It’s something of an obscure fact that the original Xbox supported HD resolutions like 720p and 1080i, making it one of the first consoles to do so. However, getting these resolutions required an “HD Pack” box or a third-party component cable. Since then, fancy-pants homebrew people have been able to get the signal through HDMI via various adapters and cables. However, the quality of all the above (aside from the official HD Pack) is generally shaky. Some are really good, but the majority of them leave a lot to be desired, and it can be hard to distinguish the two.
EON was one of the first to create a viable HDMI adapter for the GameCube, which uses proprietary technology for its digital output. Their adapters are a little expensive, but they’re also some of the best quality available. The XBHD supports all the original Xbox’s native resolutions, has two output ports (useful for capture and streaming), and also three ethernet ports to connect with other Xbox consoles in a LAN configuration without needing a router. Nice.
The downside is that this unit is going to cost $189.99 USD. That’s pretty steep, especially for a unit that doesn’t seem to have any upscaling or line-doubling features for lower-resolution games. On the other hand, I’m planning on buying a Retrotink 4K when it launches, so I might be set for all my upscaling needs. But still, that’s going to be around $250 in Canadian Loonies. Woof.
In any case, if you have the spare dosh, the XBHD will be available from various retailers on Oct. 10, 2023.