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XBOX Patent Seeks to Verify Game Ownership for Digital Library

It appears Microsoft has filed patent documents that suggest plans to develop an external disc drive for its digital-only versions of current and past XBOX consoles. Unlike a traditional external player, the drive would act as an authenticator to allow people with physical copies to then be able to download and play the digital version.

While a patent filing is no guarantee that the device will come out, it does point to how Microsoft is actively working on ways to cater to every type of player imaginable. Rather than forcing players to buy a $500 XBOX Series X console (which are still almost impossible to find), they have already diversified with a lower cost Series S. Others can skip consoles altogether with XBOX GamePass, which allows people to download or stream hundreds of titles on PCs and mobile devices.

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Along with that strategy, Microsoft also appears interested in coming up with ways to catch up with potential users who fit into specific niches. Tech site VentureBeat reported work on ab XBOX streaming box, similar to a Roku, is happening. Rather than buy a console at all, gamers would be able to stream all their titles to their televisions.

This disc drive patent suggests the company is also considering players who may have physical games from older generations but don’t want to buy a Series X. While the XBOX has a tremendous library of backwards compatible titles, that doesn’t help people who have old games but no way to prove they own them. This authenticator could help people who want to play games that are compatible without rebuying them.

In some cases, like 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand,” this feature is useful because, as of this writing, the game can’t be purchased digitally. While these are very specific cases, it speaks to how Microsoft is willing to think of anything they can to stay competitive in the gaming space against Sony and Nintendo.

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