Xbox Series consoles can now be used to run Windows 98 classics
Want to install Windows 98 on your new Xbox?
Published: 11th July 2022 | Source: Digital Foundry |
Digital Foundry use RetroArch to run Windows 98 on a retail Xbox Series X
Microsoft's Xbox Series X and S consoles have proven to be very popular for emulation, with Microsoft's paid "Developer Mode" allowing users to install a wide range of software on the system, including RetroArch.
Recently, Xbox users have discovered ways to get RetroArch installed on Xbox Series X/S consoles in retail mode, forgoing the need for the system's Developer Mode. Digital Foundry have used this hack to do something unique on one of their Xbox Series X systems, install Windows 98.
Using Microsoft's latest console, Digital Foundry has installed one of Microsoft's classic OS', allowing the system to play classic 90s games like Command and Conquer, Half-Life, Quake, Turok, and Unreal. Sadly, this emulated Windows 98 system cannot run original disks using the Xbox Series X's disk drive, which means that you will need to create ISO files and transfer them over to your Xbox. Another quirk of Emulating Windows 98 is that you will need to use an Xbox controller to emulate a mouse.
While the Xbox Series X is a console that can blast past any Windows 98 PC, the system can lag behind a classic Windows 98 PC due to the overhead of emulation. This is particularly true for games that use the Glide API. On the other hand, Software rendering on the Xbox Series X's Zen 2 CPU showcases impressive performance numbers, easily surpassing 90s era hardware in many cases.
While installing Windows 98 and running classic games on your Xbox may be a niche feature, it is awesome to see Xbox users find innovative ways to use Microsoft's latest console hardware. For many users, an Xbox Series console in developer mode is the world's best emulation station. Now, users of Xbox system in retail mode can unlock some of this potential, though it is possible that doing so could result in a ban from Xbox Live (should Microsoft feel the need to clamp down on this kind of thing).
You can join the discussion on Xbox Series consoles being able to run classic Windows 98 games on the OC3D Forums.