Xbox 360 Games on a PS3…

This is not about rumours of an Xbox360 emulator or any some such, it’s about what’s been going round in my head the past 20 minutes or so: How would it be done? Emulating a CPU takes enormous amounts of time, not to mention that Linux on the PS3 runs inside a Hyper visor, stopping it from using the RSX graphics chip. So again: how would it be done.

Ok, lets look at some facts:

  • PS3 gives Linux the use of 6 SPE’s
  • PS3 has 2 memory banks, where the 360 has 1
  • The 360 has a 3 core CPU
  • Both CPU’s are PowerPC derivatives

To sum up the way I would go about building an emulator: I wouldn’t.

  • I would build a kind of cross-compiler. Dedicate one of the SPE’s to transforming opcodes from Xbox to PS3 (where needed), this SPE could also be used to optimize code for the PS3’s architecture (this sort of thing has been done before).
  • I would then link the Xbox 360 code to a PS3 native library of known API’s, allowing things like the graphics and sounds API’s to be built for the PS3. More of these API’s could be developed over time, eventually taking over from large chunks of the Xbox 360 code.
  • I would drop the graphics detail and screen resolution heavily, I know this is a large part of why someone would buy one of these consoles, but you simply don’t have the power without the RSX (though successfully developing this code may push Sony to open the RSX up).

Depending on the underlying architecture of the XBox 360 and in particular the way it structures it’s executables, you may well be able to simply run a compiler over the code, optimize heavily (take a few minutes if you need to), and build a native PS3 / Linux executable which you run instead.

Update: In recent months Tungsten Graphics has been developing an OpenGL driver for the Cell CPU. Although it’s very early days for the project, in the long term it would make what I talk about on this page much easier. Although the RSX is not open to Linux, the Cell is  mostly. Having a graphics driver for the Cell would make a dynamic-re-compiler a lot easier to do.

Also for those that are concerned with the speed of an emulator. Don’t forget the QEMU project. Ignoring the full machine emulation side of the project, QEMU also has the ability to run executables that target one CPU on a different CPU (provided the OS libraries can be found).


9 Responses to “Xbox 360 Games on a PS3…”

  1. Desktopjunk Says:

    Thanks, always good posts on your blog!

  2. Nick Says:

    well, i think someone should get to work ;P

  3. Michael Says:

    Do it haha then my friends can stop bitching about my ps3 =].

  4. ben Says:

    i bought ps3 because follow ups to games i liked were on it now there on 360 we need this

  5. Says:

    Haha, if anyone could do this, i would laugh on my friend’s face 😀

  6. Geoff Says:

    I think it could be done, if you know how to actually tweak with a ps3, because the 360 doesn’t use a different type of format for their disc, they use DVD, so the ps3 can read it… The only problem is trying to figure out how to do this, but given enough time and knowledge of the system, you can probably do this.

  7. Jonas Shagan Says:

    getting an xbox 360 emulator for the ps3 would be awesome… especially since i already download xbox 360 games off the internet… lol…


    This can very easily be done. It comes down to finding the right people to do it. Geohot jailbroke the PS3 so he would be one man for the task sadly he has been taken to court by sony so him making a program like this wouldn’t happen. its finding the right people who know what they are doing with the expertise and getting public funding for a project like this. The excuses such as the Xbox 360 and PS3 are two different structures was used in the days of bleem. Once bleem came out people where able to play Playstation Games on there pc which where separate structures and pcs had different hardware to each other yet the Playstation games ran regardless. This can be done on the PS3 its just a matter of being patient and waiting for a team of Computer whizz kids to get this done. Id give it some time and then youll see it start happening with minimum games working first and then more being playable when the project updates itself

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