Culture

Linux software takes Xbox online

A group of software developers has created a Linux-based application that it claims will allow people to play Xbox games over the Internet.

By Shahed Ahmed

A group of software developers has created a Linux-based application that it claims will allow Xbox owners to play certain games over the Internet.

The Xbox Gateway program works like an Ethernet bridge by splitting up Xbox game data packets and delivering them to the appropriate players. According to the program's Web site, each player is required to have an Xbox, a PC with a broadband connection, and so-called system-link games such as "Halo" and "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2x."

Microsoft launched Xbox earlier this month.

According to the software developers, head-to-head games between two people can generally be played lag free, but the addition of a third player to the LAN (local area network) configuration can slow down play. In addition, network configurations using one Ethernet card must use a hub, while configurations with two network cards work with a switch.

The current version of the Xbox Gateway software does not support USB Ethernet devices or PCMCIA Ethernet.

The Xbox Gateway site states that the program has no affiliation with Microsoft.

Next summer, Microsoft plans to launch its official Xbox online network, which will let people play a variety of Xbox games, including "Unreal Championship," over the Internet.

GameSpot's Shahed Ahmed reported from San Francisco.