Original Xbox Guide - Which Revision Console
I have recently started getting into the original Xbox. When Microsoft first brought the console out, I passed up on it. Ignored over the years since I figured it was basically just a PC of which is already covered thru my desktop and laptop computers. Always late to the party in obtaining an older console, I am discovering interesting things. WHICH XBOX CONSOLE IS THE BETTER CHOICE? - Right Click for larger picture
XBox Thomson 2003-08-05 Controller S Akebono and XBox Phillips 2005-04-13 Duke Controller.jpg [ 194.98 KiB | Viewed 3764 times ]
I plan on a continual update of this Thread by adding reviews and mods as I did in my Wii and Gamecube Guide
. For now, I am tailoring this OP to important features of the XBox focusing on some quirks in different releases. This is to help others in deciding which version to hunt for.I am still learning all the advantages and disadvantages of each version, feel free to add comments. Start Up Menu Dashboard Screen
This is the first screen displayed if a game disc is not inserted. You can change the settings, manage memory, Xbox Live (no longer available for original Xbox) or install a music CD to use as custom soundtracks for certain games.Press both Stick Buttons and both Triggers together to display the Menu in 480p. Game Controller
The first immediate difference is the game controller. The first models came out with the Duke controller which is huge. The face buttons are egg shaped which are a little awkward to press. Later models reverted to the Japanese market controller, the Controller S Akebono model.
Note the face button layout. Not only the egg shape of the buttons in the larger Duke controller, but also the non symmetry cantered placement as in a SNES controller. I thought this was interesting, most controllers since the PS1 controller debuted went the symmetry route. Games were sometimes tailored to use the "dpad" layout of the four face buttons. Nice to see the Xbox though not in later models, bring back the staggered button placement.
After trying out both styles, I like the larger Duke controller. The buttons are a little odd shaped, but overall the game controller just feels more solid. I am used to the traditional Start button center location and do not like how it was moved along with relocating the white and black buttons. The Duke controller comes with a heavier built clear cable and really feels more robust. All Xbox controllers have a unique breakaway cable connection capability, a great feature in case one accidentally walks thru the cord.
Of note, the Xbox controller connection is basically a modified USB connector. Strange that Microsoft did this, maybe to prevent regular USB game controllers from pluggin in? Orginal XBox to USB adapters can easily be made or purchased. Unsure of which USB game controllers would work, but there is USB Mouse and Keyboard support.Game Saves and Downloads
A point to consider when replacing a console. Any DLC or DRM downloads are locked to a console and cannot be transferred. Some game saves are also locked. I could not copy Halo 2
multiplayer download files or Half Life 2
game saves to a memory card. I managed to copy Tron 2.0 Killer App
game save to a memory card and then to another XBox. However, even though the backed up save displayed in the game it would not load, due to the game detecting the save locked to console feature. There are mods that might circumvent this.Game Disc Drive
The Xbox can play DVD movies, but only if the DVD remote sensor is plugged in. To confirm continual detection, I unplugged the sensor during a movie. The console immediately paused the DVD movie with a screen prompt stating the sensor needs to be inserted. I avoid using a game console to watch DVD movies to cut down on the total run time mileage; a dedicated player has better capabilities anyways.Disc Drive Model Variances
There are three different name brand game disc readers that were used inside the Xbox. These were manufactured by Phillips
. There are posts mentioning a fourth very uncommon model, a Hitachi
I picked up an Xbox over the weekend at Goodwill because mine had been in need of a new DVD drive for a long time. It had a manufacture date of 05 and a big old refurbished sticker on it which made me a little wary, but I figured if it had been fixed after being made in 05 odds were probably better that it was working. So when I get it home I pop it open and to my surprise there's a Hitachi drive in it. I'm not sure if this is uncommon or not, I've only ever heard of Samsung, Philips and Thompson drives. It works great, reads pretty beat up games a lot more reliably than any other Xbox drives I've seen. The tray is similar to a Thompson, but the cut out area is a lot wider and has little holes in the outer area.
So has anyone else run into this in an '05 Xbox or was this something Microsoft maybe started doing with refurbished drives?
