First off, this is the page that Microsoft put up. Giantbomb has a good video in which you can watch them read through and react to the write-up in real time, but seeing as it's 40 minutes long I'll jump the gun a bit and say I summarize Microsoft's page further down this post.
After reading through the initial press release, I started to get angry. How dare they take away as much power I have as a consumer as they did to me. How dare they enact such draconian measures as having to check in every 24 hours and decide whether I can resell my games. Why is Microsoft doing this?
Wait... why is Microsoft doing this?
A bit of introspection and digging revealed that, simply put, it's because publishers want it to be so.
Backing up a bit: Digital goods are becoming a bigger and bigger part of our daily lives. Initially, curators of this content - publishers in the video game industry, music labels and production studios in other industries - were resistant to this, because there wasn't a way to check against pirates and other practices they didn't approve of. The Internet was allowing people to enjoy media in ways that they couldn't have before, at the expense of the creator's and distributor's bottom line.
Compounding this issue in the games industry - but also in the movies industry particularly - was the fact that games were/are only costing more and more to make every passing year, with the net result is the recent homogenization of 'big' media. Everything is Call of Duty-derived because Call of Duty has been proving to make the big bucks. More generally, the cost to make games across the board has gone up at least an order of magnitude in the past ten years, if not more, because the demands that a modern game incurs (more complex models, environments, full soundtracks and voice acting, the rise of motion capture, &c) have become that much more complex and simply expensive to generate. It's gotten to the point where the Tomb Raider reboot needed to sell 5 million copies if they wanted to be considered 'successful'. With the fact that new game prices have stuck at $60USD for the past ten years as well, such a business model is simply not feasible - one 'flop' would take down most publishers (See: THQ).
So publishers have been looking for ways to recoup those costs. DLC can be seen as an early example of this - it both gives publishers more money for less (the majority of the assets most DLC uses have already been made in the development of the main game), and slows down the rate at which games are sold back, gifted, or lent (publishers don't get a cut of any of these transactions). Online Passes more directly combat the used game 'issue', although this solution hasn't been accepted well in the past because it feels like more of a cash grab than anything else.
This backdrop makes publishers seem more human. They don't necessarily want the few extra bucks a DLC or Online Pass sale gives them so much as the desperately need it to continue to exist. Games are only getting more and more expensive, and under the current model publishers simply can't sustain that growth. They need another way to make money while satiating the demands of consumers. Microsoft and Sony know this, as well - people won't buy their consoles if there aren't good games to play on them, and your Call of Duties and Battlefields have proven in the past to be easy sellers of consoles. Those games are only possible under big publishing houses, whose have the resources to fund these games that, after marketing costs, approach $100million.
So from this perspective, the publishers have control, and this hardware generation they have exerted it. They told Microsoft and Sony "Yo, we can't keep this up forever. The second-hand market and people's general unwillingness to pay full price for a game is killing us. You need to give us the tools to make sure we continue to exist this generation."
And Microsoft and Sony complied. Here is what's a result of the discourse that followed:
Games are now tied to an account as well as hardware - through the cloud, these games can be played on any XBox One (after you log in, of course), and up to ten people who are on the same XBox as the game was installed on can play it as well. Think iTunes' 'Authorized Devices' policy as an analogy to what's going on here.
Your XBox One, for authentication purposes as well as other, non-specified uses, must connected to the Internet once every 24 hours. This is reduced to one hour if you're playing your game on a console that isn't yours.
Trade-ins are murkier waters at the moment: You can 'gift' a game exactly once, which disallows you from playing the game on your account, but your friend can play it. Beyond that, whether a game can be traded in at all or for a fee (like an Online Pass, except now it's an All Access Pass) is up to the publishers (the gifting is up to the publishers, as well). Microsoft, for their part, won't take a cut of any of these transactions.
Loaning and Renting games will not be possible at launch, but Microsoft is "exploring the possibilities".
There are a couple other bullet points, but they aren't entirely relevant to this discussion. If you're curious, here is the link again to the official release.
So it looks like the publishers got whatever they wanted, mostly because the non-new game stuff is set on their terms. If they want, used games go away, or at the very least they are set back by the mandatory need of an Online Pass of some sort. I had a situation a few years ago where a few friends and I chipped in for a game and each played through it, rotating the copy around. That goes away as well with the gifting policy, as does the concept of 'loaning' a game in general.
It's here that I want to pull in Steam and mobile games into the mix. Both are completely digital stores and have their own DRM solutions that are, in a sense, similar to what Microsoft has implemented: You cannot resell games, whose prices and need to connect online are set by the developer/publishers, and you cannot go offline indefinitely. Mobile games justify this by being dirt cheap. Steam justifies this in three ways. First, they allow people go offline for up to 30 days, which is enough to cease to be a problem in all except for the fringe-est of cases. The second is by liberally using Steam sales and price reductions to drive game sales (each of which publishers/developers get a cut of) while at the same time getting consumers good games for cheap. Third, Steam actively supports mods and other 'alternatives' by which people can mess around with their games. In short, Steam does what Microsoft's trying to do, but solved the consumer angst-problem by not being in the way of you trying to play games. The resell and 24-hour time limit issues are both very in-the-way of console consumers, hence the backlash.
There is a good way to handle DRM, but the used game market (which is way bigger than it was for the PC, and is now non-existent on the PC) is going to demand a much more complex solution than Steam's.
I doubt Sony's going to have a much different solution, so that's not what I'm looking for next week at E3. I'm looking for clarification, because as the Giantbomb video points out near the end, there simply wasn't enough clarification on the used-game issue. We still don't have a clear picture on how DRM in the Xbox One is going to work. We're going to get more answers next week at E3. Whether these answers are the ones we want remains to be seen. But I think being in the dark is much, much worse than knowing and being dissatisfied.