Update: Well, here's an interesting update to the story! Xbox Director of Project Management Jason Ronald has taken to Twitter this evening to state that Microsoft has "no plans to remove or disable Developer Mode on Xbox consoles", while also confirming that various Dev Mode accounts were "inadvertently deactivated" as part of routine maintenance.
Here's a look at the full statement across all four tweets:
Original story: By now, you've probably heard about a trick that allows you to turn the Xbox Series X or Series S into a glorified emulation system with the ability to run PS1, PS2, GameCube and Wii games — but it looks like Microsoft is finally clamping down on it.
This trick requires you to pay for developer mode access, but now multiple reports are coming in that Microsoft is disabling those dev mode accounts, stating that they "did not have an active presence in the Store."
Here's the wording from the email being sent to multiple dev mode users:
"We have disabled the Windows and Xbox enrollment in your Microsoft Partner Center account because it did not have an active presence in the Store. For reference, see the Developer Code of Conduct which says that an active presence in the Store must be maintained."
Ultimately then, it sounds like Microsoft is suggesting that because these "developers" aren't actually utilising their accounts to create games or apps as intended, the accounts are essentially inactive and are being removed as a result — even despite the fact that people have paid $20 for them, which is certainly a bit of a bummer.
Then again, this trick was always a bit of a risky practice for emulation enthusiasts, and we assumed Microsoft would clamp down on it eventually. It's definitely a shame though — especially as the emulation performance was so good!
What are your thoughts on this? Let us know down in the comments section below.