Microsoft Revolutionizes HD Gaming on the Original Xbox with EON XBHD
Back in 2001, Microsoft’s original Xbox was one of the first consoles to support high-definition (HD) resolutions. While only a small percentage of its library took advantage of this capability, games like Soul Calibur II and Enter the Matrix showcased the visual improvements that enhanced resolutions could bring.
EON, a renowned creator of premium HD adapters for legacy consoles, aims to bring the original Xbox into the era of digital HD with its XBHD plug-and-play attachment. Offering convenience features like HDMI output, this device is perfect for those who want to play the 46% of original Xbox games that aren’t forward compatible on newer Xbox consoles or prefer an authentic gaming experience.
EON XBHD – Design and Features
The XBHD seamlessly plugs into the video output and Ethernet ports on the back of the Xbox. While this does add approximately 2.5 inches to the console’s size, it is a small trade-off considering the useful features that the XBHD offers. Notably, it requires no external power.
At its core, the XBHD provides clean HDMI output with minimal lag. Additionally, it boasts three major features:
- A second HDMI output, which supports streaming and head-to-head gaming
- A 3.5mm audio jack that supports both analog and digital optical audio
- Three Ethernet ports, making it easy to System Link four consoles for local LAN parties
EON XBHD – Setup and Performance
Setting up the XBHD is a breeze. Simply insert it into the back of the Xbox, connect an HDMI cable to one of its ports, and turn on the console. In the Xbox’s settings, navigate to the Video options and select 480p and 720p. This allows each game to automatically choose its best available output, up to 720p.
It is important to note that the XBHD does not support 1080i, but this resolution is generally inferior to 720p on modern displays. Fortunately, the seven original Xbox games that support 1080i also support 720p.
In terms of visual quality, the XBHD matches and even slightly surpasses the output of component cables. The device’s HDMI output provides a slightly sharper image, albeit darker. However, the differences are minimal and will not hinder your gaming experience.
If you are currently using composite or S-Video cables with your Xbox, upgrading to the XBHD is highly recommended. Not only will you unlock HD resolutions in supported games, but you will also enjoy seamless output on modern displays.
Lastly, EON promises lagless controller input over HDMI. While personal experiences may vary depending on the display, the XBHD provides a smooth gaming experience overall.
The EON XBHD is available on Amazon for $189.99.