I've always said the gamers have the power, and that console manufacturers needed to please us with their next systems, not the other way around. The echo of rage against Microsoft's "always-on" and used games policies were certainly loud after Xbox One's May reveal, but once Sony took the stage at this year's E3 and laid down the gauntlet on requirements for Internet connections and how they were pushing player choice, the rage against Microsoft and its policies reached epic proportions.
Then something amazing happened: Microsoft actually listened. Just a short week after E3's last day, Microsoft issued a statement that explained how it would now support physical copies, much as it does today, but also support users who want to make the jump to full digital.
Of course, the always-on Internet connection will still be required for many games, but games that don't solely rely on cloud servers or interactions via the Internet can still be played in offline mode.
Gamers won this round, but in my opinion so did the hardware manufacturers, game publishers, and game developers. The way to an all-digital future for game consoles isn't through enforcement of policy, but rather by giving gamers the option to play the way they want to play, combined with providing developers the tools and publishers the power to create enticing new ways to play and pay for games.
Now that the battle of policy and choice is over, we can move on to the most important aspect of every console: the games. Right now, the options to gamers are numerous. The current generation of consoles has an impressive array of games on the horizon like Batman: Arkham Origins and Grand Theft Auto V. For gamers who make the jump to the new hardware, I feel I can safely say this is the most impressive batch of first-generation software I have ever seen, and it is only going to get better.
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