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Microsoft restricts Xbox Series X and Series S game emulation.

Photo: Xbox

Microsoft prohibits Xbox Series X | S game emulations. On Thursday, RetroArch Xbox emulation software distributor @gamr12 tweeted the error message they encountered while trying to start emulated games.

“Unable to launch this game or app.” “The game or software you’re launching violates Microsoft Store rules and is not supported.” Users using Xbox Series X | S emulation software describe the same issue.

Emulation software was available on the Xbox Series X | S when it was released in 2020. The Xbox Series X | S could play PlayStation 2, GameCube, Wii, and other classics. Unfortunately, it appears this nearly three-year run has ended.

@gamr12 noted that the Xbox Series X | S could imitate Development Mode games, which cost money. Microsoft only removed the option while the console is in Retail Mode, which customers can turn on for free with a little technical know-how.

Alyanna, an emulator aficionado and Microsoft Azure developer alleges she contacted an anonymous “friend in the Xbox QA team” about the restriction weeks ago, who stated Nintendo was to blame.

“The major reason for the restriction is connected to legal difficulties with Nintendo,” according to the message, which has not been verified. Emulating itself is lawful. However, it may be used to play games from systems under copyright protection without authorization, which might cause problems with Nintendo and its affiliates.

According to Kotaku, Microsoft officially forbade emulations, although it usually overlooked them. “We regularly update our systems for monitoring and taking enforcement actions on information supplied to the Store to maintain conformity with our Microsoft Store Policies,” Microsoft informs Kotaku. “Per 10.13.10, Products that replicate a gaming system or game platform are not allowed on any device family,” Microsoft adds. The Verge didn’t hear back from the corporation.

I wouldn’t be shocked if Nintendo swayed Microsoft. Nintendo has historically frowned on emulated games unless it can benefit from them (NES/SNES Mini, Nintendo Switch Online game bundles, etc.). In 2019, Nintendo sued for $1.2 million. In addition, Gary Bowser, a Canadian hacker who sold Switch hacks, was fined $10 million and sentenced to 40 months in jail by Nintendo.

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