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Yesterday, Microsoft pulled the plug in a big way by not allowing emulators on Xbox Series X|S or the Xbox One, as consumers who booted up their previously downloaded emulators discovered they could no longer open them due to the emulator in question “violating Microsoft Store policy.” The whole situation is muddy, with no formal announcement from Microsoft on the matter – but an employee from the Microsoft Azure team shared an email she received from a friend at the Xbox QA team:



The contents state that Microsoft has banned emulators primarily due to legal issues with Nintendo, due to “[playing] games from consoles that are still under copyright protection without permission, which can create issues with Nintendo and its affiliates.” They also cite a security risk, and note that emulators are still playable in dev mode (which is much more limited), stating that they’re looking for ways to bring emulation onto Xbox “while ensuring that all copyright laws and security protocols are followed.”

The source seems trustworthy enough, and we all know how persnickety Nintendo can be about their IP, so the report is quite plausible, though without a hard receipt it should as always be taken with a grain of salt. With the recent announcement of Dolphin Emulator for Steam, this is quickly becoming a hot topic, and we’ll be sure to report on any other Nintendo-related emulation matters as they come to light.


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Written by Amelia Fruzzetti

A writer and Nintendo fan based in Seattle, Washington. When not working for NinWire, she can be found eating pasta, writing stories, and wondering about when Mother 3 is finally going to get an official localization.