Microsoft has banned gaming emulators from the Windows Store
PC owners looking for some extra gaming flexibility may be disappointed after Microsoft announced it is banned emulators from its Windows app store.
New rules being introduced by the Windows maker mean that developers will no longer be able to submit emulator software to the Windows Store.
Emulators allow smartphone, tablet or PC users to play console-only games on their devices, but many often take content from top titles illegally.
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The change was revealed by developer NESBox, whose Universal Emulator app for playing Nintendo and Sega ROMs fell foul of the new regulations.
Microsoft altered its Windows Store policy on March 29th to include the rule that "Apps that emulate a game system are not allowed on any device family.”
This means that they are not allowed on any Windows 10 PC or tablet, as well as Windows Phone devices and Xbox.
The Windows Store provides apps for PCs, mobile and Xbox
The move was unsurprisingly criticised by gamers, with many taking to social media and other sites to complain.
One wrote on a Reddit thread, “A small vision of the future Microsoft has for us if the Windows Store manages to defy the odds and become popular enough that they could get away with spinning down win32 compatibility. May the windows store fail hard, fast and continually.”
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However another noted, “I don't think it requires a lot of brain power to understand why Microsoft doesn't want people playing pirated Nintendo, Sega, and Playstation games on the Xbox One, which, if we're being honest with ourself, is 99 per cent of what emulators are used for.”
Apple also recently banned emulators on the iOS app store, leaving Google’s Play Store as the only place to access such downloads at the moment.
The news comes just days after security experts warned that cyber-criminals are increasingly using fake emulator scams to defraud victims.
Symantec’s research revealed that scammers encourage gaming fans to complete a survey and enter their personal details in order to get an unlock code and download a free Nintendo Switch emulator.
However doing so will in fact download an program that installs unwanted apps and files onto the victim’s device.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a cyber-attack, you can view Express.co.uk’s guide to the next steps to take here.