Over the past few months, we have reported that Microsoft has started cracking down on users who uploaded emulators to run games from older consoles on its Xbox consoles while running in normal retail mode.
At first, Microsoft simply deleted those emulators from the Xbox store. Later, some developers claimed they found a way to avoid having their emulators detected by Microsoft. Now it looks like the company is getting serious about not having its Xbox gamers upload, or even use, game emulators in retail mode.
Windows Central reports that many Xbox gamers have received 15-day suspensions from signing onto their account for just using emulators in retail mode on their console. Former Neowin writer and current Verge writer Tom Warren reports on his X (formerly Twitter) account that some players have been banned outright if they upload retail mode emulators to the Xbox store.
the community involved in getting Xbox emulators back running in retail mode warn that Microsoft is issuing 15-day suspensions for people running emulator apps in retail mode. "Microsoft are console banning people caught uploading retail mode emulators" too. Back to dev mode... https://t.co/Pbpwk7KphK pic.twitter.com/kLxHU6r371— Tom Warren (@tomwarren) July 28, 2023
The lesson here is that Microsoft doesn't want to deal with emulation software on its Xbox consoles while in normal retail mode. The reasons for such a most are likely because the company does not want to be sued by Sony, Nintendo, or other game publishers for allowing their games to run on Xbox hardware.
Microsoft is still allowing for emulators to be uploaded and used if the Xbox console is switched over to developer mode. However, this option is not available in all of Microsoft's Xbox markets. More importantly, it also costs $20 to enable this option, by signing up for an Xbox developer account. Right now, it looks like this will be the only way emulator gamers can play those games on Xbox hardware.