Gamer-Friendly Microsoft is Missing the Obvious Official Xbox Emulator

  • Backward compatibility is important to numerous people.
  • So far only the Xbox One has any decent level of backward compatibility with previous generation consoles.
  • Microsoft should release a commercially available software emulator of the original Xbox console.

Backward compatibility is pretty important to a lot of people. It allows older games to remain archived, so we don’t lose access to any classics. Xbox is really the only console brand that is taking the practice seriously, at least so far that’s the case.

On the Xbox One, you can play 360 and original Xbox games with ease. Just pop it in and you’re away. At least, that’s as long as it’s on the list of compatible games that Microsoft released.

Since they seem to be the only company that cares about archiving, Microsoft needs to just release an official Xbox emulator for PC already.

Right now original Xbox emulation is fiddly and difficult to grasp, making great exclusives like Jet Set Radio Future difficult to play. | Source: CCN/W.S.Worrall

Emulation Is Important and Needs More Official Support

Emulation is a bit of a dirty word in the games industry. Companies like Nintendo do everything they can do stop it from existing. Even going so far as to shut down huge emulation sites or fan ROM-hacks.

Things weren’t always this way. Back in the 90s, there were several commercial pieces of emulation software that went on sale for PC. Obviously, they were quashed by PlayStation for understandable reasons. The knock-on effect was the commercial emulation was killed for decades.

Some, very limited, forms of commercial emulation are now cropping up again. Stuff like the virtual console, or basic ports of PS2 games to the PSN marketplace is good examples. But, what emulation really needs is a company to really get behind it.

The company needs to be Microsoft.

Microsoft’s Original Xbox Is the Perfect Candidate for a Commercial Emulator

The original Xbox was pretty underrated when it came out. While it had some killer apps like the Halo game and Doom 3, it didn’t sell all that well. These days, there aren’t many exclusives that many people seem to talk about.

If Microsoft did release an original Xbox emulator, it would be a great step towards archiving some of the genuinely great Xbox exclusives out there. The original Xbox was also designed to be similar to a PC so developers would have an easier time. That, in all likelihood, should make it much easier to actually create emulation software for it.

So far, progress on the homebrew scene has been slow for Xbox emulation. It would be much faster if Microsoft themselves were helping out. It would be a great PR move for them too. Especially since they’ve stopped adding games to the console compatibility list now.

This article was edited by Samburaj Das.

Last modified: February 13, 2020 11:16 AM UTC