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Author Topic: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?  (Read 6840 times)

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amheck

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XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« on: April 07, 2010, 09:40:14 am »
Hey guys,  I'd like to set up a new cocktail style arcade system.  I'd call myself a moderate to semi-experienced PC builder. 

I'm going back and forth between an XBOX 360-based system and a MAME setup.  I'm actually hoping for something that's more plug and play.  With a family, full time job, grad school, etc, some of these wiring and pin-out MAME systems have me a little scared.  Not that I don't think I couldn't do it, I'm just not sure I want to invest all that time right now.

I was thinking about an XBOX 360, using the dual X-Arcade joystick system (with their 360 adapter) and then looking it up to an HDTV or PC monitor and powered speakers and then putting it in a cabinet I build or buy.  Is it that easy?  I guess what I'm wondering, I don't want to be kicking myself later on for not going with the MAME, but really, I'm interested in the simple games like Ms. Pacman and Galaga which seem to be on some 360 discs from Namco, Capcom, etc.

Is it legal to mod an xbox and them copy the games to HDD (as long as you own them)?  Worth case, I just put a door on the cabinet to load the 360 discs?  Although I suspect that's not the "real" way this should be done.

My other option might be a Multicade system.  They seem to pop up on craigslist every once in a while (~$750?), but I'm worried about repair and such with a system like that.  I would have no clue how to troubleshoot if something went wrong with a system like that.

Anyway, any comments, suggestions, recommendations would be greatly appreciated in the 360 vs MAME debate.  Can you get MAME to be pretty plug and play?  I do have enough PC parts around here to get an extra working system.

Thanks!
« Last Edit: April 07, 2010, 09:42:36 am by amheck »

mwong168

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2010, 10:05:30 am »
It is not illegal to mod your system but keep in mind you will void your warranty unless the person doing it is very careful in removing the stickers.  It is not illegal to copy games to your hard drive if you own them but keep in mind if your system is modded and you go on XBOX live your system will get banned and you will lose that hard drive copying functionality.  In regards to using the dual X-Arcade with 360 adaptor keep in mind on their site of the requirements:

    * (1) Official Xbox 360™ Wired Game Controller Per Player  <-- This sucks
    * (1) Xbox 360™ Adapter Per Player: (One Player $7.95: Two Players $14.95)
    * (1) X-Arcade™ Playstation 2™ Adapter
    * X-Arcade™ Game Controller (Solo, Dual, Tankstick, Machine)

I don't think there is even a comparison or similarties to running a 360 or MAME PC for a cabinet.  The cost of getting it to run the way you want wouldn't be worth it.  Forget the X-Arcade route for the 360 if you choose to go for it.  Get two Madcatz SE sticks from amazon.com which are on sale for $34.99/each and will work straight to your 360 or PC via USB.

http://www.amazon.com/Xbox-360-Street-Fighter-IV-FightStick/dp/B001M22VCU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=videogames&qid=1270648751&sr=8-3

I am not sure if you are building your cabinet from scratch yourself but you could always gut these SE sticks and transfer into your wood control panel.  It is relatively easy to work with cause Madcatz uses quick disconnects so no soldering skills required.  Bear in mind the buttons and stick are not the authentic japanese Sanwa ones and they will fail in time.  Here is a picture of the insides of an SE.



If you want to skip having to replace your buttons and stick then you could just straight to the Madcatz TE which is also on sale.  The internals are similar to the SE except this one comes with Sanwa parts.

http://www.gogamer.com/MADCATZ-Street-Fighter-IV-Round-2-Arcade-FightStick-Tournament-Edition-for-XBox-360-48-Hour-Madness-_stcVVproductId100090711VVcatId551271VVviewprod.htm

It also doesn't take much to run MAME and you could just pick up an off lease Dell or HP with a P4, 1-2gb ram, 80gb HD for $50-80.  I hope you go the MAME and PC route.  Good luck otherwise.
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amheck

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2010, 10:18:11 am »
Thanks for the thoughtful reply and the links.  You aren't the first person to recommend going with a MAME setup over the XBOX.  I was just hoping the XBOX route might be more plug and play.

Woodworking is my other hobby, so I figured I'd look around for empty cabinets.  If I couldn't find anything worthwhile, I would just build my own.  So either way there.

