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Microsoft Patent Suggests Xbox Working on Method to Use Physical Games on Digital-Only Consoles

Microsoft Patent Suggests Xbox Working on Method to Use Physical Games on Digital-Only Consoles - News

by William D'Angelo , posted 4 days ago / 2,220 Views

A new Microsoft patent has surfaced suggesting the company is working on a way to make physical copies of games to be able to be used on a digital-only consoles like the Xbox Series S.

The patent discovered by Gamerant, showcases the use of an external disc drive to authenticate an Xbox game that will allow players to access the digital version of the game on the Xbox Series S. Potential external disc drives include an Xbox One, laptop or PC.

The patent doesn't mention if you only need to authenticate the game once or not as it could lead to people buying a game, authenticating it once, then returning the game. What is most likely the case is having to authenticate said game every time you want to play it or authenticate once every number of days or weeks.

As always with a patent, there is no guarantee this method to use physical games on the Xbox Series S might never happen. 


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at wdangelo@vgchartz.com or on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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16 Comments
Chicho (4 days ago)

Xbox CD add -on. Would play blueray/dvd. Then later they can release the Xbox 32X that makes it more powerful.

  • +7
Mr Puggsly Chicho (2 days ago)

Halo & Knuckles incoming.

  • -1
Leynos (4 days ago)

Or just buy a console with a disc drive so you have options.

  • +3
eddy7eddy Leynos (4 days ago)

Series S doesn't have a model with a disc drive.
I think is a great accessory for PC and Series S users, and I can see Microsoft releasing a Digital only Series X in the future.
Still I buy physical mostly.

  • +2
scrapking eddy7eddy (2 days ago)

I think Microsoft should release a Series S with an optical drive, and a Series X without.

I wouldn't expect a big price increase for a Series S with an optical drive as they're pretty cheap these days, but it would be bulkier, and in some markets it would push it past psychological sales thresholds (such as above $300 vs. below, for example).

I wouldn't expect a big price savings on a disc-less Series X, but it might be less bulky. A disc-less Series X might sell for the same price, but come bundled with more.

Perhaps Microsoft could use this to make all consoles digital-only by default, with people using either existing hardware, or add-ons, for disc-based games. I am particularly interested in the idea that you might authenticate the game over your home network. You could conceivably put the disc in your PC, or your old Xbox One, and download and play the game on any Xbox Series console across the entire network. This could be amazing for household with several rooms, each with their own Xboxes (living-room, playroom, den, bedrooms, etc.). Could be a win for large families especially.

  • 0
OneTime (4 days ago)

Interesting idea (although I'd have thought a USB attached drive would suffice). Not entirely sure that this warrants a patent. It's reminiscent of how multiple school computers shared a single floppy drive in the 1970s...

  • +2
Azzanation (4 days ago)

Curious why they dont just make a optional disk drive that can be attached to the console.

  • +1
JackHandy Azzanation (4 days ago)

You just brought back memories of the HD-DVD drive I bought for my 360 back in the day.... ugh. lol

  • +2
Azzanation JackHandy (4 days ago)

Thats where i got the idea from to

  • 0

In all seriousness that would have been so cool if only they had backed blu-ray instead of HD-DVD

  • 0
Wman1996 (4 days ago)

This would be cool. That way you can start with the digital-only for a cheaper cost at the time or availability. But you're given an option down the road. I think this is the future of consoles.
I all but guarantee the Fifth Xbox and PS6 will be digital-only, and we might get something like this for backwards compatibility or limited-run physical games.

  • +1
VAMatt Wman1996 (4 days ago)

I think it a certainty that this is the last gen where physical media drives are built into consoles.

  • -1
Wman1996 VAMatt (4 days ago)

Could be. It seems that Sony and Microsoft really wanted no optical drives this gen. The PS5 really seems that way, considering the version with an optical drive just looks like the all-digital but with a "baby bump".

  • 0
darthv72 (4 days ago)

sony toyed around with something similar back in the PSP / Go days. I always figured they would make a USB UMD drive to plug into the PS3 and validate the game to get a digital version for the Go, or even play said UMD game through the PS3 on a TV.

  • 0
Brimac19 (4 days ago)

All Future consoles should have the option for physical media!!!

  • 0
UnderwaterFunktown (4 days ago)

Let me know when I can register a physical Xbox game and play in on PC. Then you got my attention. But this would still be something I suppose.

  • -4