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Using Xbox One X as a regular PC... rant and opinions wanted

#1

Alright, so here’s the deal. Late last year I bought an Xbox One X on sale for around $350 USD, with the hopes of finally getting more than a few Netflix shows out of my HDR-capable, 4K TV, but also to replay my old Xbox and Xbox 360 game collection, so I saw buying “the most powerful console” as an opportunity to go back and catch up with gaming.

The console is beautiful: it’s quiet, sleek-looking, relatively powerful (I’ll get there in a second) and, like it or not, has an amazing controller IMHO, however, I now feel like I’ve been cheated out of my money.

Now, yes, granted, nobody pointed a gun to my face and forced me to buy the damn thing, but coming from a very basic rig (2015 Lenovo Y50-70 with an i7 4710HQ and a GTX 860m), I had high hopes that by buying the console I’ll be able to keep my PC for longer as I’m really happy with its performance as a computer.

Fast forward a few months to today and I’m very disappointed. Most of my old games aren’t supported on backwards compatibility, HDR support is MEDIOCRE and the interface, the thing that is at least supposed to be smooth, is not.

Now, you probably might be wondering about this thread’s title and here’s what I’m trying to say: wouldn’t it be wonderful if Microsoft unlocked the console and gave their users more choice as to how to use their hardware? Software might be licensed, but I OWN THE HARDWARE and I believe that, as such, I should be able to do whatever the heck I want with it, including using it as a regular PC.

Before you reply, think about it for a second: Microsoft already offers a Developer Mode that can be switched on/off with a simple restart, some apps (yay Kodi!) that would had been unthinkable of last generation are now officially supported and the thing already runs Windows 10 for what understand.

Microsoft has learned that they get more by allowing users more freedom and choice instead of trying to lock them down (see Xbox Live crossplay and the WSL).

What I’m trying to say is that I feel like such a relatively powerful hardware is going to waste and I would love to have the option to run a full-fledge operating system when I’m not shooting anything that moves in Halo.

Thought? Opinions? Am I a silly idiot for even daring to say this? Keep it civil please.

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#2

there were hacks for turning the first xbox into a linux box. but i think they locked down all of the newer stuff to prevent this from happening. ( preventing rom dumps and emulation) there might be a way to do this with a secondary drive but i am 90% positive that it is not possible.

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#3

You’re not a silly idiot. But you’re not taking some other thigs into account either.
MS, and Sony for that matter, are on very very thin margins with the sale of their respective consoles. Without counting the marketing, research and development time for the consoles, the parts alone are too expensive for them to make almost any kind of profit. That’s why they rely on their services such as Xbox online, which enables you to play games online with other people and Game pass (game subscription thing) on the MS side and whatever the hell Sony has (I’m not familiar). These services bring the vaaaast majority of profit on the console side for these companies. This means that if MS would unlock their consoles to be just a generic customizable pc, they’d be out of money very quickly. Also, by closing their system to tinkerers, they can guarantee a certain quality of performance for games. No matter if it’s shit or not.

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#4

Right and even the Xbox 360 could be turned into a great emulation station, but game console security has been vastly improved and it now only possible to somewhat use a hacked PS4 as a regular console, but only under very specific circumstances, like running an old firmware and doing investing a few hours at it.

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#5

Thanks for your reply and you’re absolutely right about Microsoft and Sony having razor-thin margins on hardware and thus their respective pushes into services, digital sales and subscriptions, however, I feel like Microsoft has open up a lot lately and things like them now allowing Xbox users to “crossplay” with gamers from all other platforms and the mere existence of the Windows Subsystem for Linux, as well as their Xbox Play Anywhere initiate talk loud about their openness and desire to capture as much users from as many places as possible and enabling regular Windows 10 to run on a Xbox One X is not as crazy as it sounds and it would also turn that hardware into a decent PC.

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#6

Well, maybe after the next gen console releases, they should be a bit looser on their grip on it. This way we can waste less in the future… That should be an Idea to pitch to them…

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#7

I get what you’re saying and I already googled how I could make my xbones not only a console, but I doubt MS is going to do something like this. I know tons of people that play on consoles because it’s basically plug&play and I know tons of people that if the want an open platform to do whatever, thsy just buy a pc and do it. There’s no financial incentive for MS to do this, because developing a whole infrastructure just to sell a machine that doesn’t guarantee them a certain percentage of profits makes no financial sense.
Just my opinion…would be totally rad, though.

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#8

The PS3 allowed this in the beginning. It was a feature called OtherOS. You could run a version of Linux on it called yellow Dog. The thing was it was heavily limited in what hardware it was allowed access to. Only some of the CPU, none of the GPU and various other things. This was all to protect the GameOS side of the console from piracy.

The moment OtherOS was broken to allow, at the time useless, game dumps Sony freaked out and immediately wiped the feature. After that the the console which had been secure and unhacked for years was completely broken down in 4 months. It ended up with them causing their own worst case scenario.

