A new Microsoft patent could allow for physical games to be verified for digital use. These “disc to digital” plans have reportedly been in the works since 2018, but it looks like Microsoft only got the patent for it recently. This will basically allow users to verify a physical game on a console with a disc drive (for example, Xbox One) which will then be playable digitally on Xbox Series S.
The patent was first spotted by GameRant, suggesting that players will be able to use an external disc drive – presumably with their profile loaded onto it – to verify a physical game before being allowed to play it digitally on Xbox Series S.
To prevent the verification process from being abused by players who could simply buy a physical game, verify it then return it, it’s likely that there will be some strict measures in place. Video Games Chronicle speculated that players could get a temporary license that would have to be re-verified, therefore preventing this system from being taken advantage of.
Veteran tech journalist Brad Sams recently commented on the story. “Back in 2018, I wrote about a ‘disc to digital’ for converting your Xbox physical games to digital entitlements. Looks like Microsoft got the patent for it recently,” said Sams.
Sams referred to a November 2018 report that suggested Microsoft were working on a “disc to digital” program that would allow users to turn physical purchases into digital downloads. This could be achieved by taking a physical game to a participating retailer and exchanging it for a digital download.
It’s not clear if these plans still stand, though this recent patent lines up with Microsoft’s proposed program nicely. Since it’s still a patent, we’ll have to wait and see if Microsoft actually follows through on these plans.