Microsoft Officially Bans Emulators From Windows Store

Microsoft has revised Windows Store policy to remove emulators. The new rules bar any applications that emulate preexisting game systems, resulting in the removal of a popular program that supported games from Nintendo and Sega consoles.

The new policies explicitly disallow emulators on "any device family". It's a wide-reaching change that stymies emulation efforts on Windows 10, Xbox One and mobile devices. The policy was amended on March 29 and is just now affecting applications in the store. One of the emulators getting the axe is the NESbox Universal Emulator. It supported ROMs from the NES and Super Nintendo as well as the Sega Genesis.

The Universal Emulator has something of a history with Microsoft. Last year, it found its way through the certification process and ended up on the Xbox One storefront. A few days later, it was removed. A similar situation occurred with the Nintendo 64 emulator Win64e10.

Game companies have taken icy positions towards video game emulation, which allows games to be played on hardware other than their original platform. Nintendo's FAQ page on the subject equates it with crimes like counterfeiting and piracy. Emulators have never been found illegal in a court of law.

Emulation has formed a cornerstone for preservationists looking to keep older games alive as physical media deteriorates, and provides a platform for games that can no longer be played on their original systems. Blocking them from Microsoft storefronts makes it slightly harder to play older games.

Then again, there's always Google.


    I wonder if this is all emulation or just emulators themselves. Many old games running on newer systems (Such as the PS2 HD remasters) are emulator software wrapping the original game. If emulation of any kind is banned then XBox owners can say goodbye to all of that.

      What do you mean about Xbox owners, your statement seems confusing to me?

      The answer is almost certainly that emulated games are safe. In that case only the game is being exposed, not the system itself, and the restriction specifically applies to "apps that emulate a game system".

      Half of Rare Replay is emulated so no but as for win 10 well just have to get our emulators or in the wild i guess

      Is a pity I really liked NESBOX

    Playing NESbox through the browser and having and absolute blast. Hoping they don't find a way to ban that. :P

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