Every disc-based Xbox One game will also be available to purchase from Xbox Live on its release date, Microsoft confirmed yesterday.
It's a very different policy from the situation on Xbox 360, where select disc-based games may eventually show up as downloadable titles in the Games on Demand section of the Xbox Live Marketplace, sometimes not months until after their retail release.
All Xbox One titles must be installed to the console's hard drive, so game discs essentially serve as little more than game delivery mechanisms — although installing a game from its disc will likely be faster than downloading it, depending on your internet bandwidth. Microsoft said when it unveiled the Xbox One last month that users will be able to start playing games as soon as the installation process begins.
The disc can be put aside once a game is installed: The Xbox One must check in with Xbox Live every 24 hours to ensure that a user is licensed to play a game, Microsoft confirmed yesterday. Disc-based games can be permanently given to friends through a license transfer process that can only occur once for a particular copy of a game, as long as the recipient has been on a person's Xbox Live friends list for at least 30 days.
Physical retail games can also be traded in at "participating retailers" and resold by those stores, and while Microsoft will not charge a "platform fee" to retailers, publishers or consumers for that practice, publishers may decide to charge for trade-ins or choose not to support them at all. Loaning or renting of games will not be supported at launch, although Microsoft said it is "exploring the possibilities" of allowing those practices in the future.