Has Microsoft solved the console modder problem? Xbox Series S & X Developer Mode

3 min readNov 29, 2020

The Problem

For as long as the console gamer can remember, homebrew has been present. With Sony and Microsoft being indifferent towards homebrew for many generations, but being a sort of barrier towards the homebrew community by playing the “piracy card”.

In their defense, this is very true. For a significant group of people, console modding has been seen as a gateway to piracy. With Sony removing ‘Other OS’ from the PS3. Many have thought that running unsigned code would be seen as a legal crime.

For many generations, homebrew enthusiasts had to run ‘hacks’ or exploits on their hardware to run unsigned code. This usually caused them to lose their warranty and online services. This has given people a lot of reason to buy a PC instead of a console, but Microsoft just might have solved this problem.

The Solution

Microsoft just might have solved this age-old problem, with the Developer mode on their new Series S and X. The only caveat is the additional $20 for the Developer account, which arguably isn’t a issue because of the amazing value at which both the Series S and X retail. For the Series S’ retail value of $300, no gaming PC even comes close.

One of console homebrew’s biggest achievements has been emulators. The popular emulation frontend “RetroArch”, has been available on the Xbox One for many years now and since the Series S and X run on the same architecture, it’s easy to run it on the Series S and X.

The Series S can run everything from the GameBoy to the Nintendo Wii at full speed which is a testament to the power housed in the Series S by Microsoft at such a small price and best part is that this is completely legal and encouraged by Microsoft themselves allowing you to keep your precious warranty and online services.

The Series S and X are the only mainstream consoles with this ability right now. Here’s to hoping that the PS5 and whatever Nintendo has planned after the Switch will incorporate this model, as right now, on a budget, it is becoming more and more difficult to side with the PCMasterRace. This will definitely push competition to the advantage of the budget gamer. Who knows? Maybe in the beginning of 2021, AMD might release an APU with the power of the Series S!

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