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Nyupptäckt patent från Microsoft gör fysiska spel digitala

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En stor nackdel med att köpa det digitala alternativet till Sonys och Microsofts senaste generation av konsoler har varit att man då förlorat möjligheten att starta upp sina gamla fysiska spel på den nya maskinen som helt enkelt saknar möjlighet att avläsa dessa. Snart kanske det blir ändring på det. Ett patent som Microsoft ansökte om i november 2020, samma månad som den heldigitala Xbox Series S släpptes, ser nämligen ut att åtminstone delvis kunna lösa problemen för alla de stackars spelare som fått se sin fysiska spelsamling tappa funktionen att avnjutas.

Patentet går ut på att genom att föra in skivorna i en andra enhet kunna verifiera licensen på de fysiska spelen för att sedan kunna ladda ner titlarna på den heldigitala enheten och på så sätt omvandla en fysisk kopia till en digital. Om detta är något som faktiskt kommer att implementeras i framtiden kan vi i nuläget bara spekulera i men nog hade det allt varit uppskattat att kunna få fortsätta avnjuta sin fysiska spelsamlig även i framtiden.

Microsoft själva hade detta att säga i sin pitch om projektet:

"In recent years, a trend towards producing and consuming digital video game content has developed. As a result of this trend, many people now prefer digital video game content over physical video game media. Accordingly, many next generation video game devices being developed are configured without hardware components for playing physical video game media. Consequently, when an owner of a previous generation video game device purchases a next generation video game device, the owner is unable to play their physical video game media on the next generation video game device. Instead, the owner must repurchase the digital version of the video game content for the next generation video game device. This scenario is undesirable for multiple reasons.

First, video game content (physical and digital) represents a significant financial investment to some people. Although the digital version of the video game content for the next generation video game device may provide additional content and/or significant technological improvements, it may be difficult for some people to justify repurchasing a video game they already own and have already played or completed. Second, many owners of physical video game media have emotional attachments to their physical video game media. These owners simply appreciate the "feel" of handling the physical video game media and/or the nostalgia associated with the physical video game media. Moreover, many of these owners view their libraries of physical video game media and paraphernalia as valuable collections, similarly to rare coins collections, baseball cards collections, etc."

Företaget bakom Xbox tar även upp hur detta skulle gå till ur ett tekniskt perspektiv:

"To address such challenges with playing previous generation physical video game media on next generation digital video game devices, the present disclosure describes systems and methods for providing software ownership validation of optical discs using secondary devices. In aspects, a local network may comprise at least a first and second device. For instance, the first and second device may be connected to a local area network (LAN) that is accessible by one or more users. Alternately, the first and second device may not be connected to the same local network. For instance, the first device may be connected to a first local network and the second device may be connected to a second local network. The first and second device may communicate using the Internet or a distributed network system. The first and second device may be accessible via a common user account, separate user accounts of a common user, or separate user accounts of separate users...

...Physical media, such as an optical disc, may be inserted into the optical disc drive of the second device. The second device may be authorized to access electronic content, such as video game content, on the physical media. The second device may also be configured with a selectable setting or option that enables the second device to validate user ownership of the electronic content on the physical media. For example, when the setting or option is enabled, the second device may be able to verify to a separate device, such as the first device, that a specific user or user account possesses ownership of the electronic content on the physical media."

Nyupptäckt patent från Microsoft gör fysiska spel digitala

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