Jan 6 2021
Play retro games on X-Box One or X-Box Series X|S
Next gen consoles are selling as fast as stores can get inventory. Right now the PS5 seems to be getting a bit more press than the Series X|S line of consoles, but for retro gamers. the XBox line has an ace in the hole that might be the tipping point: you can run emulators on it to have your retro and modern game libraries all in one location.

There are a few catches and hitches, but none of this requires hacking the console. In the X-Box Marketplace there is an app called Dev Mode, which allows any user to switch their console into Developer mode for game development. As a bonus, this mode allows users to run unsigned code. There is a $20 dollar fee for a Dev Mode key for your account, which is the only amount you will have to pay. When in Dev mode, you cannot run retail software. That being said, all it takes is a quick reboot to switch back from Dev mode to Retail mode.

Once in dev mode, you will have an IP address to access the system. Use that address on your PC to access the XBox Device Portal. Once there you can setup Retroarch from here (be sure to look under the Windows icon in the UWP section) and upload them to your system. Some consoles will require a BIOS file as well. I can't link to those files, but Google is your friend.

Compatibility is quite good. Any 8 and 16 bit title will obviously work flawlessly, but PS1 era titles also run with no problems. Handhelds up to the PSP run with no lag whatsoever. Some games all the way up to the Wii and PS2 era also run not only perfectly, but with enhancements such as 60 FPS. This means that the X-Box Series X|S line has better backwards compatibility with Sony consoles than their own PS5.

For those retro gamers who also want to enjoy their more modern games, the new X-Box consoles are easily the best bang for the buck, especially the Series X which as of this writing is cheaper than a comparatively specced PC. This also allows you the convenience of having one system handle everything without swapping inputs or running multiple devices. I won't be giving up my arcades or older consoles, but I'll also enjoy the convenience of having one box do it all in one room.

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