Hackers are always looking for more creative ways to use their video game consoles, but it seems that Microsoft is not impressed with their efforts to install unauthorized emulators on Xbox consoles. The console maker has reportedly begun issuing 15-day suspensions for those who used a loophole to install emulators like RetroArch onto their Xboxes.
As spotted by VGC and reported by YouTuber Hikikomori Media, a group calling itself UWeaPons Store discovered a way to install unauthorized emulator applications on Xbox Series X|S consoles in Retail Mode. The group only offered this method to those who subscribed to their Patreon for $2 a month. However, a staff member of the Discord server Xbox Emulation Hub named GoldenSky recently stated that “retail mode is dead,” citing the 15-day bans as a “warning shot from Xbox.”
“Please take my advice and do not begin trying to upload retail mode emulators,” they wrote, in a statement obtained by VGC. “Microsoft are console banning people caught uploading retail mode emulators, don’t take that risk for yourself, and don’t put others at risk either. It’s not worth it anymore, just use dev mode.”
As the above statement indicates, players still have the option of using the Xbox Series X|S’s optional developer mode to play emulators on their console. However, this mode has significant downsides, as it requires a one-time fee of $20, and it requires users to switch back and forth, as it cannot be used to play their library of retail games. Emulation remains the only way to play a large portion of the classic video games in existence, as a recent study found that 87% of classic games are inaccessible or “extremely difficult” to play.
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