Before Toshiba and Samsung hooked up (TS drives) it was Hitachi-Samsung. I've got one in my living room. If you use the XBOX power and hook it up to your PCs IDE Windows will recognise it as a Samsung drive.
The first Xbox consoles came with Thomson drives, later models incorporated the other manufacturers. Note that the newer models could have any of the drives inside. The manufacture date can be used to get an ideal of which revision, but the quickest surest way of disc drive identification is to hit the eject button and scrutinize the drive tray.
Llamma's Adventures wrote:
Hit eject on your xbox and check out the tray. The Samsungs extra cutouts are pretty obvious so that is easy to pick out. If you have a Thompson or Phillips compare the size of the inner space, the Thompson's is more narrow and this makes the inner ring for small size disc's look to be about half way from the center space to the outer tray, while the Phillips is more narrow.
Also look at the interior empty space, the Phillips tray is somewhat keyhole shaped while the Thompson is a smooth arch.
The Thomson DVD drives are reputed as being the worst with a higher failure rate. It normally will not read a CDR. The Phillips and Samsung DVD drives all can read CDRs and have a better reputation, maybe due to "tighter tracking" to read the CDRs? The Samsungs are the most desirable, although there have been reports of some having issues with the tray sometimes not ejecting.
Jonathan Harbour wrote:
http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=367210GOOGLE IMAGE OF ORIGINAL XBOX CONSOLE IDENTIFICATION STICKER
Identifying Your Xbox Revision
The first Xbox 1.0, was produced in Hungary and Mexico in early to mid-2001. This version was unique in that it featured an active cooling unit (heat sink plus fan) on the GPU. The DVD-ROM was made by Thomson, and the hard drive by Seagate. This first version used the Conexant video chip, which was carried through revision 1.3.
The first revision to the Xbox 1.1, did away with the GPU fan, leaving only a heat sink. This revision was manufactured in Mexico and China. This version also used the Conexant video chip.
The second revision to the Xbox 1.2, was an incremental update with some different hardware used in some factories. The Philips DVD ROM drive replaced the Thomson in most of the 1.2 units. Some units featured a Western Digital hard drive more often than the Seagate. This version also used the Conexant video chip.
The third revision 1.3, along with 1.4, seems to be the most common, so it may have been produced in the greatest quantities. This version saw the introduction of the Samsung DVD ROM drive, although Thomson and Philips models were still used throughout the production life of the Xbox in lesser quantities. This version also introduced a second Seagate drive (10GB) in some units. This version also used the Conexant video chip.
The fourth revision 1.4, was also produced in great quantities and was perhaps the most produced version of all. Manufactured exclusively in China, 1.4 saw the introduction of yet another Western Digital hard drive, and featured the Samsung DVD ROM in most cases (though not all). This version is identifiable by the use of a Focus video chip, the first change in the video chip since the Xbox was first introduced.
Revision 1.5 has an interesting story associated with it, though none of this information is official. Apparently, this version was produced only for a short period of time at the factory in China before it was pulled from production, and manufacturing reverted back to revision 1.4. One might assume that there was some sort of mistake in the initial production runs for 1.5 that was not detected right away. For whatever reason, both factories in China and Taiwan switched back to producing 1.4. Revision 1.5 might have seen only limited production afterward because the development of revision 1.6 came soon after. Therefore, the manufacturing date alone is not a reliable factor for determining the revision. Revision 1.5 also used the Focus video chip, and was otherwise similar to 1.4. Many mod chip makers doubt even the existence of the 1.5, believing it to be a refurbished version of 1.4 motherboards with changes made to the LPC to prevent modding. This revision is exceedingly rare, if it exists at all.
The sixth revision 1.6, was a radical departure from prior versions with major changes in the Xbox motherboard. The TSOP chip containing the Xbox BIOS is no longer flashable (that is, updateable), meaning the usual soft hacks/exploits are not possible, and the BIOS cannot be flashed. Microsoft also removed power and data lines from the LPC expansion port utilized by mod chips, requiring extra effort to install a mod chip in this version. A new video chip, known as Xcalibur (with an Xbox logo), was also used in this revision. The apparent changes were meant to make the 1.6 motherboard more compact.
http://www.xbox-scene.com http://www.xbox-linux.orgPanzer Dragoon Orta 480p issues
The manufacturing date of an Xbox is just a “suggestion” for the revision. The manufacturing date is printed on the serial number label on the bottom of the Xbox.
