Microsoft has patented a system that allows the Xbox Series S console to play physical discs. Microsoft has not confirmed the product but the speculative system could allow owners of digital-only consoles to convert physical games into downloadable versions.
The patent describes a system to verify your ownership of a physical video game before giving you digital access to it online. Two devices would be required to complete the system: one that can read game discs and verify your ownership, and another that can be used to download the games.Xbox Series S
It’s similar to pairing a console and an external disk drive, but it can be independent connected with Xbox servers to verify game ownership. It would allow owners of the Xbox Series to access physical copies of their games via the console if it was made available for them.
Microsoft claims that such a system will address backward compatibility concerns in the patent. Some Xbox players hesitate to upgrade to the next generation console because they cannot transfer their existing Xbox games to digital-only systems.
According to the patent, “Many next-generation gaming devices are being designed without physical components for playing video games media.” Xbox Series S
It continues, “Consequently, a previous-generation videogame device owner who purchases a new-generation device is unable to use their physical video games media.”
“Instead, the owner should repurchase digital versions of the video games content for the next generation video game device. This is undesirable for many reasons.
We can still hope
Patented device sounds very useful. It would allow console owners to access their back catalogue of Xbox games and would also allow them to purchase games directly from the Xbox store. Sometimes physical editions of games are available for less than what they cost on Microsoft’s digital marketplace. This makes it possible to bulk up your gaming library by purchasing disc copies.
The patent leaves many details unanswered. One, the patent doesn’t describe the exact form of the device. The patent may describe a traditional external disk drive, which would have to be purchased separately from a main console. But it could also be something entirely different. The Xbox One is capable of reading optical disks and connecting to Xbox Series S servers.
The patent does not specify what happens to a disc copy of a video game after it has been verified. In an attempt to stop digital piracy, it is likely that each disc can only have one authentication. However, it’s not clear if the disc could still be used on a console without being connected to Microsoft’s servers.
Nothing is ever confirmed, as with all patents. This patent may not be able to prove the invention, and it could take years before it is commercially available.