The late 90s were many things – but for me, it was all about Pentium PCs and Windows 98. That being the case, I was delighted to learn that the DOSBox Pure RetroArch core had recently received support for the venerable OS, opening the door to a range of classic PC games that can now run on today’s Microsoft console hardware. Quake, Half-Life, Turok: The Dinosaur Hunter, Command and Conquer… put simply, any Win98 game is now available to play on Xbox Series hardware and there’s even emulated support for 3dfx Voodoo Graphics too.
Ultimately, what you end up with is a full Windows 98 OS install on your Xbox Series console, with games fully installed, meaning you can use it as you would any vintage PC – to the point where I wrote the script for the video embedded on this page using Microsoft Word running on my Series X, aided and abetted by a resurrected Clippy himself. From here on out then, things get simpler – with one exception. Unfortunately, RetroArch doesn’t currently support USB mice, meaning that the right stick on the Xbox controller has to substitute for it. As you might imagine, the use of the controller as an emulated mouse is a limiting factor for ergonomics and control. I find it perfectly usable on the desktop and in most first-person shooters, but it’s a pain for isometric titles and real-time strategy games.