The new patent suggests that Microsoft is designing a system that allows Xbox Series S to play physical game discs. Microsoft hasn’t confirmed the product, but speculative systems allow owners of digital-only consoles to convert physical games into downloadable copies.
As discovered by GameRant, Patent Describes a system that verifies physical game ownership before granting access to the digital version for online download. This system contains two devices. One has an optical drive that can read game discs and verify ownership. And the seconds used to download the game.
This is similar to pairing a console with an external disk drive, but a drive that can be connected independently of the Xbox server to authenticate game ownership. When deployed to the latest generation consoles, Xbox Series S owners can effectively make physical copies of their games through the console.
In this patent, Microsoft states that such systems address backward compatibility concerns. Some players are reluctant to upgrade to the next-generation console because they can’t take over the existing library of physical Xbox games to a digital-only system.
“Many next-generation video gaming devices under development consist of no hardware components for playing physical video gaming media,” the patent states.
“As a result, when owners of previous generation video game devices purchase next-generation video game devices, they will not be able to play physical video game media,” he continues.
“Instead, the owner must repurchase a digital version of the video game content for the next generation of video game devices. This scenario is undesirable for multiple reasons.”
You can expect
The device described in the patent sounds like a useful feature. This not only allows console owners to access the back catalog of Xbox titles, but also allows them to purchase games without going through the official Xbox store. Physical editions of games are often found at a lower price than those listed on Microsoft’s Digital Marketplace, so it may be more affordable to put together a disc copy of your game library.
But this patent has many details in the air. For one thing, it’s not clear what the device described in the patent will look like. This may take the form of a traditional external disk drive that needs to be purchased separately from the main console, but it can be something completely different. For example, the Xbox One seems to be able to perform the same function because it looks like it can read an optical disc and connect to an Xbox server.
Finally, the patent does not specify what happens to the disc copy of the game after you verify it. It’s unclear if it’s still available on consoles that aren’t connected to Microsoft’s servers, but each disk may only be authenticated once to prevent digital piracy.
As with all patents, nothing has been confirmed. The devices presented in this patent can take years to reach market.