Microsoft disabled game emulation on the Xbox Series X and Series S
Xbox Series X | Microsoft prevents users from running game emulations on the S. On Thursday, Twitter user @gamr12, who helped distribute RetroArch emulation software on Xbox, posted an error message he received while running emulated content.
The message says "This game or application cannot be launched." "The game or app you are trying to launch violates Microsoft Store policies and is not supported." Xbox Series X | Users with other emulation software have reported the same problem in S.
Microsoft first released the Xbox Series X | When it launched in 2020, users found they could install and run emulation software. This is the Xbox Series X | This made it possible to play many classic games on the S, including those for the PlayStation 2, GameCube, Wii, etc. Now, however, that nearly three-year run appears to have come to an end.
As @gamr12 pointed out, you can emulate the game on Xbox Series X. S, but you only have to pay if you put your device in developer mode. Microsoft only seems to have removed this option when the console switches to retail mode. This is something that all users with a little technical knowledge can change for free.
It's still unclear what caused the change, but Aliana, who says she's an avid fan of the Microsoft Azure emulator and developer, identified an anonymous friend on the Xbox QA team a few weeks ago who claims to have been contacted regarding the issue. Nintendo is banned.
The source and claims of the message have not been confirmed or verified, but it states, "The main reason for the ban is related to Nintendo's legal issues." The emulation itself is not illegal, but it can be used to play copyrighted console games without a license used, which can cause problems for Nintendo and its affiliates.
Microsoft's rules technically don't allow emulation, but Kotaku says the company has generally looked the other way in the past. "We are constantly improving the Store's content control mechanisms and implementing enforcement actions to ensure that it complies with Microsoft Store policies," Microsoft says of Kotaku. "As of 10/13/2010, products that emulate a game system or platform are not permitted on any device family," Microsoft said in a statement. The company did not immediately respond to The Verge's request for comment.
I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo was the catalyst for Microsoft's decision. Nintendo has long supported emulated games - unless, of course, the company can make them profitable (see: NES / SNES mini, Nintendo Switch online game bundles, etc.). In 2019, Nintendo sued the website Rome Universe for $1.2 million. Nintendo also prosecuted Gary Bowser, a Canadian hacker who sold Switch hacks, who agreed to pay a $10 million fine and is currently serving a 40-month prison sentence.