Microsoft removes one specific thing from every Xbox

Microsoft is preventing the Xbox Series X/S console from running emulation software.

By Jason Collins | Published

Microsoft is removing emulators from your Xbox Series X/S console, preventing you from running emulator software. Those close to the Xbox QA teams said some legal issues with Nintendo were to blame, and following our previous reports of Nintendo suing everyone playing with their IPs, including a popular YouTuber, we were inclined to believe the rumours. However, things aren’t always what they seem, and apparently Nintendo had nothing to do with the emulator ban – they didn’t even sue Valve over the Nintendo Switch emulator on Steam. Deck.

According to Ars Technica, the reason for the ban is the usual corporate greed embodied in various policies preventing users from running emulation software. And Microsoft Xbox has every right to ban emulation software from its platform. In fact, in section 10.13.10 of its Official Store Policy, Microsoft clearly prohibits emulation of any gaming system or gaming platform, or any device in the Xbox family of devices. But before we dive into the duplicity of Microsoft’s action, let’s discuss how we got here in the first place.

Although the sales figures demonstrate the gaming community’s preference for the PlayStation 5 as the console of choice, the Xbox Series X is a perfect machine in terms of raw computing power. The difference is marginal, but it still exists. The console’s younger brother, the Xbox Series S, while admittedly not as powerful, still retains the basic architecture of the Xbox Series consoles, which is similar to the PC, making it easier to develop third-party software, such as emulators, for said Microsoft Xbox consoles. .


This has given rise to a large number of emulators for Microsoft’s Xbox Series X/S consoles, capable of running older titles from other platforms, including the PlayStation 2, Nintendo Wii, Nintendo GameCube, and some Xbox 360 titles that are not supported. by Microsoft’s official backwards compatibility feature. Now the emulation itself isn’t illegal, but owning intellectual property ROMs that are still protected by copyright laws is, especially if you didn’t purchase the game through the official channels or run the game on the platform it was supposed to run on.

Xbox gamers could previously run titles from the aforementioned platforms and sing the latest Microsoft Xbox consoles launched. Microsoft certainly tried to enforce this policy, but the app was only at its own store level, meaning users could still run emulators they had downloaded from other sources. Well, that’s no longer possible since Microsoft cracked down on emulation software, preventing anyone from running “unsigned” software on their console.

It’s easy enough to blame Nintendo for the crackdown, given the company’s history of ruthlessly pursuing anyone who infringes on its intellectual property in even the slightest way. The Japanese gaming giant has been known to remove its most popular games or even shut down its biggest tournaments for these same reasons. But Microsoft has openly stated that Nintendo had nothing to do with cracking down on emulation. They reaffirmed that they were only applying their policy, considering that emulation was prohibited from the start.

And that’s where the double standards come in. You cannot run any emulation software on your Microsoft Xbox console, even if you are a paid Xbox Game Pass customer, with your console in retail mode. However, if you switch your console to developer mode, for a one-time payment of $20 you can run any “unsigned” software on your console. So Microsoft is actually pretty cold about emulation as long as they get a slice of the pie to run their competitors’ titles on their native hardware.

We vaguely remember joking about playing God of the war on Xbox after PlayStation decided to port the reboot, which resulted in God of the war come to PC. Turns out you still can; you only need to pay a one-time fee of $20 to access Microsoft Xbox Dev Mode.

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