Xbox head Phil Spencer calls for “legal emulation” of older games

"If we said, ‘Hey, anybody should be able to buy any game, or own any game and continue to play,' that seems like a great North Star for us as an industry"

Xbox boss Phil Spencer has voiced his belief that older games should be preserved, adding that he hopes the gaming industry can work on “legal emulation” to promote this.

Speaking to Axios, Spencer said that the gaming industry should prioritise the preservation of older video games. Highlighting that film, TV and music industries already preserve older content, Spencer said “there’s positive reasons for gaming to want to follow”.

Spencer suggested that one way to enact video game preservation would be for industry leaders to offer “legal emulation”.

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“My hope (and I think I have to present it that way as of now) is as an industry we’d work on legal emulation that allowed modern hardware to run any (within reason) older executable allowing someone to play any game,” said Spencer.

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Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox. Credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images

““I think in the end, if we said, ‘Hey, anybody should be able to buy any game, or own any game and continue to play,’ that seems like a great North Star for us as an industry.”

On Monday (November 15), Xbox added over 70 new backwards-compatible games to its library. This means that numerous games from the original Xbox console – as well as the Xbox 360 – are once again available to play on Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One platforms.

While a backwards-compatible service such as this is something that Spencer can champion, earlier in the week he said that Xbox does not want “exploitative” NFTs on its storefront.

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In other news, Battlefield 2042 has disabled Prox Sensor throwables to address widespread lag issues. Addressing the issue, EA has said that it believes these gadgets are responsible – or at least contributing to – problems with rubber-banding and general lag in the Conquest and Breakthrough game modes. Unfortunately, removing the Prox Sensor has resulted in another “unintended consequence”.

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