As it turns out, the best emulator console you can buy may soon be the Xbox One. Libretro announced on Twitter recently that the emulator will be coming to Xbox One in “early 2019.”
While the logistics of exactly how this will work aren’t entirely clear yet, there are a few details available. First of all, Microsoft doesn’t allow game emulators in its Store, so the odds of RetroArch showing up in an official channel is pretty slim. Libretro noted that it could make the emulator available in the Store without any installed Cores, but that’s unlikely.
We’ve bit the bullet and will commit to releasing an Xbox One port of RetroArch for early 2019! Might require Developer Activation and might not be available on the Store but will be possible for anybody with an Xbone to obtain nonetheless! pic.twitter.com/hcZpiPBCPg
— libretro (@libretro) December 28, 2018
What’s more probable is that the app will be available for sideloading, which requires the Xbox to be in Developer Mode. That means users who are interested in turning their Xbone into an emulation station will need to cough up the $19 to active a developer account. Woo.
Once that’s done, however, it’s easy peasy from there. You can’t run officially licensed Xbox games or software while in developer mode, but there’s a simple “switch and restart” button for moving between Retail and Developer Modes.
All in all, this sounds pretty promising for Xbox users who are also interested in playing some old school titles without having to set up a dedicated emulation machine. We’ll let you know once this is officially available, along with the details on how to make it work for you.