YouTube user JPAchilles uploaded a video yesterday showing something many thought to be impossible: running Bungie’s classic first person shooter, Halo 3, on the Xenia emulator.
Before fans get too excited, though, the game is extremely buggy, with many textures failing to load in, and the main menu refusing to present itself, leaving the game a technicolour mess. Still, despite not being particularly playable, this marks an incredible achievement not just for the emulator designed by Ben Vanik, but for emulation as a whole.
Despite having specifications that are, technically, no match for a modern gaming PC, contemporary home consoles suffer the same problem familiar to those trying to emulate the PlayStation 2. That is, post-fifth-generation hardware is challenging to replicate with computing set-ups as they don’t just have to “play” the games, but also be able to mimic the architecture of the original console’s hardware, which makes running programs like Xenia and playing something like Halo a much more complicated task than one might initially think.
Still, the fact that Halo 3 even started at all is a huge leap forward and an indication that, one day, the full game, and fully-fledged seventh generation emulation will be a reality.
The Xenia project started in 2010, with the first video depicting Frogger 2 running on the emulator released in 2014. The emulator now runs just shy of 50 titles according to the official website, with the hope that the entirety of the 360 library will be possible in the future.
You can view the video of Halo 3 running on Xenia here: