The issue of DRM has caused a stir in recent days after Xbox Live suffered disruptions preventing players from enjoying games they had purchased. At the same time, several voices are regularly raised to denounce the fact that Xbox games do not have all the data allowing them to be played on Blu-ray physical editions; this is particularly the case with Halo Infinite. Everything dematerialized and the compulsory connection are scary, and it is not the Xbox One of 2013 that will make us say the opposite.
Nevertheless, it seems that Microsoft wants to move more and more towards this completely dematerialized model in the future. We now discover that the firm has filed a patent which would allow a transition from the physical to the dematerialized, more respectful of the players.
Read also: Xbox Live and DRM failure: the console is unusable offline, that must change!
A patent that could change everything
In the columns of Gamerant, we indeed discover that Microsoft has filed a patent for a technology that could allow you to enjoy your physical games on Xbox Series S. The diagram illustrates a system that allows an external reader to authenticate an Xbox game , then allowing the player to access their digital version on a dematerialized console (which looks like an Xbox One S All Digitial). It is also an Xbox One that is used to perform the process.
For the moment, we do not know if it is a question here of simply being able to play a physical game via a dematerialized console like the Xbox Series S, or if it will also be possible to permanently exchange its physical copy for a dematerialized copy. .
In the near future, this could, for example, allow players who have many physical games to buy an Xbox Series S without losing access to their toy library, but also to benefit from extended backward compatibility.
A first step towards 100% dematerialized consoles?
If we try to go further now, we could also see this patent as the first step towards a future with 100% dematerialized Xbox consoles. Indeed, if Microsoft soon chose to remove the Blu-ray player from all its machines, this would allow players with a large toy library of boxed games to be able to enjoy it anyway.
As we see regularly, sales of physical games are plummeting, and Xbox players can enjoy the games via dematerialized services like the Xbox Game Pass as a bonus. Microsoft could therefore offer this alternative to visibly minority players who still use the physical medium, in order to reduce the price of its consoles and further develop its service offer. It would also push those who have a large catalog of physical games to take the step towards 100% dematerialized.
We are speculating of course, but it is a solution that could respond to a temporary transition problem that would only concern some of the players. On the other hand, this does not solve the problem of the compulsory connection and in passing raises new questions about the economic model and the ecological impact of rendering unusable the physical games whose licenses would be transferred.
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