I'm not sure what the folks at the Microsoft Redmond offices were drinking when they came up with an “all digital” future but it certainly wasn't steeped in the confinements of reality. The official game sizes for the Xbox One have been revealed and unless you were on a fiber optic connection, downloading these games wouldn't have been convenient at all.
Gamepur took snapshots of the official boxes for the Xbox One launch titles, including Ryse, Forza Motorsport 5 and Dead Rising 3. Each of the games has their official install sizes listed along with a few other details, which you can check out in the images below.
Look at those sizes.
These are launch games and their minimum install size comes out to 35 gigabytes; that's two additional gigabyte more than the PC version of Max Payne 3. Ryse is a whooping 47 gigabytes.
Both Dead Rising 3 and Forza Motorsport 5 are 35GB, meaning if you bought both these games on day one and planned on downloading them day-one through Microsoft's digital portal, you would have to download more than 70GB worth of data. I'm here to tell you right now, there are a lot of people who have a cap of about 50GB, so that means you could only download one game a month.
Even more than that, you could forget about digitally lending games to people unless they're paying out the bunghole for NSA-quality internet speeds. Also, the time it would take for someone to download a game you shared with them, they may as well have ordered a used copy from Amazon and it would probably arrive at their doorstep faster than them having to download it.
Originally, Microsoft's plan was that games would be available day and date through their Azure service for purchase along with the physical copies. In the original policy gamers couldn't lend games in the traditional sense without jumping through some hoops. Microsoft did have a Family Share Plan that they later scrapped (and conveniently Valve picked up and implemented into Steam) where up to 10 people could have shared access to your library of games (although the details on how many people and for what amount of time was under a lot of contention).
The simple reality is that all this talk about an “all digital future” was about as clear-cut as a pig's trough filled with horse feces. I have no idea who Microsoft was catering the original Xbox One toward with this “all digital future”, especially when the first wave of games are almost equivalent to a lot of people's monthly ISP data cap.
That's not to mention that even if you had a data cap of 250GB or more, if you didn't have speeds exceeding 1MB of data transfer per second, it would take several days of nonstop downloading just to download one game, which means you really couldn't be doing anything else with your internet service while the game downloads... such as looking up nude pictures of Ellen Page's character from Beyond: Two Souls.