Videogame emulation is great at two things: preserving gaming history, and allowing people to easily pirate old software. The industry’s relationship with emulation has been rocky as a result, but Xbox’s excellent first-party emulation efforts have offered everyone a bit of hope – until those efforts came to an end following the most recent Xbox backward compatibility update. Still, the head of Xbox has hope that the industry will come to a solution to preserve old games.
“My hope (and I think I have to present it that way as of now) is as an industry we’d work on legal emulation that allowed modern hardware to run any (within reason) older executable allowing someone to play any game,” Xbox boss Phil Spencer tells Axios.
Spencer’s stated hope comes just after Microsoft’s gaming division brought its own first-party emulation efforts to an end. “While we continue to stay focused on preserving and enhancing the art form of games,” as the announcement put it, “we have reached the limit of our ability to bring new games to the catalog from the past due to licensing, legal, and technical constraints.”