I had enjoyed consoles up to this point and owned a PS3, it was okay as a console and had some really great games but it was far from perfect and his the handled every other aspect of the console was just stupid. Things like the firmware updates requiring that you console be a brick for the hour or more it took to download, because it would not do it in the background, and then install was insane for something you just wanted to fire and play when you came home. By the time it was done you had lost game time and may not be able to play at all depending on your schedule. This also applied to game updates. And so many other thing that were just afterthoughts.

This killed consoles for me. After that I needed to be able to do with my hardware what I wanted and went PC. I have never looked back.

Consoles are always going to be locked down as long as they are consoles. The hard ware in them is moving ever closer to just being desktop hardware but it is the software that is valuable to them and as long as that is the case you will never have freedom to use it as a standard PC.

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#9

Wow, I must had been too drunk last night to not remember the Other OS feature on the PS3.

The PS2 also allowed this with a kit they sold separately and that I included an IDE hard drive, a network adapter (which was also necessary to plug in the HD) and a KVM-like cable that passed through VGA and USB.

Thanks for listening, it was a rant of me at the end, I guess because I got so disappointed of the so-called “most poweeful console ever”.

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#10

Nah nothing at you. Just that I don’t expect it ever to happen. I agree with you that it should be possible but I have given up on it ever happening.

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#11

Honestly, I think this disappointment is due to a lack of research. Some googling or some forum visits before your purchase would have shown you how locked down that thing is, and you could have gotten a list of games that are backwards compatible.

It’s just the way things are now. A lot of devices are getting harder and harder for people to exploit.

Does it make it a terrible console? I don’t think so. (though ten years ago I would’ve been up your ass, you Xbox peasant, /s)

I have a PS4, and I love it for exclusives. You just have to manage your expectations of them. But IMO, a console will never be as good as a PC.

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#12

I also bought an XBONES a few years ago because of the HALO (which I still didn’t get) and Forza Motorsport (I got the FM3 with the console) franchises, and lo and behold, xbox one s games will be playable on PC as well. oh, well. At least I bought Rocket league twice, just to be sure…

Note: I’m glad MS is doing the whole Cross play thing, I just had bad timing :slight_smile:

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#13

On the point of the xbox becoming a PC, I have a feeling the true next gen of Xbox will become a cheap prebuilt PC with Win 10 in it.
Seeing Microsoft pushing games and exclusives to the microsoft store on PC gives me reason to suspect that, however it is odd that I can play games like forza 7 without xbox live on my PC, which makes me wonder if that will continue to be a thing down the road; if they proceed to make all games run on windows.

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#14

I agree with venom. The upcoming xbox is rumored to be a glorified Windows 10 system. Probably with a easier to navigate ui but will run windows store apps? For me im just waiting for halo to be released on steam.

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#15

XboxOne is already a glorified win10 PC, it just has a terrible interface and third party apps are a bother to use, but often have a better UI than the system itself.

I’m waiting for the UI redesign and MS is reportedly doing a complete overhaul of the online store as well, so we’ll see when it’s done.

Yup. Gonna probably sell the xbox…I turn it on only every once in a while just to update the system and the I turn it off…Don’t know why…

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#16

Nothing wrong with the graphics portion of the machine, however the Xbox One X is ridiculously held back by its cpu, even clocked as high as it is (for jaguar I mean) with that vapor chamber cooling.

My biggest problem has been the lack of first party titles this generation.

…I think next gen will be a decent pc replacement (because as people say… its a decently specced pc :smiley:)

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#17

“Microsoft got very burned by the widespread repurposing of the original 2001 Xbox as a uniquely-adapted HTPC, often using what was called at the time XBMC and is now named Kodi. Those were the days when the manufacturers sold the consoles way below cost to spur adoption, then made their money back on the games. But Intel and Nvidia never underprice their brands, and Microsoft chose to use both of them for the original Xbox. Who knows how much money they lost giving the hackers of the world HTPCs.”
No idea if the above is true but it gave me a chuckle, came from reddit

Anyhow it sounds like a fun project and allot of people seem to be working on doing something with this.
Cool thread

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#18

There’s a reason they sell it that cheap.
They want to entrap you in their closed garden, where you pay a large premium to use the software they approve of, i call this the Micro$oft model.
my advice is buy a small cabinet, and a mini itx/atx mobo, then you can have allmost the same form factor as they provide, but with better hardware, and more freedom, not to mention cheaper prices.
Since the first xbox you mention MS has gone out of their way to hardware check if anything is off, and if off your xbox simply wont work.
e.g. you dont own the hardware you paid for, unless you pay their premiums, and adhere to their rules. I may be wrong, and please correct me if so, but i have heard that the second gen xbox would actually use ~50% cpu cycles to check if everything was as suppose to, if not crash, or destroy the hardware.

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#19

I think you might have to do some hardware mods/firmware swaps to be able to boot to another disk.

If you get it working let us know how.

Not that I trust everything I read on this site, but… idk man

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#20

with current gen both sony and ms were claiming “day one profits” from hardware sales alone, granted that they did not disclose margins but going from a day one loss to day one profits is good in my books

Could the cpus have done with being a bit more powerful? Probably…

But i love the fact that devs are being forced to sort out the software to properly parallelize rather than continually relying on frequency / ipc.

I dread that next gen is going to be a shit show when it comes to the pc conversion due to falling back on old bad habits

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