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:18PM (#29677029)

      Exactly.. send it to Mythbusters and ask them to prove or disprove the myth that the Xbox 360 has no shrapnel when detonated with an internal detonator while in a microwave. :P

  • Popcorn Hour (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Bl4ckJ3sus (1081165) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:08PM (#29676979)
    Sell it, and buy a popcorn hour. Simple. http://www.popcornhour.com/onlinestore/ [popcornhour.com] With that said, I have a 360 and the netflix streaming is very very nice, but no substitute for a popcorn hour and torrents.
  • re: Media Center (Score:4, Interesting)

    by transporter_ii (986545) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:15PM (#29677011) Homepage

    I have a friend who modded an Xbox to make it a media center and it is awesome. I went the PC route and made a central PC server and stream to my TVs with a d-link set top box.

    Here is my experience. I used to get movies and watch movies. Boy, were those the days. Now I get movies, rip movies, convert movies to avi or mp4, and move huge files around (very slowly). The last drive I bought was a 1.5 terabyte, and I'm thinking about getting another one...because what else do you freaking back up a 1.5 terabyte drive to but another drive? And my UPnP server was on Linux, but the box was dual boot, so if someone was in windows, we couldn't watch streaming video...so I just built a new server to fix that issue.

    When I finally get to sit down and actually watch a movie, it isn't uncommon for me to get up in the middle of it and kick off another DVD folder to be converted.

    If I went over to my friend's house to actually play a game on his Xbox media center, we would probably have to wait an hour and a half to play something, because he would probably be FTPing a big movie to it at the time!

    And hey, I just ordered a mod chip and picked up an Xbox so he could build me one. Why? I don't know. It's just cool.

  • Version (Score:3, Interesting)

    by RiotingPacifist (1228016) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:15PM (#29677013)

    You need to know the version you get before seeing if it is hackable, chances are a new xbox will have a kernel > 4548. However if by some miracle you hack it, your best bet is to then install a minimal ubuntu/debian install with mythTV or something related as your GUI.

  • by FurtiveGlancer (1274746) <(moc.loa) (ta) (yuGhceTcoHdA)> on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:21PM (#29677047) Journal
    Makes a perfect, decorative paperweight for all your large scale designs to take over the world! Narff!
  • by PotatoSan (1350933) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:21PM (#29677049)
    Is this really a situation that you can't figure out on your own? Are you even capable of dressing yourself without help? For that matter, how did this make the front page of Slashdot? Is this a common occurrence that perplexes a large portion of the readership? I eagerly await the day when I see the headline "Ask Slashdot: What Should I Have for Breakfast?"
  • by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:30PM (#29677089)
    Perhaps you can find a hooker that would accept it as payment for some of her services.
  • by NotQuiteReal (608241) on Wednesday October 07, 2009 @11:30PM (#29677095) Journal
    Video it while you tee it up and whack it with a nine iron! Instant hit.

    Or just dump it on eBay or Craigslist. Sheesh. I weep for our future.
  • by Animats (122034) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @12:38AM (#29677411) Homepage

    I went over to EA for a technical talk once and "won" a raffle for a copy of EA Golf for the XBox 360. (It was more like "second prize is two copies of EA Golf".)

  • by pcolaman (1208838) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @12:44AM (#29677437)

    Sending you my mailing address, make sure you bubble wrap it. Don't want any scratches on my new XBox 360.

  • by Tiger4 (840741) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @01:41AM (#29677625)
    I won an original Xbox back when they were new. I didn't need it, none of my cousins cared about it. I was going to try loading Linux on it, but eventually it just went back in the box. Still brand new, basically unused, two fresh games, sitting in a closet. I suppose someday I'll give it to a museum.
  • Donate It (Score:5, Insightful)

    by foo fighter (151863) on Thursday October 08, 2009 @02:03AM (#29677741) Homepage

    Give it to your local childrens' hospital. Be a gent and throw in extra controllers and an E for everyone game like Lego Indiana Jones, Lego Star Wars, or Viva Pinata.

  • by mjpaci (33725) * on Thursday October 08, 2009 @05:22AM (#29678573) Homepage Journal

    Where's that goatse image when you need it...

  • by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Thursday October 08, 2009 @07:04AM (#29679059) Homepage Journal
    Why nobody has asked this question before is a great cosmic mystery.

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