Playing Xbox 360 on a PS One Screen

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My TV was sent out for repairs. Sensible people would deal, watching their game consoles break down in digital tears from non-use while they do other things like exploring the outdoors. Me? I respect my console’s needs more than that.

The reality is that the service center picked my TV up earlier than expected, and I had work left to do (specifically, the Far Cry: Blood Dragon Week in Arcade piece). Being hardwired via Ethernet, moving the 360 itself was not an immediate option. I needed some creativity. Necessity, after all, is the mother of all invention.

I busted out my PS One screen, once the height of mobile gaming technology, and went to work. Connecting the two would not be simple. The PS One LCD unit does not have AV in, so connecting the spare composite cable for my 360 directly would be impossible. Instead, you need a breakout cable. Those have a 3.5mm jack on one end, much like standard headphones.

Owning bizarre video game consoles has its benefits, and the pre-Wii motion controlled Xavix happens to offer that exact cable as its main video connection. The issue? The cable is male, meaning it’s meant to be inserted into a port, not take on another cable. That required a female/female coupler, which I also had on hand for instances of capturing video, and voila:

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How was it? Not as awful as you may think. The hurdle was text, trying to read the score, call tags, and end-game stat screens. Those were indecipherable. For late night Halo 4, the radar indicator carries a small arrow over the pings to indicate height; those went unseen too. What’s odd is that I played quite well, busting through the demo of Blood Dragon feeling invincible and towering over Halo’s Big Team Slayer matches with 20+ kills in most games once I adjusted.

Trying to over correct and focus however created headache conditions, which without the heavy blur of a lossy composite connection, could be solved. A component (red, green, blue) drop out cable is feasible, and I have one, although a 360 component cable was not in the cards to try.

For those wondering about sound, the solution was an optical audio cable, running to my receiver. Yes, I had a small 5″ screen with full 5.1 audio, a drastic difference in scale between the visuals and high-power audio.

My TV has been returned since, but that day was an interesting one to say the least. A little ingenuity and cable hoarding is all it takes. What follows is another high-res shot so you can see how illegible text is on that tiny screen:

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