Xbox Series X is a pretty versatile console, especially given Xbox’s ongoing efforts with backward compatibility and general improvement of its entire library of games, regardless of release year. However, not many people know that Microsoft’s console can run Windows 98 and even some computer games of the time.
The authors of the Digital Foundry channel decided to test the software emulator RetroArch on the Xbox Series X. Technically, you need to be an Xbox developer, to have access to install it, and you need to sign up for Microsoft’s paid partner program and enable developer mode to activate it. In the case of Digital Foundry, instead of directly playing emulated games through RetroArch, the channel’s authors used a program to install the Windows 98 operating system.
In addition to actually booting Windows 98 onto a modern console, which is interesting in itself, the channel decided to try out some games from the era. Completing the games Turok, Command & Conquer, Quake 2, and others were quite successful, although downloading and installing them requires some effort. To do this, you need to create ISO files and transfer them to the console’s drive, because the Xbox disc drive does not read the original discs.
The video also compares hardware from that era to an Xbox Series X emulation. While the console often lags because it’s emulating a full version of Windows and then the game, overall it performs pretty well.