Microsoft Has Essentially Killed Homebrew On Xbox One and Xbox Series
If you were hoping to make your Xbox One or Xbox Series run homebrew using the renowned Dev mode, then there is some bad news.
When Xbox Series first launched, we shared a tutorial that covered steps on how to enable the dev mode (developer mode) on the console that lets anyone load apps on it. This allowed any user to run homebrew apps like emulators including Retroarch leaving the door open for emulation on the Xbox consoles.
Sadly, as seen in a recent update covered by MVG, this feature has been disabled by Microsoft.
The gist of this new change is that Microsoft is now disabling any developer mode account that hasn’t published anything on the Windows or Xbox Store. Keep in mind that they charge $20 for getting a development mode account and if you have one and it is deactivated, they are essentially taking this money from you without any refund.
This move is bound to cause outrage among the community, especially those who purchased a dev mode account just to run homebrew. It has also been discussed a lot in the past with channels like MVG praising the ability of a budget console like Xbox Series S to run perfect homebrew emulation using this dev mode. It also removes any incentives for the hackers to target the console since there is no tinkering needed to run homebrew on Xbox One or Xbox Series.
As pointed out by MVG, this decision bears a striking resemblance to how Sony pulled out a major feature after initially making it available on their console. We are talking about the Other OS feature for the PS3 which allowed anyone to install Linux OS on their console. After Sony removed it, hackers were quick to work on an exploit and were successful in hacking their console and enabling homebrew on it. If Microsoft’s move is of a similar magnitude, hackers may try to achieve the same with Xbox consoles leaving the door open for piracy along with homebrew.
PS5 security is allegedly already cracked although a public exploit is not yet available for it. PS4 security has been exploited for a while now and a major discovery recently has made the console available for homebrew.