Microsoft has apparently found a workable solution to give players the ability to add their physical Xbox games to their digital Xbox libraries.
According to a new patent spotted (via GameRant) earlier today, Microsoft has designed an external disc drive that players can use with an Xbox Series S, for example, to verify their Xbox discs and gain access to the digital versions of the same games through the official Xbox Games Store.
Such an external disc drive would be highly beneficial for players who are still holding on to their old Xbox 360 or Xbox One discs as the games industry pushes forward with digital purchasing.
Even players who are still purchasing physical copies for Xbox Series X will sleep peacefully knowing that they have access to the digital versions in case their discs become useless.
Microsoft has always placed a large focus on backward compatibility. The disc drive of Xbox Series X can detect and play almost every Xbox One and Xbox 360 disc as long as they do not require the ill-fated Kinect. There are, however, some caveats as the backward compatibility becomes a little complicated the older the disc in question becomes, such as games released in the early days of Xbox 360.
What the patent refrains from clarifying is how much freedom Microsoft plans to give players. One aspect is players using the patented external disc drive to verify their old Xbox purchases to gain backward digital access. The other aspect is players using the same method to redeem digital versions of newly purchased boxed games on Xbox Series S. Hence, relinquishing the need of purchasing an Xbox Series X just for its disc drive.
Interestingly enough, the patent suggests that the external disc drive could also be in the shape of an Xbox One connected to an Xbox Series S to authenticate a disc. For what it is worth, it would be best that Xbox players hold on to their old consoles and old collection of games for the time being.