The Original Xbox Live 1.0 is Coming Back as Insignia

The creators of the Original Xbox emulator “Cxbx-Reloaded” are well into development of a replacement for the original Xbox Live service. The Xbox Live 1.0 replacement is being called “Insignia” and will require no system modifications to original Xbox consoles to work. Luke Usher, the lead developer of both projects, announced Insignia over on Patreon and Reddit and has been active over on their Discord server since the announcement.

Microsoft officially shut down Xbox Live 1.0 on April 15th, 2010, killing all original Xbox game’s online support. Though, it should be noted that a a group of hardcore players kept playing Halo 2 until May 11, 2010, when the last player finally disconnected. Since that time, players have had to resort to tunneling services, such as XLink Kai, to play LAN matches over the internet. Unfortunately, tunneling only works with games that support System Link, so this leaves out a lot of titles that only had Xbox Live support.

For years, restoring online functionality was seen as improbable, due to the way Xbox Live authenticated connections and the various ways games connected to the service. Usher has been working the past 8 months and built a custom server from scratch. Most importantly, he has said he is using a clean-room approach to developing the project, which is an important factor of reverse-engineering so you limit your exposure to legal action.

I have a CRT TV and a copy of Halo 2 waiting for the moment this drops.

Although Cxbx-Reloaded is my primary project, it is not the only project I am involved with. Insignia is a replacement server for the Xbox’s online services and is currently in development privately. This service will not require any modifications or patches to software and will work with both stock and modded consoles as long as you have a way to dump keys (a one-time game exploit could be used for this). The implementation is completely clean room and has been in development since late last year. We have gamertag creation/registration fully functional, support for login and friends is in progress. We hope to have games working by Autumn 2020, but we cannot confirm anything at this time. Most importantly, this service will be FREE

Important Notes

Xboxes with HDD key NULLed (aka, set to all 0) will not work on Live, due to Microsoft’s implementation. Any other repeating pattern (323232… etc) or your original HDD key will work fine
Please make sure your Serial Number on your Xbox matches the one stored in your EEPROM, you must have a valid, unique Serial.
This is not yet ready, but a private beta will follow when we require testers.


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Shane Paris

​Shane is the founder and Technical Editor-in-Chief here at That's It Guys. He enjoys Star Trek, 80s and 90s action movies, and everything tech related. Shane is highly skilled with computer hardware, software, and electronics.