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Softmodding is the practice of modifying a console with software alone, without having to use hardware such as external circuit boards wired to the motherboard of the console.
The Xbox could be softmodded, but it first required an exploit in MechAssault to be taken advantage of. The player would need to use Datel's Action Replay for the Xbox to upload a custom save file (that has been set-up to use this exploit), and then load it via the game. The exploit causes a buffer overrun which allows a minimal Linux to be installed; a full install of Linux can then be performed from the dashboard.