Update: The Xbox One’s N64 emulator is already gone

Update: Win64e10 has since been removed from the Xbox One store. The app was previously only available if users searched for it by name, but now appears to be completely missing. It’s still available to those who downloaded it before it was delisted. 

Developer MobWi has updated its cross-platform Nintendo 64 emulator with Xbox One support, making ’90s-era classics like Super Mario 64 and F-Zero X playable on Xbox One consoles for the first time.

The Xbox One version of Win64e10 allows users to import Nintendo 64 ROM images from local storage devices and via Microsoft’s OneDrive service, effectively making the classic console’s entire library available to Xbox One owners. Given Microsoft’s long-standing aversion to emulation software, however, the app might not be available for long.

Win64e10 is a paid Windows Store version of Mupen64plus, a freeware emulator that uses an array of software plugins to produce playable versions of Nintendo 64 games on modern Windows and Linux platforms. Win64e10 previously updated its core emulation software with support for Windows 10 and Windows Phone devices, and the most recent update introduced Xbox One support, likely without Microsoft’s knowledge or approval.

By purchasing Win64e10 from the Windows Store and sideloading ROMs onto an Xbox One hard drive, users can experience full versions of Nintendo 64 games without having to source original cartridges or rely on Nintendo’s own Virtual Console service for its Wii and Wii U consoles. While many Nintendo 64 games were rereleased digitally as Virtual Console downloads, the majority of the platform’s library has never been ported elsewhere, making Xbox One emulation software a welcome sight for classic console enthusiasts.

The video above indicates that Win64e10 does not quite achieve full speed on Xbox One hardware, however. While games like Super Mario 64 are playable, framerates often dip far below their intended targets due to Xbox One hardware limitations, resulting in inconsistent gameplay speed and glitchy sound.

Players also should not expect the Xbox One version of Win64e10 to stick around for long. Earlier this month, Microsoft published and then subsequently blocked players from purchasing NESbox, a Nintendo Entertainment System emulator for Xbox One that offers similar functionality as Win64e10. It is likely that Microsoft will take a similar approach with Win64e10, though the apparent loophole that allows developers to submit unlicensed emulators for purchase via the Windows Store remains open and exploitable.

Win64e10 is available for purchase digitally at $10.

Updated on 9-27-16 by Gabe Gurwin: Updated to acknowledge that the app is now longer available to download from the Xbox One store.

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