No, Xbox is not getting the Windows 11 Android subsystem

Windows 11 Android App Store
Windows 11 Android App Store (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • The Microsoft Store listing for the Android subsystem added Xbox support.
  • This led to widespread speculation that Microsoft is bringing Android apps and maybe games to Xbox.
  • Microsoft isn't.

Recently, XDA noticed that the page for the Android subsystem on Windows 11, slated to bring Android apps to Windows, also lists Xbox support. This led to speculation (and a whole load of emails and DMs) that Microsoft is planning to bring Android apps and maybe games to Xbox consoles. I've seen the report pop up on tech sites across the web, however, I'd like to be the bearer of bad news. This isn't happening.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed to me that what I suspected — there are "no plans" to bring the Windows 11 Android subsystem to Xbox at the moment. Could it potentially happen in the future? Frankly, I rather doubt it.

Android apps are often barely optimized for tablets, let alone full TV displays. And when it comes to games, I'm not sure Android support would suddenly lead to an avalanche of Android-based games hitting Xbox. Obviously, they would still need to be heavily reworked to incorporate Xbox Live APIs, the store system, Xbox Live achievements, and so on. If they weren't going to incorporate those APIs, why would Microsoft allow non-Xbox Live Android games onto their Xbox consoles, when the platform is entirely subsidized by software sales?

The reality is that this happens all the time with Windows apps on the store being incorrectly listed as having Xbox support. Many of these apps also list Windows Phone support, and we all know what happened to that platform.

Jez Corden
Managing Editor

Jez Corden is the Managing Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!

  • Bearer of bad news???
    Lol Jez, you got it wrong. ZERO, (capitalised for emphasis as I can't make text bold or italic on my phone's keyboard) so no Android apps on xbox is a great thing. Last thing we need is security patches for the android sub systems on consoles. Can you imagine the ensuing debacle that would happen when a security patch bricks millions of consoles? Microsoft would be burned into a crispy angstroms.
  • fair point lol
  • We don't need any more apps on Xbox. Every multimedia app in existence is already on there.
  • There is a streaming app in Australia called Binge that isn't on Xbox and I really wish it was, it's basically Australia's equivalent to HBO Go (In Australia the cable service called FOxtel has the exclusive rights to pretty much all things HBO, and they released the Binge app. I can watch on my phone, and use the chromecast to connect to the TV, but a dedicated Xbox app would be convenient).
  • Then Foxtel should make a xbox app. Android on xbox would be a unmitigated disaster as we're talking about unnecessary resource allocation to the android subsystem. Which will have to run 24/7 to be any use in terms of responsiveness. Which means constant security patches (with Microsoft's current track record of patches - any patch that bricked consoles would be a global debacle as unlike PCs Consoles don't really have a user accessible recovery mode nor are people used to going into such modes to uninstall such updates - so now we're talking about a complete o/s overhaul later a complete dev sdk overhaul - in short absolute waste of resources - also if any Android based malware got into the xbox server blades..... The word nightmare wouldn't cut it). Not to mention hardward based security as well. Collectively this is another kinect scenario where resources have to be pooled off. Sigh... Microsoft really nuked off their own limbs off with the axing of the entire mobile division. Despite the chronic mismanagement of Wp and Wm it was steadily gaining momentum in many markets.
  • Yes, they should, but it doesn't change the fact that currently there is an exception to the statement I was replying to, which would be a reason I personally would install an Android app on my Xbox. I couldn't care less whether Microsoft implement said functionality, merely what I would do if they did.
  • Fair point :). I know what you mean, unfortunately many don't look beyond their own bubble until it impacts them. I suppose, since they can't see it (in a tangible sense) it's not really considered.
  • No they are missing a few apps that I want on the system and theyre not Android apps. Tidal and Kayo are missing. The xbox needs to allow these apps before worrying about Android apps. I know the problem is at Tidals end but Kayo is on Playstation why not xbox? Xbox should allow apps to be downloaded from the source like a pc is able to. The app gap reminds me of Windows phone.
  • Android support for Xbox is weird, considering probably 98% of them don't have a UI that will adapt to be used on TV with a controller. Well things like for Kodi for example exist, but we don't need Android support for that and it already exist on Microsoft Store. Games? Well same issue, most of Android games don't even support controller. Well for games like Genshin for example maybe tempting for some, but that game on Android doesn't even support gamepad at all. Better ask the developer to make Xbox version instead, considering they already have a Windows version. Xbox really just needs media apps to be available, and at least Microsoft have them. Wish could be more of course.
  • This is actually a good sign. Microsoft built WSA in such a way that they can release it seperately from Windows, and then iterate and improve faster. Or, bail on it all together if it doesn't take off.