Project Stellar - Firmware Update 1.3.0

Project Stellar - Firmware Update 1.3.0

Hello everyone!

We're excited to share the release of firmware version 1.3.0 for Project Stellar. This update brings a unique feature exclusively possible through the capabilities of Project Stellar.

Native Xbox One and Xbox One Series Controller Support

The key feature of this firmware update is the introduction of support for Microsoft Xbox One and Xbox Series controllers via USB. 

Initially, we developed USB drivers for the first-generation Xbox controllers. However, we encountered some hurdles post-launch, prompting us to disable this feature temporarily.

Our team embarked on an extensive reverse-engineering process of the entire Xbox software library to overcome these challenges. This task involved analyzing nearly 8,000 executables and required hundreds of hours of meticulous development and research.

For firmware 1.3.0, we completely rewrote everything from the ground.

Using the extra 8MBs of RAM on Project Stellar, we can dynamically relocate the USB stack from the software running on the Xbox and move it into the kernel, where we've developed additional USB drivers.

This allows us to expand software for the Xbox from only supporting original controllers to supporting all Xbox One controllers with no performance penalty and without any additional input latency that might be found when using an external adapter.

Virtual Disc Sector Map Emulation

In our previous update, we briefly talked about the development of compressed ISO support, and our recommendation for most people was to use with repacked images.

However, one aspect we still needed to discuss in detail was the compatibility of this method with all software titles.

Removing padding from ISO images can sometimes lead to compatibility issues with specific software. For instance, some games, like TOCA 3, rely on the disk file system's sector information for real-time performance and sanity checks.

We have introduced a solution: virtual disc sector emulation to address this. This feature effectively resolves the limitations of repacked ISOs, ensuring full compatibility with all software titles that depend on disk layout information.

Improved 720P Boot Animation

The boot animation in native 720P resolution, initially launched with Project Stellar, was impressive in terms of quality, but its framerate was somewhat inconsistent.

With firmware v1.3.0, we've gone back and optimized the original boot animation for 720P output. This enhancement significantly boosts the animation's framerate, aligning it closely with the intended performance.

Open Source Contributions

We're currently working with the nxdk team to bring native Xbox One controller support to the open source Xbox SDK in homebrew for both Project Stellar and legacy mods.



  • Complete rewrite of USB controller support. Adds native support for both Xbox One and Xbox One Series controllers.
  • Optimized 720P boot animation.
  • Improved CSO performance. Fixes issues with drives with long seek times.
  • Implemented virtual sector lookup for emulating DVD sectors with compressed and repacked ISO. Fixes issues with TOCA 3 and other titles when repacked.
  • Fixed safe mode trigger regression on 1.0 - 1.5 systems.
  • Fixed controller issues with the Brook Wingman XB2.


  • Improved system stability.
  • Added offline firmware updater via XBE.
  • Fixed IGR issue with certain XBLA titles. Bejeweled, Ms. Pac-Man, and Namco Vintage.
  • Fixed "In-Game Shortcuts" not disabling IGR when disabled.


Rewriting the USB stack on the Xbox has been one of the largest single undertakings thus far for Project Stellar, but we have so much more to show off here very soon.

Firmware v1.4.0 is just around the corner, and we'll see you again very soon!