Microsoft's used-game policy could be genius
There seems to be a lot of confusion out there regarding what Microsoft's policy on used games really is. After months of seeing many rumors become true for the PS4 and Wii U as well as the X1, it was only natural for many of us to assume the worst when second-hand information from many gaming-media outlets seemed to confirm the rumor that the new Xbox console would not allow consumers to trade, share nor buy used games.
Let's be fair however, as far as this topic, nothing official has been said by Microsoft directly to us beyond few things like these: http://news.xbox.com/2013/0... (6th question). I understand Microsoft has had us "core" gamers feeling abandoned with the lack of exclusive games for the last part of the generation (plus things like the Kinect 1 that didn't really target us to begin), so at any sign of a bad move, most lash out against them. I do believe Microsoft does plan to allow users to trade/sell/buy used games in some way but I am also certain that the traditional game trading system we're used to is gone.
Consider this: you buy a new game and obtain a digital license for such said game where the ownership of this license can be transferred. Let's say you go to your friend's house taking the game with you: you sign into Live and play. If your friend wants to keep on playing the game, s/he could either buy her/his own license or simply (in the best case I'm hoping for) be given away your license if chosen to (which would be given back to you based on word-of-mouth just like the lending of any game). You could also trade your game for another one or an agreed amount of Microsoft points with any other user a la more advanced version of "Steam trading." What if you can't or don't want to trade with anyone yet still desire to get rid of the game? Could you still go to (for example) GameStop and sell it? According to GameStop President Tony Bartel, you can ( http://onforb.es/12sGpaU). How would this work? Possibly like you would with any other user. You'd give your license to Gamestop who would then become the owner and who would also compensate you with games, Microsoft points or cash (which would have to be done at a local store).
So why make the regular game-trading system more complicated? Well, it would definitely be frictional and drive away consumers. In addition however, and since transactions with retailers would be done trough Live, it would be possible for the publisher to make profits from used-game sales but still keep second-hand retailers around such as GameStop/FYE/etc. If this indirect way of making profit were to offset enough the profit from people giving up on Xbox for making matters alien and complicated, then it would have been a successful move.
There cannot be success without risk and Microsoft has already taken bold risks in the past (starting 7th gen with Live even as an underdog and introducing the negatively received Kinect). I know I'm just speculating and playing devil's advocate here but beyond that I'm simply trying to picture a sound scenario. In truth, we have no idea what Microsoft is planning and how it would work or if they're willing to keep such system with the backlash we've given them at all. Regardless of what they may end up implementing, nothing will be set in stone until the whole market reacts with their wallets after the X1 and PS4 have come out, and we "core" gamers are definitely not the whole market.