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Microsoft has filed a patent that seems to imply the company is trying to find a way for Xbox Owners to play digital versions of their games, providing they can prove they own a physical copy.
An All Digital Future
First discovered by GameRant, a patent was filed back in November 2020 that mentions ‘software ownership validation of optical discus using a secondary device’. This basically implies that Microsoft was, or even possibly currently is, searching for a method in which they can validate that a user owns a game physically and then allows them to play it digitally.
The implied process here is basically that a user would take a physical version of a game, insert it into another console that they own which would then connect to their digital version of a console (in this case, the Xbox Series S) and communicate to that console that you have the right to play that game. Microsoft suggests that this could be done through both consoles being connected to the same WiFi network or being connected to the same user account. This would then allow the user to download a digital version of said game as long as they could prove on a as of yet undetermined basis that they own the game. It’s something people have wanted for a long time now, but something that both Microsoft and Sony have as of yet been unable to deliver on.
Obviously as we know, this hasn’t currently happened. It doesn’t exactly seem like an easy thing for the company to do, technologically speaking, even though it is something they want to do to make the lives easier for players. After all, they’ve noted that the current system is “undesirable for multiple reasons” and that it “represents a significant financial investment for people”, given that it would be difficult “for some people to justify repurchasing a video game they already own and have already played or completed.”