Published in Gaming

Microsoft wants to keep older games in circulation

by on18 November 2021

Emulation will do the trick

Microsoft's vice president of gaming, Phil Spencer, wants the gaming industry to work toward a common goal of keeping older games available to modern audiences through emulation.

According to Axios, Spencer thinks that emulation allows modern hardware to simulate the functions of older hardware and run game files, or executables.

"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", he said.

Voles newer consoles -- the Xbox Series and Xbox One -- run huge libraries of older Xbox 360 and original Xbox games using this technique.

Emulators are most commonly used worldwide by fans, preservationists and pirates. They run games from the original Nintendo era to more recent PlayStations, but there is no consistent use of them by the industry.

An official industry emulation approach would require long-term online support to offer game files and to possibly check if the user has the right to access them.

Spencer, whose own platform has some of these issues, still sees a path forward. "I think in the end, if we said, 'Hey, anybody should be able to buy any game, or own any game and continue to play,' that seems like a great North Star for us as an industry."


Last modified on 18 November 2021
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