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Question XCI Explained

Discussion in 'Switch - Backup Loaders & Modchips' started by Picalo, Mar 19, 2019.

  1. Picalo
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    Picalo Advanced Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
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    Hello all, I was wondering if anyone could explain what makes XCI special over NSP, and how is it possible to load the file rather than installing it.
    From my understating XCI
    -XCI is a dump from from a cartridge.
    -XCI can be repackage to include the updates and DLC.
    -Sx SO is the only way to load the file.

    Is XCI the same size as a NSP (example A.xci vs A.nsp)?
    When a nsp installed is it the same size as the actual file?

    In order to play XCI is the cartridge software emulated and that is why no other dev want to touch it? / whats stopping other devs from creating a method to install nsp on external storage like a usb stick.

    Sorry I am not a dev I am just wondering if there are items that are not talked about or i missed some information.
     
  2. Undi

    Undi TRASH 悲しい天使

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    Don't take my word for absolutely 100% accurate, but NSP are just a compacted file that contain the same game file XCI have, with some more infos files to be able for the switch to install it.

    Sorry for bad English.
     
    Last edited by Undi, Mar 19, 2019
  3. tinkle

    tinkle taciturn shill girl

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    XCI and NSP are virtually identical, but XCI has certificates and can be used with cart-slot-redirection, a feature currently (and probably only) limited to SXOS. They're mounted like cartridges and therefore playable as any cartridge would be. AFAIK, it's an ethical issue as much like older flash carts would 'pretend' to be games by using cloned headers, so too does TX's implementation of cart redirection.

    The reason you can't install NSPs to USB drives is because the Switch has no logic for it presently. I imagine it might be trivial to do MicroSD Slot -> USB redirection, the way the PSTV does (or similar,) but that might be outside the scope and benefit range of projects right now.

    As for filesize, an XCI will be the size of the cartridge at first (if dumped,) but when trimmed of that excess space will be roughly the same as an NSP of the same.
     
    Last edited by tinkle, Mar 19, 2019
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  4. Picalo
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    Picalo Advanced Member

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    Hey Tinkle, thank you for the response. In other words its all about cart/microsd-slot-redirection and that is what SXOS has implemented in their CFW. Why only SXOS (sorry I am new to the switch and the CFW devs). Is SXOS emulating the XCI when loaded? or once the redirection is made it tricks the system in thinking its a cartridge?

    thank you undi.
     
  5. AnalogMan

    AnalogMan ultraSuMoFramework Dev

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    XCI files are basically the same as ROM files. a 1:1 clone of the data on a cartridge. Since cartridges contain some additional info like FW update files they tend to be bigger than their NSP counterparts.

    Cartridges (and thus XCIs) can come with Updates or DLC on the cart. The Switch is designed to recognize these and load data from them directly rather than installing them. Since XCIs are 1:1 copies of cartridges, we can exploit this behavior and make custom XCIs with Updates or DLC built into them allowing us to play the updates and DLC without installing it.

    SX OS are currently the only ones that have XCI mounting because the only way to get it done right now involves including copyrighted sectors of a real game cartridge to be passed to the game card slot to then trick it to be redirected to the XCI file. SX OS doesn't care about the legal ramifications of this and does it anyway while trying to hide it away but other open-source devs would not do this as it's very illegal. Source: #43

    Since NSPs only contain the game and metadata info and not other data like firmware files, an NSPs size is roughly equal to the space the games will take up once installed.
     
  6. Reploid

    Reploid GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    I would put it like this.

    SXOS is like daemon tools and XCI is like ISO file that it mounts to virtual cart drive.
     
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  7. tinkle

    tinkle taciturn shill girl

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    Thats more-or-less accurate, yup! SXOS are the only ones doing it, I think for reasons twofold: their implementation requires Nintendo code to load, and XCI releases are associated with the 'scene' and ergo piracy. NSP compatibility can at least be pretensed as being for patches.
     
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  8. Picalo
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    Picalo Advanced Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
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    Thank you all, now it makes more sense why XCI mounting will not be coming out to other cfw any time soon. I guess I will buy SX OS once the new release is iron out a bit more.
     
    Last edited by Picalo, Mar 19, 2019
  9. kumikochan

    kumikochan GBAtemp Psycho!

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    XCI's are illegal, NSP's aren't. That simple. Also why free CFW aren't implementing it since they can get sued and go through legal troubles and so forth since they're not China based hackers who for some reason are quite immune to the law since the Chinese goverment doesn't do shit also the reason why every game has dumb chinese aimbotters in it
     
    Last edited by kumikochan, Mar 19, 2019
  10. Reploid

    Reploid GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    For realz? how cum?
     
  11. kumikochan

    kumikochan GBAtemp Psycho!

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    are you being sarcastic with using the word '' cum '' instead of come
     
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  12. Reploid

    Reploid GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    It's pun. Or post-irony, I'm not sure.
     
  13. KirovAir

    KirovAir Dutch Alcoholic Programmer

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    They are both illegal if they contain copyrighted material.
     
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  14. Baoulettes

    Baoulettes The lonely man

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    Did I understand right ? you mean nsp are legal somehow ?
    (truly asking cause in logic it should not)
    pardon me if I did get wrong what you mean :)
     
  15. mrdude

    mrdude GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Dec 11, 2015
    Not quite true - homebrew nsp's aren't illegal. Any sold games from ninty are copyright and it's illegal to share/install them on your device. If you're going to tell people something isn't illegal - don't go sparingly with the truth.

    It's just as illegal to download/install and play and NSP version of a copyright game than it is to play an XCI version - if you're going to break that law (which 99.9% of us are doing) - it makes no difference how you break it, the game devs are still not making money from you/ninty is not making money from you. Thinking is less ethical to and illegal to play an nsp version over an xci version is wishful thinking on your part. The only people that whinge about xci - are those that don't wish to pay for an sx os licence & want everything for free - including games & cfw.
     
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  16. Picalo
    OP

    Picalo Advanced Member

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    Feb 18, 2019
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    mrdude
    Is it still illegal if you purchase the cartridge and install the nsp on your system?
    (asking to better understand)
     
  17. ScarletDreamz

    ScarletDreamz [Debug Mode]

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    Yes.
     
  18. wurstpistole

    wurstpistole I got 8 warning points

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    ...what? Do you really believe that? That's utterly wrong. Of course, a NSP of a copyrighted game is just as illegal as an XCI.
     
  19. Elalexyzoner

    Elalexyzoner Alex95

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    It is, Retroarch is also legal if u have the game cartridges
     
  20. kumikochan

    kumikochan GBAtemp Psycho!

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    An NSP by itself ain't illegal, if a game is packed as an NSP it is but an XCI is always illegal because it contains headers

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    an XCI is always illegal while an NSP is only when a game is packed as an NSP but an NSP by itself ain't illegal while an XCI always will be
     
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