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Microsoft wants to reconcile physical games and digital consoles

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Microsoft files a patent which aims to help collectors make a smooth transition to digital.

With the arrival of new generation consoles, the Xbox Series and the PS5, the increasingly topical question of digitization of video game content. If it was already possible to buy video games through online stores directly present in the ecosystem of the console, it was until then always possible to also buy a physical copy of the games, on disc or cartridge.

However, Sony and Microsoft have bet each on a digital-only version of their console, which therefore does not contain a disk drive. To play a game on Xbox Series S or digital PS5, you must go through the corresponding stores. Players who own games in physical format cannot therefore use them on these consoles. We do not count the number of boxes that are currently gathering dust.

A situation that Microsoft wants to try to remedy, with a new patent spotted by gamer. In this patent, named “Validation of the software property of optical discs using a secondary device”, the firm explains that it is today a need for many players to have a viable solution to read their physical games on media that do not usually support them.

A long but mysterious explanation

To do this, Microsoft believes that solving this problem requires two interconnected consoles, which could migrate the data of a physical game in a completely digital way and which could verify the authenticity of the owner of the game. In the patent, we can read :

A physical medium, such as an optical disc, can be inserted into the optical disc drive of the first device. The second device may be authorized to access the electronic content, such as video game content, on the physical medium. The second device may also be configured with a selectable parameter or option that allows the second device to validate the user’s ownership of the electronic content on the physical medium.

For example, when the setting or option is enabled, the second device may be able to verify with a separate device, such as the first device, that a specific user or user account has ownership of the electronic content on the physical medium.”

A solution still rather vague in its implementation, and which would therefore require players to have access to a console with a disc player in addition to their digital console. For this, a console from the previous generation should suffice, although nothing is confirmed for the moment.

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