Video game consoles are getting more and more like standard computers with every generation.
Running on a standard x86 processor, the Xbox Series X even has the same type of hardware as Windows computers.
So why exactly does the Xbox Series X not have Windows 10 installed on it?
The Xbox and Windows are both made by Microsoft, so it should be possible, right?
Can The Xbox Series X Run Windows 10?
It isn’t possible to install Windows 10 on an Xbox Series X. There are a number of different factors that prevent Windows from being installed on a new Xbox, but there is no workaround to the issue either.
Continue reading to learn exactly why Windows can’t be installed on an Xbox and find out if it will be possible to install Windows on your game console in the future.
Can I Install Windows 10 On An Xbox Series X?
As previously mentioned, it’s impossible to install Windows 10 on an Xbox Series X or Series S.
There are a variety of different issues that would have to be fixed before a successful Windows install would be possible.
Simply put, it would be bad business for Microsoft to let consumers install Windows on their gaming devices.
It would allow consumers to download PC games on their console, it would make piracy easier, and it would make it pointless to have a separate PC to run Windows on.
Allowing consumers to install Windows on an Xbox would just be a bad business decision for Microsoft.
PCs typically have a CPU, a GPU, a storage drive, RAM, and a power supply unit.
Even though an Xbox Series X also has these components, they simply aren’t designed to work together the same way as a PC.
Xbox has its own operating system.
It’s pretty much a lightweight version of Windows.
The Xbox operating system is designed to utilize each component of the Xbox in the most efficient way possible.
This is how an Xbox is able to play the same games as a PC with lower specs – the Xbox knows exactly what to do with what it has.
This means even if it were possible to install Windows on the Xbox, it would suffer from negative performance impacts.
PCs require a driver for every component in the system.
These drivers help each individual part communicate with each other.
The Xbox actually has several components that standard PCs don’t have.
These components were made specifically to work with the other parts in the Xbox.
Windows simply wouldn’t know how to utilize these components even if other driver issues didn’t exist.
Malicious Software Protection
The Xbox Series X and Series S are locked down tight to prevent malicious software from being installed.
The boot process is tightly knit to prevent unwanted software from ever being loading onto the console, including legitimate software like Windows.
This means the only way to circumvent this would be to open your new console up to hackers and malicious software – something no one wants to do.
NTFS Vs xFAT
NTFS and xFAT are different types of file systems.
Think of these file systems as the routes your computer takes to find different files.
A simple way to think about this is your file explorer on a PC.
You can open your file explorer, browse different programs on your PC, and select different folders and pathways.
This is the NTFS system.
The Xbox Series X runs on the xFAT system.
It’s physically impossible to have these systems work together.
Replacing your xFAT file system with the NTFS system would completely disrupt the way the Xbox works, rendering it unable to play games or even boot up.
Microsoft Wants Control Of Their Operating System
The Xbox Series X isn’t designed to be as versatile as a Windows PC; it’s designed with entertainment in mind.
It can play movies via the disk drive, it can stream video via apps, and you can even browse the internet with the built in Xbox web browser.
That’s all it was designed for.
Another reason Microsoft will not allow 3rd party install on their device is because they don’t make a profit on their consoles.
The Xbox Series X is sold for less than it costs to manufacturer.
Microsoft is able to do this because they know console owners will purchase software from Microsoft.
Games, apps, movies, and more are available for purchase on the Xbox store.
Allowing users to install Windows on their consoles would enable users to get around the Xbox store and browse 3rd party markets.
Microsoft would be forced to charge more money for the Xbox Series X and Series S if they allowed people to install Windows on their consoles.
All of these factors combined almost guarantee that Microsoft will never allow Windows to be installed on one of their video game consoles.
Playing PC Games On Xbox
Just because you can’t install Windows on your Xbox Series X, it doesn’t mean you can’t play your Windows game on your console.
In fact, there are a number of different options for gamers who want to play PC games on Xbox.
Nvidia’s GeForce now works on the Xbox’s internet browser, meaning consumers can log in through the web browser and stream their PC collection straight to their Xbox.
Microsoft even offers their own option for playing PC games on the Xbox called Xbox Play Anywhere.
While not direct streaming like Nvidia GeForce Now, Xbox Play Anywhere allows users to purchase a game one time and play both the PC version and the Xbox version.