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    Xbox Live gold vs PSN Plus (comparison)


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    XBOX Live Gold vs. PSN Plus (comparison)


    Comparisons Gaming Comparisons Services — 06 July 2012


    So you’re a gamer that can only have one “premium” gaming service active at any given time, and you want to know which has the most “BANG” for your buck, right? Fear not my intrepid readers, I’m going to break down the pros and cons of each service so you can decide for yourselves which to get. Obviously the preferred choice is to get both, but not everyone has the resources for that, so which should you leave as the standard free service, and which should you go ahead and upgrade?

    Differences in the Free Versions:


    Before we talk about the premium services each company offers, we need to talk about the baseline free services. With XBOX Live Silver, you are able to keep a list of your friends, share achievements, send messages, and download content from the Marketplace. Note that there is no online play, and services like Netflix and Hulu Plus aren’t available. With the basic level of the Playstation Network you also get your friend list, trophies, access to store content and messages, but you also get access to the apps like Netflix and Hulu Plus and you get online play included. Now that we know the benefits of the basic services, which provider is better behind the pay wall?

    Online Play:


    Even though the basic PSN gives you the ability to play online for free, it still needs to be talked about here. One of the reasons is for cross game chat – Live Gold has offered this for an extremely long time, and while it has been promised and promised by Sony to “be coming soon” since PSN Plus started, they have yet to actually deliver it. It isn’t a big deal to a lot of people to be sure, but I would love to be able to talk to friends playing different games on the PSN, and as a reviewer I utilize this to talk to other journalists on the 360 all the time. It is one of the reasons I actually use my 360 more than my PS3. Really, the pay service of PSN offers no discernible benefits yet to online play at this time. At E3 this year, Sony promised more revamps to the PSN service such as faster queuing for Plus members and access to Plus member only game lobbies in certain titles, but as of yet that hasn’t come to fruition. The benefits of Live Gold though are that you can play online any time you want, where as with the free service there you can only play online during designated free weekends.

    Winner:
    XBOX Live Gold because you actually get a benefit here if you pay for it
    User Interface:

    While the interface might not change between either free or pay service, you can not talk about both providers without mentioning the UI. Before the latest XBOX dashboard update I would have probably thought it was the better UI – doubly so if you went back two dashboard updates, but as it stands the current UI is not intelligent at all. Microsoft spent so much time with Kinect integration that they forgot about those of us that really don’t like the Kinect. And even in there, yes it might work most of the time, but there are still a number of occasions where the Kinect just flat out fails. The PS3 interface though isn’t without it’s flaws either. On the 360, when an achievement pops just one touch of the guide button lets you know what you did, on the PS3 though you need to hit the Home button, move to the trophy information, wait for all your trophies to load, go to the game your playing, and then look for the trophy in a list. Definitely not the best way to handle things there. On the store front side of things though, the PSN is hands down the winner because the store is set up in a much more intuitive manner – you’re not blindly searching for things there.

    Winner:
    PSN Plus – even though there is no difference between paying or not, the natural PSN features edge out the XBOX features slightly

    Titles for Download:


    One of the things that most everyone uses Live or the PSN for is the ability to download new titles – whether full games or just demos – on the fly to add to their libraries. Fortunately both systems have basically the same titles available, with the exception of a few exclusive titles. With the XBOX, there isn’t any difference between what Gold and Silver users get, but Silver users do have to wait a week longer to get the things Gold users do. You can also see this same business model in place for some titles on the PSN. Journey, one of the biggest releases on the PSN when it came out was available a whole two weeks earlier to PSN Plus members than basic members. There have been numerous times when being a Plus member entitled you to join a Beta (Uncharted 3, Battlefield 3) as well. While Call of Duty items go over to the 360 before hitting the PS3, unless that is all you play (and I know there are a lot of you out there that fit that bill), that might not be enough to convince someone to spend their money on the Gold treatment.