01/2001–10/2002 1.0 Hungary
11/2002–04/2003 1.1 Hungary, Mexico
05/2003–03/2004 1.2–1.5 China
04/2004–? 1.6 China, TaiwanHardware Serial Number
Here is how you can decode the hardware serial number if it is available:
is the number of the production line within the factory.NNNNNN
is the number of the Xbox produced during the workweek.Y
is the last digit of the production year.WW
is the number of the week of the production year.FF
is the code of the factory where the Xbox was manufactured
02 Mexico 1.0 or 1.1
03 Hungary 1.0
05 China 1.2 (or later)
06 Taiwan 1.2 (or later)
Because the factory code method is not very reliable (because there may be some codes missing from this list), let’s try another method of identifying your Xbox to narrow things down a bit. Listed is a Serial number check that is accurate but not very specific. If your code is not shown, I would recommend using the closest code to yours, leaning toward the previous one if there is a value above and below your code.
LNNNNNN 20WFF 1.0
LNNNNNN 21WFF 1.0
LNNNNNN 23WFF 1.0, 1.1
LNNNNNN 24WFF 1.1
LNNNNNN 25WFF 1.1
LNNNNNN 30WFF 1.2
LNNNNNN 31WFF 1.3
LNNNNNN 32WFF 1.3
LNNNNNN 33WFF 1.4, 1.5
LNNNNNN 42WFF 1.6
Anyone run into this problem with Panzer Dragoon Orta? The screen displays blocky pixels, even though the game sounds can still be heard. This was confirmed with two different discs of the Panzer game. At first I thought both of my game discs were bad or maybe an issue displaying the 480p setting on my HD CRT? However, I have played it with an older Xbox before I exchanged it with a newer model; the older console displayed Panzer beautiful in 480p. Turns out the newest original Xbox has changes to the video card inside. Only the newest original Xbox version 1.6 prevents Panzer Dragoon Orta and three other games from displaying properly in 480p mode.
This is similar to upgrading hardware in a PC which the XBox basically is inside and needing updated drivers for some games. An unlikely support since older console games usually do not have an upgrade patch available. XBox Live is no longer supported for the original XBox which kills any update patch possibility.
Three of the games that do not work with Xbox version 1.6 are all developed by Smilebit
and published by Sega
. Not all Sega games have this issue, Shenmue II for example displays just fine in 480p. Another game, Fable made by Lion Head Studios
also does not display properly on the Xcalibur Xbox 1.6 consoles. However, there is an easy solution that I confirmed works on at least two of the games.Xcalibur Xbox 1.6 Console 480p Solution For Problem Games
1. Power up the Xbox without a disc inserted, wait for the console Dashboard Menu.
2. Pressing both Stick Buttons and both Triggers selects either 480i or 480p; choose 480i.
3. The console Dashboard Menu screen has to be displayed in 480i.
4. Go to the Video Settings section and enable 480p for the game disc.
5. Insert the game disc, it will witch to 480p mode.
This did not help for Panzer Dragoon Orta, but does work on a couple of other games. I also tested a dual full game disc which has both Sega GT 2002 (Wow Entertainment) and Jet Set Radio Future (Smilebit) on the same disc. Out of curiousity, I set the Xbox Dashboard startup screen to 480i with the controller stick buttons and triggers and also ensured the Video Setting is at 480p. When the multi game disc loaded, the screen switched to 480p in the game disc menu select screen. Jet Set loaded just fine from the disc menu in the progressive scan mode even though the Xbox Dashboard display was in 480 interlace mode.Xcalibur Xbox 1.6 480p Compatible If Menu Set At 480p
1. Fable (Lionhead Studios)
2. Jet Set Radio Future (Smilebit - Sega) However, the two games below will not display properly with the above fix.Xcalibur XBOX 1.6 Console 480p Incompatible Games
1. Gunvalkyrie (Smilebit - Sega)
2. Panzer Dragoon Orta (Smilebit - Sega) Smilebit
only produced three games for the Xbox under Sega; Gunvalkyrie, Jet Set Radio Future, Panzer Dragoon Orta. Lionhead Studios
produced only Fable for the Xbox. This helps to confirm the 480p issue to just the four games listed above, isolated to just these two developers.Interesting that two of the games do display fine in progressive when the 480p screen mode is set before the game loaded. Either way, thru the Xbox console startup screen or in the menu of the combo game disc such as the Sega GT Jet Set Radio disc. Perhaps a boot disc may get around this for Gunvalkyrie and Panzer?
