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xband411

Xband Video Game Network

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Was anyone else here a member of Xband between 1994 and 1997?

For those who don't know, Xband was an officially licensed third-party modem for the 16-bit SNES and Sega consoles. The phone-based modem itself was around $30, and you paid a monthly fee to connect. No internet access was required since it used the phone lines. Once connected to the network, you could play games against opponents, read user profiles, and send "x-mail" (their term for email). Per a server engineer, the service peaked at around 15,000 users. There were official tournaments, contests, daily news, and top 10 lists. Gaming was surprisingly smooth. Games had a strange latency to it at first, but not much lag. The only connection problems that I encountered were when a phone call was coming in during the middle of a game. It was way ahead of its time and was a ton of fun.

Xband was an officially licensed product by both Nintendo and Sega, but 99% of the games that played over the network had to be reverse engineered in order to work. The only game specifically created to play on Xband was the fighting game "WeaponLord". Here's a list of games that were playable on each console:

SNES = DOOM, Ken Griffey Jr. Baseball, Kirby's Avalanche, Killer Instinct, Madden NFL 95, Madden NFL 96, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, NBA Jam TE, NHL 95, NHL 96, Super Mario Kart, Super Street Fighter II, WeaponLord

Sega Genesis = Madden NFL 95, Madden NFL 96, Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat II, Mortal Kombat 3, NBA Jam, NBA Live 95, NBA Live 96, NHL '95, NHL '96, Primal Rage, Super Street Fighter II, WeaponLord

The service shut down in March of 1997. The modems don't work now because they're programmed to dial a centralized server. People have tried contacting former Xband employees, but most of the server/hardware/software information has been thrown away or lost.

If you happen to read any old issues of Tips n Tricks, GamePro, or EGM from this time period, you're bound to see advertisements, reviews, and top 10 lists. Hopefully a few other people are around that were on this service back then.

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My brother and I never had an Xband, but one of our friends had one for his Genesis. He used it to play Mortal Kombat ALL the time. :)

*huggles*

Areala

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My brother and I never had an Xband, but one of our friends had one for his Genesis. He used it to play Mortal Kombat ALL the time. :)

*huggles*

Areala

Very interesting. Do you know what City/State he played Xband from? I have quite a few friends from the Genesis Xband that also played tons of Mortal Kombat.

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Very interesting. Do you know what City/State he played Xband from? I have quite a few friends from the Genesis Xband that also played tons of Mortal Kombat.

Indianapolis, Indiana is where he lived. Later on, he moved to New Palestine, Indiana which is east of Indianapolis. :)

*huggles*

Areala

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I remember the Sega Channel. Similar idea to X-Band, and something I also never had. I think instead it was more of a subscription service with downloadable/playable online games.

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