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Microsoft Clamps Down On Emulation In Xbox Consoles

Microsoft Clamps Down On Emulation In Xbox Consoles

by Low Boon ShenApril 11, 2023
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Microsoft Clamps Down On Emulation In Xbox Consoles

Users were able to download emulation tools despite the policy not allowing so.

Microsoft Clamps Down On Emulation In Xbox Consoles

Image: @gamr12 (Twitter)

Xbox Series X|S users who currently uses game emulation software likely has been locked out from accessing it – as Microsoft clamps down on the practice. This is despite the fact that policies has already banned such practice way before, however it’s the matter of enforcement in this case.

Gamecrater has noted that apps like PPSPP, RetroArch was in fact available in Microsoft Store prior to the policy change. Since then, users were able to continue downloading these tools through direct downloads in the Edge browser – much like how Windows users get their apps for the most part. When attempting to launch the apps, users will be greeted with this message: “Unable to launch this game or app. The game or app you’re trying to launch violates Microsoft Store policy and is not supported.”

Game emulation, by itself, is technically not illegal – there are actual use cases for these tools, of which the use cases are well within the legal boundaries. Microsoft likely knows this, which is why they have left one option available for those who needs emulation access: by purchasing a Xbox developer license with a one-time $20 fee. However, this is not available on all regions, so that still left some of the emulation community rather miffed.


Microsoft has said in a statement to Kotaku: “We continually evolve our mechanisms for reviewing and taking enforcement actions on content distributed to the Store to ensure alignment with our Microsoft Store Policies.”

Source: PCMag | Ars Technica

Pokdepinion: One might wonder if Nintendo’s strict IP policies may have an effect to such decisions (since their games are most often played in emulation, which they are obviously unhappy about). 

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Low Boon Shen
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