No matter what I do Gunvalkyrie won't appear correctly if I use HD cables on the latter day Xboxes. Heard Panzer Dragoon was also problematic. I'm contemplating getting a second Xbox and using XB VGA kit to play Gunvalkyrie & Dragoon. But before I do that, has anyone come up with a fix to make these games work with Component cables or am I pretty much screwed unless I get SD leads?
Dragona Akehi wrote:
When I try to play Panzer Dragoon Orta in 480p, I get gibberish, as if the game doesn't support 480p. I know it supports the resolution as the older Xbox that died displayed it beautifully until its untimely video display death. All my other 480p games (like Psychonaughts) work just fine, as well. So I did a google search and it appears I'm not alone. Apparently the same problem exists for JSRF, though I haven't tried that yet. However, that was over four years ago, and I'm just wondering if anyone might know if there's a fix for it, homebrew or otherwise. I realize that PDO is compatible with 360, but sometimes the game is a little on the glitchy side.
As far as I know, you're out of luck, Dragona. It's something to do with the hardware XCalibur video encoder.
Xboxes 1.0 to 1.3 use Conexant to encode video, which is the most reliable encoder.
1.4 and 1.5 use Focus, which is not as good but works with everything.
1.6 uses Xcalibur, and at least PDO and Jet Set Radio Future won't work as 480p. Your only choice is to get a earlier version model, or play it on the 360 (not an option with JSRF, as it runs at like 10 FPS on the 360).
AVS Forum has a thread on the subject, even with an "official" Microsoft support answer.
PDO works on my Halo edition green Xbox, I finally came across a $10 copy of this game and played it. It's hella fun, and quite spectacular in 480P widescreen. It's definitely a shooter type game, so to the person reading here if you're not into that genre you're not missing much. BTW here is what xbox support said when I wrote in. No fix, sounds like a known issue.
Thank you for writing to Xbox regarding your Panzer Dragoon Orta video issue.
We apologize for any inconvenience however, you may still play the game using the 480i resolution. To change the video resolution of your console back to 480i, kindly refer to the following steps:
1. Plug the High Definition AV pack green color-coded video output jack into the composite video input of your TV. The output jack is marked with the letter "Y."
Note The composite input on a TV is typically color-coded with yellow.
2. Start Xbox without a disc in the tray to load the Xbox Dashboard.
Note If your Xbox console displays the Xbox Live screen when you start it, press the B button on the Xbox controller two times to return to the original Xbox Dashboard.
3. From the main menu of the Xbox Dashboard, select Settings, and then press the A button.
4. In the Settings menu, select Video, and then press the A button.
5. In the Video menu, select 480p, and then press the A button.
6. You are prompted to confirm that your TV supports 480p mode. Select No, and then press the A button. This prevents your Xbox from displaying in 480p mode in the future.
In case you have other Xbox concerns, feel free to write back. We take feedback on Xbox and our Customer Service very seriously and review customer comments daily.
Xbox Customer Care Team
No update file, Microsoft's solution is to set the console back to 480i. They also recommend plugging the green component cable into the composite jack. This is not necessary, the COMPONENT CONNECTION DISPLAYS 480i JUST FINE
. All that is needed is to temporarily disable the 480p setting before inserting the Panzer Dragoon game disc. At least the game plays just fine with the newest Xbox and in 480p, unfortunate that 480p is lost though.
