Xbox 360 hacking, shortages

Written by Wil Harris

February 14, 2006 | 15:22

Tags: #360 #delay #hacking #infineon #mercury-news #ram #shortage #silicon-valley

The Xbox 360 is another step closer to being opened up today, after the posting of a new utility that allows the connection of the Xbox 360 hard drive to a PC for file browsing.

It seems that the DRM is being slowly worked around. The new utility allows gamers to read and write save games to a memory card, allowing gamers to share their save games over the internet. It also allows gamers to grab saved games off their old Xboxes and transfer them to the new 360.

The hard drive toolkit allows connection of the drive over SATA. The file system is fairly complex, but it seems like there may be opportunities to execute custom code on the host Xbox 360 by loading it on via the hard drive first.

As with any new console, there is slow progress towards opening the platform up - but with the release of this utility, all kinds of Xbox hackery is one step closer.

On a related note, word comes from Silicon Valley that the RAM used in the 360 is the reason for the console shortage. The 360 uses one pool of ram - 512MB of GDDR3 - for both system and graphics tasks, using a unified memory architecture developed by ATI. The word is that Infineon have had trouble producing memory chips that run at the required 700MHz spec, and that the shortage of RAM has been the reason for the fact that so few 360s are available.

There is some hope that that production is now starting to ramp up.

Are you up for hacking your 360? Or are you just cheesed off that you haven't been able to get one yet? Let us know your thoughts over in the forums.
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