Microsoft hopes upcoming games will encourage your friends to sell you downloadable game content, based on a system described in a recently-granted patent for an integrated DLC distribution system.
If implemented, the elaborately-named ATDDC, for "a
utomated direct t
ransaction and d
elivery system for d
ontent," would prompt users to purchase and download a particular piece of downloadable content if a friend sends an invitation to play a game that requires that DLC.
If the invitee chooses to purchase the DLC, he or she can remain in the multiplayer party while the content downloads, after which he or she can fully accept the invitation.
The patent stipulates that such a system could allow players to purchase not only post-release downloadable content for games, but also entire downloadable games, if a player is invited to a play a title he or she does not already own.
Microsoft filed for the patent in August 2008, and was granted United States patent number 20100056268
earlier this month.
The system described in the patent is not explicitly tied to any particular platform, although it makes mention of Xbox 360, Windows PCs, and Xbox Live as examples of potential hosts.