    Winner:
    Tie – both services have exclusives and both services get some content to paying members first

    Price:


    Since the initial argument is that you only have money for ONE of these two services, cost should be a consideration as well. Sony charges you $49.99 for a year of access to PSN Plus, and Microsoft asks you to fork over $59.99 of your hard earned scrilla. These raw numbers might make you instantly say PSN Plus is better, but not so fast there bucko. While PSN Plus is cheaper on paper, in practice things can change. While Sony has yet to offer any discounts, you can almost always find a retailer out there selling a year of Live Gold for less. This past Christmas I bought three Live Gold subscriptions for $30 a piece and gave them as gifts. Until Sony figures out how to make some deals with retailers like Microsoft has, Live Gold wins out here.

    Winner:
    Live Gold as you never have to pay full retail if you do some searching

    Discounts:


    Both services offer discounts to their paying members, but are any of those discounts worth writing home about? For starters, Microsoft always has weekly specials for their Gold members, amounting to 50% off of certain titles. They also have “Summer of This” or “Season of That” specials that reward you for buying multiple featured games. With PSN Plus though, Sony takes it a step farther. Members of the Plus service get all sorts of discounts on games (generally more games than Gold members as well), but they also get to download free games each month. Now prior to E3, the games weren’t the greatest – but now? Last month we got to download 13 fully functional games, including a number of full retail titles. This month is a bit smaller, but still good titles all around. As long as Sony keeps this pace up, every Plus member will need to buy a 1TB hard drive to store things.

    Winner:
    PSN Plus because of all of the free games

    Other Benefits:


    Jumping through the pay wall from Silver to Gold opens up pretty much everything to you. Online play, NetFlix, Hulu Plus, and everything else (though you need subscriptions to some of those services naturally) are yours for the playing. With PSN Plus things are a little different. Since all of that is available for free on the PS3, they had to come up with some other benefits to lure people in. Cloud save space is one big one – no longer do you have to worry about how to get your saves to a friends house (or to other PS3s in your house) – just send it to the cloud and download it where you want it. This works out great if you are using a Vita game that supports cross platform play. Another big benefit that comes with PSN Plus is automatic downloading. When that is on, you don’t need to worry about updating any game or firmware, as all of that will download and install automatically.

    Winner:
    PSN Plus has more interesting benefits

    Overall Winner:


    While in a perfect world, a gamer would have both of the services and enjoy all of the benefits therein, not everyone can afford the extra expense. While it really comes down to personal preference, in my opinion subscribing to PSN Plus is a much better option. My library has grown exponentially, and now I can play a bunch of things that I initially passed on when review copies came around (like Infamous 2). If I was a huge Call of Duty player maybe some of my opinions would change, but as it stands, my vote is definitely on spending the cash on PSN Plus.

    PS+ is turning into a great service. It doesn't have the online community aspects that Live does, but damn, these free games that they are rolling out are badass, and there are ****loads of discounts. This suits me better. I don't need ease of hooking up with friends in games or XGC.
    Last edited by Ghost; 07-07-2012 at 22:31.
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    its the same, but with different company names


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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    PS+ is turning into a great service. It doesn't have the online community aspects that Live does, but damn, these free games that they are rolling out are badass, and there are ****loads of discounts. This suits me better. I don't need ease of hooking up with friends in games or XGC.
    I totally agree. Free games, heavily discounted games and access to betas while still keeping online play free. PS+ definitely wins IMO. And thankyou ghost for putting the article in for me.
    Last edited by mistercrow; 07-07-2012 at 22:42.

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    it will change soon. free will not exist and that is fact


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    Quote Originally Posted by claud3 View Post
    it will change soon. free will not exist and that is fact
    I hope not. Yes I hope Sony will continue to add to PS +, but please please do not take away the free PSN option!

