Support for original Xbox console games is coming to Xbox One this year, Microsoft announced (somewhat unexpectedly) during its E3 press conference, but with the space between its Xbox and Windows 10 PC platforms becoming much more nebulous, is this something that could be supported on PC too? Xbox boss Phil Spencer thinks so.
“I want people to be able to play games! [Emulation] is hard. [Xbox] 360 specifically is a PowerPC chip, emulated to x86, which is difficult. It’s a little bit easier when you have a fixed spec, when you think about Xbox, Xbox One S, and Xbox One X. And you think of the variable specs of the PC space, so you’re taking a fixed-spec PowerPC emulator and then moving it over to run on PC, so there’s a lot of work there,” he explained to PC Gamer.
“The original Xbox, OG Xbox, is a little bit easier, because that was an x86 chip it was running on. Obviously when we think about UWP and the ability for games to run across console and PC, we’re getting closer. I want developers to be able to build portable applications, which is why we’ve been focusing on UWP for games and even apps that want to run on multiple devices.
“So I think we’ve got work to go do there, but I think it’s in our future.”
For whatever reason, existing unofficial Xbox emulation isn’t much of a thing. I managed to find something called Cxbx-Reloaded which according to its most recent update “is still pretty unstable, don’t expect it to run much at this point”, and XQEMU on which “most things don’t work” and “everything is slow”. So, uh.