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A newly discovered patent indicates that Microsoft may be planning an external disk drive that gives its Xbox Series S console a use for physical games.
Rather than giving Xbox Series S owners a full external disk drive that they could simply link up to their console, Microsoft’s patent, as spotted by GameRant, outlines a system in which an external disk drive would be used for validating ownership of a physical game, before allowing it to be downloaded from the console’s storefront.
This device would allow Xbox Series S owners to potentially access physical games both new and old, however, only so long as the games are available on the Xbox’s storefront. Additionally, it appears players would be required to download the game, which may potentially be an issue since the Xbox Series S only has 512GB of total storage.
Primarily targeted toward backward compatibility, Microsoft’s device outlined in the patent could be of great use to players who’ve built up an impressive library of games through owning past Xbox consoles and are now been left without the ability to play those games thanks to the Xbox Series S’ lack of a disk drive.
Currently, it is unknown whether games that are validated through the device outlined in the patent would be added permanently to the user’s library, or if, similarly to a traditional disk drive, the games would require constant validation while in use. It is also unclear how many times a disk could be validated on different consoles/disk drives before being rendered inoperable.
Unfortunately for Xbox Series S owners who’d quite like to access their back catalog of physical games, it is currently unclear if Microsoft has a disk drive based on this patent in development. Since this patent was filed in late 2020, there’s a slim chance we could see something soon, however, it’s equally possible that the project may have been shelved since this patent’s filing.
If or when this proposed device does launch, it’s likely to cost a fair amount of money since 4K Blu Ray players, that are needed to play and read the latest games, don’t come cheap.