For those who can't play Panzer Dragoon Orta at 480p
Don't know if it's old news or not, but if you try to play Panzer Dragoon Orta at 480p and get a garbled mess instead of a decent picture, try this out if your Xbox is modded (hard-modded, soft-modded, whatever):- Boot to a (non-MS) dashboard so you have IGR (in game reset) enabled
- Boot the game; you'll still have a messy screen
- Soft-reset the game (with softmods it's usually Start+Back+R+L)
- Magically play the game at 480p
I don't know why this works or if there is another way, but it worked for me, so I thought someone might be interested in this.
Looks like a great work around! This might also work on the other games that have the 480p issue on the 1.6 Xbox.
On a side note, I have noticed sound drops in the game Tron 2.0 Killer Ap
. This is apparent during the Light Cycle races, sometimes the cycle rumble portion of the sound cuts out. The rumble would return after a restart of the level after getting killed. I do not think this is related to the console revision, just a bug in the game itself.Conclusion
So which console to get? There are a few of factors to consider. 1. Newest console likely to last longer due to lower milage.
2. Newest console will not display 480p with three SEGA games.
3. Newer console might have any of the three manufacturers of DVD Drives.
4. Older consoles have a higher chance of lower quality Thomson Drive inside.
5. Phillips drives much better then Thomson, Samsung is considered better.
6. Samsung drives though the best reputation, have been reported of sticking tray.
7. Only Xcalibur Xbox 1.6 has a non flash EPROM for the BIOS, preventing hardware hacks.
8. Only four games are know to have the 480p issue, two have an easy 480p boot solution.
9. If Console Dashboard or Disc Menu is in 480p, Fable and Jet Set Radio Future work fine in 480p.
10. Gunvalkyrie and Panzer Dragoon Orta do not work in 480p on the Xcalibur Xbox console.
Note that some Thomson drives have been reported to read CDRs, but on the whole they do not. This is not an issue on original game discs. However, a less then perfect scratched disc stands a better chance of working on a Samsung or Phillips DVD Drive due to "tighter tracking" capability in reading a CDR.Xbox Version 1.6 and Phillips Drive for Reliability
XBox version 1.5 and Phillips Drive for Panzer Dragoon 480p
For me, getting the newest 1.6 version console has a better chance of a lower mileage. The Xcalibur Xbox has a more compact motherboard inside which should run cooler making it possibly lasting longer. I would have been happy getting a console with a Samsung drive, but prefer the Phillips drive due to some Samsung drives having sticking tray issues. I wish I could get 480p for Panzer Dragoon, but content with a more reliable newer console. I also like the idea that the 1.6 console BIOS cannot get corrupted since it is on a more durable nonflashable EPROM. At least a two of the four incompatible games can work if the Dashboard Menu is preset at 480p.Only two games have the 480p display issue on an unmodded Xcalibur Xbox 1.6 console
A real shame that of all games in the Xbox vast library, Panzer Dragoon does not work in 480p mode on the 1.6 XBox, although it might work with the trick mentioned earlier. Though not drastic in comparison to 480i with component cables, there is definitely an image difference losing the progressive scan. This can be a determining factor especially if one owns a very large HDTV.
Perhaps the best solution is to buy a second Xbox 1.3 console for the Conexant video encoding and ensure it has a Samsung drive inside? This will give a variance in the consoles in case of other game incompatibilities. Maybe this would justify a second older console for link games? References
Wiki Xbox Brand - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox
Wiki Original Xbox - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_%28console%29
Llama Repair Tutorials - http://www.llamma.com/xbox/Repairs/repairs.htm
Identifying Xbox Revision - http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=367210
Game Custom Soundtrack List - http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/shee ... ,302/p,13/
Xbox HD Supported Games - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Xb ... HD_support
Xbox Magazine Disc List - http://hdfanatic.com/oxm-demo-discs
Xbox Exhibition Disc List - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xbox_Exhibition_disks
Game Developer Lionhead Studios - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lionhead_Studios
Game Developer Smilebit - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sega_Sports_Japan
Xbox Repair Guide - http://adriancallaghan.co.uk/wp-content ... _GUIDE.pdf
Identifying Xbox Revision http://vig.pearsonptr.com:8081/samplech ... 326833.pdf
The Xcalibur Xbox 480p incompatible games. Note the Smilebit and Lionhead Studios company logos.