UPDATE: Xbox starts blocking access to emulators. In his personal Twitter account, Jason Ronald, project manager at Microsoft, stated that the company is not working to restrict access to Developer Mode. According to him, in the regular process of maintaining company accounts to delete some inactive profiles, there were errors that accidentally took away some people’s access.
Ronald said the company is already aware of the inconvenience and is actively working to restore the deactivated accounts as soon as possible. Once this happens, affected users will be able to turn Developer Mode back on and use its resources again.
Original news, Xbox starts blocking access to emulators
Featuring powerful hardware, the Xbox Series S and Series X consoles have become highly appreciated by the emulation community for their ability to easily play games from PlayStation 1, GameCube, Wii and other platforms. However, it seems that Microsoft is not very happy with this and has started to block access to the option of platforms that allow this to happen.
Created to allow independent developers to work more easily on their projects, Xbox Developer Mode allowed the installation of popular homebrews and emulators like RetroArch. While until recently everyone could access the option for a small fee, the company began sending emails, blocking access to many users.
As reported by YouTuber Modern Vintage Gamer, Xbox owners are receiving messages claiming they are being removed from the program for “not having an active in-store presence”. The company also states that its Code of Conduct makes clear that this is necessary to ensure that Developer Mode privileges are preserved.
Decision should reduce homebrews on Xbox
In practice, what Microsoft is doing is removing from its program “developers” who didn’t join it with the ultimate goal of creating games. While it makes sense, the decision proves controversial in that everyone who entered the mode had to pay a $20 fee to do so.
While the company has always put in its terms that it could terminate access to the service on dormant accounts, its current actions indicate a move against initiatives it can classify as piracy. Vintage Gamer himself claims that he created his developer account at the time the feature was released on Xbox One, and that he has only now had problems with its inactivity in the store.
The community dedicated to the emulation also criticized the fact that the company did not make any prior announcement about the closure of accounts before access was blocked. This does not mean that Developer Mode is being pulled out of the Xbox Series S and Series X, but rather that it is likely to be tightened up in 2022, resulting in severe impacts on the emulation and homebrew communities.
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