Xbox Series X Can Run Windows 98, Along With Classic PC Games Of The Era

The Xbox Series X is a pretty versatile console, especially given Xbox's continued efforts with backwards compatibility and just generally improving your whole library of games, regardless of era. However, did you know the thing can run Windows 98, and even some PC games of the era? Well, neither did we, but this is pretty impressive.

The folks over at Digital Foundry decided to test out the 'RetroArch' software emulator on Xbox Series X. Technically, you're supposed to be an Xbox developer to access this (so we don't necessarily endorse trying it yourself!), and you will need to sign up to the paid Microsoft Partner program and turn on 'Developer Mode' for your system to activate it. In DF's case, rather than directly playing emulated games through RetroArch, they used the program to install Windows 98 software.

Beyond the novelty of actually booting up Win98 on a modern console (which is still awesome every time we think about it) the channel then decided to test out some games, running through the older version of Windows. Playthroughs of Turok, Command & Conquer, Quake 2 and more were all pretty successful, although the act of loading them onto the software requires a bit of messing about (you have to create ISO files and transfer them over — sadly, Xbox's disc drive can't read the original discs).

Of course, this wouldn't be a Digital Foundry video without some performance comparisons, so the team did just that. The video compares hardware of the era with Xbox Series X's emulation, and while the console often lags behind due to the fact that it's literally emulating an entire version of Windows, and then a game on top of that, it fares pretty well overall.

So yeah, despite a somewhat fiddly setup getting all this installed and working, it looks pretty awesome!

But what do you think about this emulation method? Let us know down in the comments!