While the Xbox Series X/S show a lot of promise for the future, at the moment there aren’t a ton of next-generation games to play on them. While we wait for those games to arrive, there’s no lack of games to play on this new hardware, as they offer backward compatibility with Xbox One titles, a large number of Xbox 360 games, and even some OG Xbox titles. As it turns out, you can also play PlayStation 2 games on the Xbox Series X/S, though that support is definitely more unofficial.
As demonstrated by Modern Vintage Gamer on YouTube, the Xbox Series X/S are actually capable emulation machines in their own right, and while you might think that you’d need to hack your console to get emulators to run, you actually just need to need to pop it into developer mode. Once in developer mode, the Xbox Series X/S support Universal Windows Platform apps, which means that they can run certain emulators.
For the purposes of this video, Modern Vintage Gamer used a preview build of RetroArch with PCSX2 integration. As MVG points out, development on PCSX2 within RetroArch is still in the early stages, so while he was able to get PlayStation 2 emulation up and running on Xbox Series S, it doesn’t sound like it was an easy task. In fact, at one point MVG says that he was close to giving up on the project until development was further along.
He persisted with his efforts to emulate PS2 games using Xbox Series S, however, and it turns out that when things are working correctly, many PS2 games run surprisingly well. The video embedded above shows a number of fan-favorite PS2 games running on Xbox Series S, including God of War, Metal Gear Solid 2, Ico, and Shadow of the Colossus.
In the end, it’s an impressive showcase, and there’s definitely novelty in the fact that we’re seeing classic PlayStation games running on Microsoft hardware. Obviously, Microsoft probably isn’t going to be very fond of this, so you might want to consider that if you’re planning to pop your console in developer mode to take PS2 emulation for a spin, as it might void your warranty.