Xbox cracks down on emulation apps on Xbox Series X|S


Microsoft has effectively shut down classic game emulation on the Xbox Series X|S last week, with notable emulator RetroArch getting the axe.

The popular multi-system emulator was effectively killed off on March 6th, as noted by a collaborator on the software.

“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s been a good run. But now we’ve no choice but to [ping] Xbox and Phil Spencer,” user gamr13 said. They also added the hashtag #LetUsEmulate.

When the Xbox Series X and S launched back in November 2020 they were basically a haven for emulation fans – with multiple emulators readily available. RetroArch is an all-in-one frontend that lets users emulate ROMs from the PS2 to the original Nintendo.

If you got the emulator(s) from the Microsoft Store before you were able to still use them even if Microsoft pulled them, only now the company killed off access to that as well.

Now, the only way to install emulators on your Series X or S console is to pay the $20 fee to get access to their developer mode, which effectively lets you run whatever you want on the console.

Running the emulator now says the app has violated Microsoft Store policy. An email has been circulating on other sites that claims Microsoft is just enforcing their terms of service – though they were apparently lax on that before.

This is apparently not the case according to the emulator folks. “The email going around is seemingly incorrect,” the organizer said. “I can’t provide much more detail than that. It’s also not as cut and dry as Microsoft wanting to suddenly enforce ToS.”

This is Niche Gamer Tech. In this column, we regularly cover tech and things related to the tech industry.

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