DEFCON One
And you all thought the console war was over before it even started.

Now that Microsoft has done a complete 180 on the nerd-rage-inducing used game and internet connection policies, the decision doesn't seem as cut-and-dry anymore. If you ask me, the original policies were announced just to test the waters, with the decision to drop them being the backup plan all along. I mean sure, a few of you will keep yelling about Microsoft's condescending PR gaffes during that time, but in four months it'll be all about Killer Instinct.

In the last generation, the Xbox 360 was the obvious choice for gamers out of the gate. While the PS3's earliest claim to fame was being the best blu-ray player on the market, the 360 sported a superior game library across multiple genres. Tales of Vesperia, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Saints Row, Lost Odyssey, Gears of War, Dead or Alive 4, and BioShock were among the big exclusive titles for said console. In addition, Xbox Live was a vastly superior service to the PlayStation Network. Despite the additional cost, it provided an easier to use and more stable experience. It basically became the first social network for gamers.

Later on in the console life-cycle though, things changed. As Microsoft decided to focus on the lucrative mainstream audience (Halo, Call of Duty, etc.), almost all of the above-mentioned franchises ended up on the PS3 anyway. In the meantime, Sony's console came into its own with strong exclusives like Journey, Uncharted, Infamous, and The Last of Us. (It makes me sad knowing that I won't have a chance to play The Last of Us any time soon since I don't own a PS3.) The PlayStation Network evolved further with its PlayStation Plus service. It provided a much better value than Xbox Live, which had now become required not only for multi-player gaming, but for media services like Netflix and Hulu.

How the current-gen console war ended up resolving itself will definitely affect my purchase decisions come November. Buying both is simply not a realistic option at this time; I don't have a thousand bucks just sitting around collecting dust, and if I did, I'm pretty sure I could find better things to spend it on than video games. The Xbox One is looking like the system with not only the most potential because of the Kinect integration, but right now it also has the better exclusive library. I don't think any game got more of a reaction during E3 than Killer Instinct. Kingdom Hearts 3 may have come close, but that game will be multi-platform. With PlayStation Plus now being required for online play along with Xbox Live now handing out free games to Gold members, the online services are now more or less equal. The thing is, I know that most if not all of the Xbox One exclusives will end up on the PC, and everything that's not Gears or Halo stands a good chance of eventually making it to the PS4 as well. On the other hand, Sony's exclusive titles won't be showing up anywhere else, making the PS4 the better choice for someone like me who primarily plays games on PC.

A lot can still change in five months, but it's great to once again see some competition. I look forward to seeing how this one turns out!
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