The original Xbox source code just leaked – and it doesn’t stop there

Eric Abent - May 21, 2020, 9:29 am CDT
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The original Xbox source code just leaked – and it doesn’t stop there

It’s an exciting day for classic console and operating system enthusiasts, as it appears that the source code for the original Xbox and Windows NT 3.5 have leaked online. The original Xbox was released way back in 2001 and marked Microsoft’s entry into the video game console business. Windows NT 3.5, on the other hand, was released in 1994 and discontinued in 2001, so in both cases, we’re looking at some old school source code here.

Following reports of this source code leaking online, The Verge confirmed that the leaked Xbox OS is indeed real and surfaced online earlier this month. The Xbox OS leak includes “some build environments, the Xbox Development Kit, emulators used for testing, and internal documents,” according to The Verge, which also notes that it includes the kernel for the operating system as well.

Even with that, The Verge thinks this leak probably won’t be all that useful for the emulation and homebrew scene, since some enthusiasts already privately had access to the kernel and source code at the heart of all this before the leak happened. Still, for those who take an interest in classic consoles – whether they’re simply an enthusiast or they’re concerned with video game preservation and history – this leak could be a exciting thing indeed.

The Windows NT 3.5 leak includes a “near-final version” of the operating system’s source code, though it seems that more information isn’t available at the moment. Microsoft, unsurprisingly, didn’t have a whole lot to say about either leak – when approached by The Verge for comment, Microsoft said that it had nothing to share about the reported Windows NT 3.5 leak, while it said “We’re aware of these reports and are investigating,” regarding the Xbox leak.

So, there you have it: apparently, there’s source code for both the original Xbox and Windows NT 3.5 floating around out there. It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, happens now this is all out in the open, so stay tuned for more.


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