This might surprise one, but without understanding it, the Microsoft Edge web browser hosted hundreds of unauthorised Nintendo game ROMs as browser extensions.
When a new lineup of classic hits from the NES and SNES era is announced for Nintendo Switch Online, it’s still an exciting day for Nintendo fans.
While Sony and Microsoft do not have titles that date back as far as they can, they also host their own classic game collections, and it turns out that Microsoft has also hosted Nintendo games.
Among the plugins available for Microsoft’s Edge web browser, the games were found where they had been hidden in plain sight for at least three months.
It was not Microsoft, of course, who was responsible for placing the unauthorized games up for download. Recently, the gaming giant introduced Xbox themes to Microsoft Edge, but clearly, it wouldn’t place the titles of another business in the browser.
As it turns out, almost everyone can build and apply a Microsoft Edge
extension and have it listed among the hundreds of other browser extensions available.
Although the games may not have been listed by Nintendo or Microsoft, it seems obvious that it was a person or small group of individuals who found a way for a while to unlawfully host a few ROMs.
Popular titles such as Mario Kart 64, Super Mario Bros., and non-Nintendo titles such as Sonic 2, Pac-Man, and Tetris were among the games that were being hosted.
Although the titles above are possibly among the most commonly pirated games, there were also several less frequently stolen titles available, such as Microsoft’s very own Minecraft.
As they are being found, the games are being excluded from the Edge extension list, but it is unclear how many are left and Microsoft is waiting to find them. In the game world as well as the movie and TV world, pirating remains a major concern, of course, with shows like The Mandalorian being pirated in record numbers.
Someone was also able to tweet from the official Twitter account of the browser at the height of the illicit rom-hosting on Microsoft Edge, boasting that Pac-Man, Tetris, Mario Kart, and more were available on the Edge extension website.
It’s unclear where people are going to host unauthorized copies of their favourite games next, but with stories of the source code of Cyberpunk 2077 being hacked, it’s apparent that the illegal gaming market is not going anywhere easily.
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