Image: Microsoft

One of the major drawbacks of Xbox Series S consoles is their lack of a disc drive, making them incompatible with physical games, but that could change in the future, according to a new patent that has surfaced online. Filed by Microsoft, the patent details a method in which drive-less Xbox systems such as the Series S could access physical games with the assistance of an external disc drive, the latter of which might be used for authenticating physical games as a means of granting access to their digital counterparts. Microsoft’s patent also suggests that its previous-gen system, the Xbox One, could be linked to the Xbox Series S and serve as the external drive for this purpose.

Image: Microsoft

It is unknown whether the patent would allow players to redeem a digital version of the game to add permanently to their digital library, or whether the patent would simply be the basis for an external disc drive Xbox Series S players could purchase if they wanted to play backwards compatible Xbox One games. It would seem unlikely that players would be allowed to duplicate their copy of a game if there were any chance the disc could then be sold and duplicated again, though perhaps the patent could identify whether the disc had been validated before like with the codes for redeeming digital games through the Xbox Games Store.

Source: Gamerant

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3 comments

  1. I suppose they wanted a method where you would continue to require the disc be present, because physical discs have just become another method of DRM anymore - there doesn't even need to be a game to be installed, it's just like key for car - you just need it to start it up; everything else has gone full digital anyway.

    MadMummy is correct - there is absolutely nothing preventing MS (or anyone else) from recognizing a disc bar code or any other physically defining characteristic, really. If you have a unique serial code (i don't know if there is one visible on a disc, like a serial number, or even one digitally available on a disc) you could even do a one-time link of that disc to an online account.

    But no, let's just use an external drive. The only surprise here is they didn't make a proprietary external drive a requirement, so they could license more hardware sales.
  2. But no, let's just use an external drive. The only surprise here is they didn't make a proprietary external drive a requirement, so they could license more hardware sales.
    Just because it's not in the patent doesn't mean they won't.

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