Here we go again.
In 2011, Microsoft was the indie king. The industry was just blossoming thanks to services like Steam and Xbox Live Arcade, which introduced independent games to huge, hungry audiences. Indie Game: The Movie was about to debut, giving fans a deep behind-the-scenes look at the perils and triumphs of small-scale development. The Xbox 360 served as the foundational platform for the film's major projects Super Meat Boy, Fez and Braid.
And then, the pendulum swung -- in 2012, Journey landed exclusively on the PS3. It served as a lightning rod for discussions about emotion and art in video games, and it gave Sony the momentum to transform its indie ecosystem. By July 2013, Sony had opened up its processes, allowing indie developers to self-publish their games on the company's next console, the PlayStation 4. Even Microsoft still required indies to partner with established publishers, at this point.
Microsoft attempted to regain its indie dominance with the ID@Xbox program, though that turned out to be more complicated than most developers would have liked. The launch of the Xbox One was a low-key disaster while Sony continually dropped the mic, showcasing indie games at E3 to widespread acclaim while Microsoft played catch-up. As recently as E3 2015, Sony's head hung heavy with indie jewels.