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Microsoft Crackdown Disables Emulators Downloaded To Xbox Consoles

Friday April 7, 2023. 10:01 PM , from Slashdot
An anonymous reader shares a report: Back in 2020, we reported that emulator developers were using a hole in the Xbox Store's app distribution system to get around Microsoft's longstanding ban on emulators running on Xbox consoles. This week, though, many of the emulators that were distributed through that workaround have stopped working, the apparent victims of a new crackdown by Microsoft. Xbox emulator makers and users can't say they weren't warned. In the 'Gaming and Xbox' section of Microsoft's official Store Policies, section 10.13.10 clearly states that 'products that emulate a game system or game platform are not allowed on any device family.'

Microsoft's enforcement of this clause has historically focused on removing emulators published as 'private' UWP apps to the Xbox Store. Those apps could be distributed to whitelisted users via direct links accessed on the system's Edge browser, getting around the usual approval process for a public store listing. Previously, users who downloaded one of these 'hidden' emulator listings before Microsoft's inevitable takedown could run that emulator on an unmodified retail system indefinitely. That is no longer the case; trying to launch downloaded versions of emulators like Xenia or Retrospection on an Xbox console now generates an error saying, 'Unable to launch this game or app. The game or app you're trying to launch violates Microsoft Store policy and is not supported.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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