Xbox consoles, even some of the older ones, make great emulation devices. In the past getting emulators onto a game console would require circumventing DRM controls but lately things have become a bit easier.
My project this weekend was getting Retroarch installed on my Xbox Series X. The good news is that the process was so easy I spent more time playing than configuring!
This process initially required setting the console into developer mode but this new method allows any retail console to work without modification or mode switching. I found this guide at MakeTechEasier.com to be pretty helpful. If you’re somebody who needs a little more of a visual step-by-step ETA Prime has a great tutorial that you can find here.
The Xbox Series consoles have pretty powerful CPUs that can handle emulation of nearly every supported core that Retroarch offers. That includes even more complex consoles like the Playstation 2 and Gamecube/Wii. You can even load the games up on a USB flash drive which is detailed in the tutorials linked above.
The MiSTer is still my go-to retro device but for certain things like more recent game consoles and Sega Super Scaler arcade titles Retroarch on the Xbox is a great combination. It was awesome playing Afterburner 2 on my 65″ OLED with its awesome soundtrack pumping through my home theater audio. And although I will probably re-map some of the controls the general experience I found to be excellent insofar as compatibility, gameplay and performance are concerned.
If you’re curious about Retroarch and why it’s so popular, check out this interview I did with a member of the Retroarch team a few years back. They do some amazing work making emulation less complex for the masses!