The root reason why Microsoft had to back down on their changes and make things stick with the way they are, it’s because they did a horrible job selling their new features and what they could have meant for the consumer.
What they should have done is said that they've made the Xbox One an entirely digital experience, where people can purchase games directly from Microsoft on day 1 without having to wait in line, preorder or deal with physical discs. They should have said that they're still going to make physical discs available for people who don’t have the appropriate bandwidth to download 50GB games, but that their focus is on digital. They should have said that because their focus is digital, all these features listed above are like Steam, but better. But instead they focused too much on the physical discs and lost people along the way.
But that doesn’t matter now. It’s apparent that the backlash, whether founded or unfounded, was too much for Microsoft to bear, and they backed down and not only removed these so called “restrictions,” but they removed a whole lot of incredible features as well. All thanks to people complaining on the internet.
To remind you of some of the “scenarios [they] previously announced”, here’s a short list of the relevant features.
- If you purchased a physical disc game, your game was tied to your account and you could go to any other Xbox One and be able to have access to your entire library without carrying physical discs around
- You could re-sell your physical disc game to Gamestop or any participating outlet that opted into Microsoft’s revenue sharing system
- You could buy a used physical disc game from a participating retailer and play it like a new game
- You could install all your games onto your hard drive and not have to get up all the time to swap discs
- You could buy a digital copy and sell it or gift it to a friend (a previously unheard-of policy in digital games)
- You could potentially share your entire library with 10 friends/family members, with the only limitation being that you couldn't play the same game at once
These were fantastic new features that were only available because Microsoft had the very reasonable expectation that you authenticate once a day to make sure you owned the game and didn’t just dump your entire library to someone and they were able to play all your games forever. Well, all of those features are gone now.