So for MAME, what's the easiest way to get a plug and play setup?  Can I just get 2 of those Madcatz Tourney Edition controllers and hook them up to a PC?  Or would the X-Arcade work in that case?  I don't mind tinkering around with the PC and the MAME software to get it working.  It was all of the additional controller wiring and such that I really wanted to stay away from.  Do you guys recommend an HDTV, or computer monitor, or CRT for the display in a MAME setup?

mwong168

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2010, 11:29:05 am »
Well what games do you plan on playing?  Classic arcade games only because I don't think you would want to play Halo 3 on a cocktail for a long period of time.  What do you mean by plug and play because both a 360 and PC are plug and play if you think about it.  The hard part about MAME is sourcing out the ROMS, finding a version of MAME that can play all your ROMS and a nice front end such as Maximus Arcade or Hyperspin.  The next hard part is setting up these front ends to work and look the way you want but that is what this forum is here for.  There is no such thing as plug and play for the software side of things for the MAME PC.  Just have to do your research and try it out yourself.

Now if you are going to go the PC route you need to decide if you want to use american or japanese parts.  If you want Japanese parts then I would say get to TE's (yes they connect to the PC, just make sure you get the 360 version because I heard the PS3 version has issues with PC) and remove the internals such as PCB, buttons and stick over to a wood control panel.  I suggest you do some reading on slagcoin.com to familiarize yourself with buttons and joysticks and how to mount them in wood.  If you want to use american style parts then I would suggest getting either:


http://groovygamegear.com/webstore/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=76_80&products_id=303

or


http://www.ultimarc.com/ipac1.html

Both of these are solderless solutions to wire to your buttons and joystick using quick disconnects.  The only tools you will need to invest in is a set of crimpers and wire stripper.  The wiring is not that bad or hard just time consuming but worthwhile to know in the future to help troubleshoot problems.



If you are handy with woodwork then go over to jakobud.com for some cabinet plans.  What are you trying to build?  A cocktail or stand up cabinet cause I don't think you can use a HDTV in a cabinet.  I mean you could but it wouldn't look right in my opinion.  If you are making a standup cabinet then you could get a LCD/Plasma HDTV and output from your computer using an HDMI cable or else using a regular CRT tube tv and output using S-Video.  A regular computer monitor is straight forward hook up through DVI or analogue port.

If you happen to find a nice JAMMA based arcade cabinet with a working monitor you could also output to that using a computer+JPAC+ArcadeVGA or computer+JPAC+special cable+software called Soft 15hz or something like that.

I'd suggest you look at other people's project or even mine in my signature so you can get a better idea of what you are getting into because it doesn't seem like you have a clear direction of where to go.  Forget the X-arcade route if you plan on making something from scratch.
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saleem

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2010, 11:42:11 am »
xbox360 is not the best reliable gaing console in the world now is it?

an old xbox perhaps yes but,a new 360 system is unreliable,like titanic in iceberg field.
:)

Sectorseven

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2010, 01:18:41 pm »
A jtagged 360 allows a number of different emulators as well as all the latest 360 games. You can probably still find exploitable arcades on store shelves, and they only cost $200. It's actually a pretty cheap solution if you're looking to play both old and new games.

DJ_Izumi

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2010, 07:09:12 pm »
If you're willing to void your warrenty (And if you're considdering modding, you probably are) the 360's optical drive is a mostly standard 5.25" bay drive in the system.  You could decase the 360 and extend the wireing to the drive, relocating the drive so it's installed 'flush' in the side of the cab or something.  Then you can just pop the tray open without having to open a door to get inside.

amheck

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2010, 09:56:47 am »
Thanks again for the responses guy.  I don't even have an XBOX or 360, was just thinking if it was easier for this purpose, it might be the way to go.  But I'm researching the MAME stuff now, seems like that might be the way to go.  Just a lot to take in and a lot of reading....  :)

mwong168

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #8 on: April 08, 2010, 11:42:49 am »
Now unless you wanted to build a dedicated japanes Vewlix style SFIV cabinet then I can see putting a console such as a 360 or PS3 which I have seen on SRK.  Since they are such enthusiasts of the SF series they either don't know or care for playing older games using MAME so putting a plug and play console in makes more sense to them.  Also another thing would be playing on XBLive or the PS3 online network as well.  Then again you could build a computer and run the PC version of the game as well as other emulators if you don't care for online play.
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DJ_Izumi

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Re: XBOX 360 vs MAME for new setup?
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2010, 01:01:09 pm »
A 360 in a cab, honestly, would be better suited to more modern games.  Of course the range of fighting games but Xbox Live Arcade also has modern ports that you couldn't emulate.  Though many of these have specific controls, you won't play them right on a single joystick and six buttons.