XQEMU, Original Xbox Emulator Shows Progress With Wrestlemania 21

The XQEMU emulator, a branch of the QEMU emulator from espes, is designed to run OG Xbox games. It doesn’t do a very good job of it, but the progress is coming along decently enough, as showcased with a new video from YouTuber John GodGames, who played a little bit of THQ’s old wrestling title for the first generation Xbox console.

The footage of the XQEMU isn’t perfect, but it at least visually emulates the games properly. It lacks sound and it requires an extremely high-end gaming rig since the following video was accelerated by seven times in order to get it to run as fast as it is. You can see the 2005 game running on the emulator below.

This was running on an Intel i7 3770K with 4.20ghz per core, 16GB of RAM and an MSI GeForce GTX 970 GPU.

Maybe all that boob jiggle slowed down the game so that’s why the video had to be sped by seven times the normal rate? Actually I doubt the boob jiggle affected anything because back at the end of August, John GodGames posted up a video of Dead or Alive 3 running on the OG Xbox emulator, and instead of requiring the video to be sped up times seven it only had to be sped up times five. It was from an experimental brand of the XQEMU emulator by JayFoxRox. You can see the game in action with the video below.

This is actually some pretty cool advancements considering that most people thought OG Xbox emulation would never happen given that documentation for the system was never made public, and Microsoft went over and beyond to lockdown the source code of the Xbox. You still can’t freely find a lot of software for the original system running default.xbe files because they’re copyright protected and will net you a DMCA faster than posting up Jennifer Lawrence’s nudes from The Fappening.

Even still, seeing one of the original Xbox’s more visually demanding games like Wrestlemania 21 at least running on the XQEMU is a sign of really positive progress for the emulator. The accuracy of the visual emulation is what’s most impressive. The texture streaming is about pitch perfect. There is no vertex distortion or alpha corruption, which is usually common in emulators early in their design process. Even more than that wrestling games usually have a lot of trouble running on emulators because of all the special effects, moving parts (like the crowd) and all of the game logic with multiple AI in the ring or the memory-heavy move-sets. It’s good to see the XQEMU at least being able to run Wrestlemania 21, albeit very slowly.

Wrestlemani 21 - XQEMU

Also, even displaying the background movies is a real achievement. I remember in the old N64 emulators, there used to be serious trouble getting the emulators to run the background titantron movies due to one problem or another.

The XQEMU’s progress isn’t happening in a vacuum, though. The CEMU – an emulator running Wii U games – has also made some notable progress lately as well. It’s also part of espes’ open-source emulator project.

You can learn more about the XQEMU by visiting the official website, or you can learn how to compile a build and give it a test run for yourself with the starter’s guide.


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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