With more and more people opting to play games digitally, companies like Microsoft and Sony have offered lower-priced disc-less consoles, such as the Xbox Series S and PlayStation 5 Digital Edition.
Now, however, Microsoft may be working on a way to allow those who own its digital-only Series S console to play their disc-based games.
As first spotted by Game Rant, Microsoft has filed a patent, titled “Software Ownership Validation of Optical Drives Using Secondary Device,” that outlines such an option for gamers. Specifically, the patent proposes a system that allows an external disc drive to authenticate an Xbox game disc, which would then allow the player to access the digital version of that title via the Series S’ online store at no additional cost. Naturally, this would be a more consumer-friendly option instead of having to re-purchase games you already own.
In the patent, the company proposes an Xbox One to be used for this authentication process, but it’s unclear what other options consumers may have, especially for those without the last-gen console. It’s possible that a PC or even a disc drive that’s sold separately could be offered, but the patent doesn’t provide any other examples.
Interestingly, the patent application was made in November 2020, which is when the Series S originally launched. Therefore, it’s possible that Microsoft has been spending the time since toiling away at a “software ownership validation” solution. That said, it should be noted that patents are filed all the time without the proposed products or services ever seeing the light of day, so it remains to be seen what Microsoft will actually do.