The YouTube channel Digital Foundry managed to emulate Windows 98 on the Xbox Series X and S. It doesn’t really help, but completing this technical challenge is still pretty damn cool.

Microsoft Xbox Series X reviews Frandroid (1)
Xbox Series X // Source: Arnaud Gelineau — Frandroid

Computer hackers often aim to run an operating system or software on a computer that was not originally designed for it. A Running gag settled around demise firstly the name, which can work on any imaginable electronic device as long as it is equipped with a screen.

This time it’s Windows 98 and the Xbox Series X | S being targeted by YouTube channel Digital Foundry and Alex Battaglia. They’ve managed to get this ancient operating system up and running and playing video games, not without some hiccups.

Difficult manipulations with RetroArch

The latest Xbox generations are sufficiently modifiable and manipulable to install an emulator of the likes of RetroArch, which is one of the most well-known. The latter allows, among other things, to play the first PlayStation consoles, the Nintendo 64 and the GameCube. To do this, you’ll need to activate the console’s developer mode, which costs 14 euros, or go through a more involved process (which, however, may result in your Xbox Live account being banned).

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Once the emulator was installed and configured, Digital Foundry added a plugin called DOSBox Pure and provided itself with a copy of Windows 98. In order to play games, the images then need to be transferred to the Xbox.

Play Windows 98 games on the latest Xbox

Digital Foundry runs some demonstrations in the video explaining the process, failures and achievements. We see several games being played there such as; Turok, Roller coaster tycoon and Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun. But that’s not all: it’s Windows 98, which means that preinstalled software like Microsoft Paint or Word 97 will also work.

Titles that seem to perform better on Series X than Series S, with the latter being less powerful. The biggest problem, however, concerns the accessories. If the keyboard is well recognized and functional, the controller is not at all. Alex Battaglia had to use it in his experiments joystick his Xbox controller.

Microsoft Xbox Series X reviews Frandroid (5)
The ports are easy to spot on the back // Source: Arnaud Gelineau — Frandroid

Therefore, if you want to emulate Windows 98, we advise you to go through a computer, whether it’s a Windows or macOS machine. The operating system will be easier to use and the mouse will be functional. In addition, several games are relaunched in HD versions for the nostalgic.


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