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    Quote Originally Posted by claud3 View Post
    it will change soon. free will not exist and that is fact
    So you're saying they're eventually going to make you pay just for the opportunity to purchase a game from their respective online markets?
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    Surprised PS+ won.
    Xbox live must be really **** because when I first bought PS+ I thought it was a huge waste of my money nd offered me nothing I considered worth while to subscribe again.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaY_210 View Post
    So you're saying they're eventually going to make you pay just for the opportunity to purchase a game from their respective online markets?
    Yes.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by claud3 View Post
    Yes.
    I'm sorry, but with all due respect. And remember, I am saying with all due respect. That's just stupid. But then again, I never would've thought that there would be a market to pay to play games online, but look at Live
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    It's called PlayStation Plus not PlayStation Network Plus.

    And I seriously doubt Sony will go pay to play now that they have Online Passes, it is their biggest advantage over the competition and they know it, PS+ and all the advertising through PSN apps pays to keep it free, didn't Kaz say awhile back PSN is now turning profits thanks to PS+? Sure they aren't making as much as XBL Gold subs but if they work on getting more content to temp people with PS+ then there'll be even less reason for them to go pay to play. Most people who want Sony to go down this route are pissed that they have no choice but to pay.
    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzyreactor
    Nothing more exciting than bringing home a brand new console and watching a download screen for a hour.

    yay, next gen!

  13. #13
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    > Paying for free games

    Amazing how Sony has got people overlooking this abrupt dichotomy.
    Last edited by Rapture; 07-08-2012 at 04:36.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapture View Post
    > Paying fro free games

    Amazing how Sony has got people overlooking this abrupt dichotomy.
    I would call it more of a rental service, but with some other perks as well
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rapture View Post
    > Paying for free games

    Amazing how Sony has got people overlooking this abrupt dichotomy.
    I have zero problem paying $50/year to get access to well over $200+ worth of games and discounts. And before you ask, most of the full PS3 games that were offered thus far I have yet to play but always wanted too.

    Will all the games be awesome? No, course not. But theres been far few "utterly garbage" games. Infact a lot of the games I hated I now enjoyed enough to get 100% on em.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by AaronSOLDIER View Post
    It's called PlayStation Plus not PlayStation Network Plus.

    And I seriously doubt Sony will go pay to play now that they have Online Passes, it is their biggest advantage over the competition and they know it, PS+ and all the advertising through PSN apps pays to keep it free, didn't Kaz say awhile back PSN is now turning profits thanks to PS+? Sure they aren't making as much as XBL Gold subs but if they work on getting more content to temp people with PS+ then there'll be even less reason for them to go pay to play. Most people who want Sony to go down this route are pissed that they have no choice but to pay.
    I also highly doubt it. Free online is a huge differentiater for Sony, like the subless model was for Guild Wars. The devs behind GW said that 2 was free because people had come to associate and expect the free to play (after purchase) model and that it was part of the game's heritage. It's just the same with PSN, the free aspect people will expect and it's part of the heritage. What's more, no other system requires you to pay money to play online, PS3, PC, Wii U are all free to play. 360 is the exception, not the norm. And yeah, I agree with the last sentence too, a whole lotta justification going with the people who are advocating that Sony will go pay to play. They won't, and I'd wager a ban that next gen gaming online will be free, but the next itteration of PS+ will have **** loads of enticing bells and whistles. I mean, Vita has online play, XCG and a much wider community focus, and all that is free...
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    I also highly doubt it. Free online is a huge differentiater for Sony, like the subless model was for Guild Wars. The devs behind GW said that 2 was free because people had come to associate and expect the free to play (after purchase) model and that it was part of the game's heritage. It's just the same with PSN, the free aspect people will expect and it's part of the heritage. What's more, no other system requires you to pay money to play online, PS3, PC, Wii U are all free to play. 360 is the exception, not the norm. And yeah, I agree with the last sentence too, a whole lotta justification going with the people who are advocating that Sony will go pay to play. They won't, and I'd wager a ban that next gen gaming online will be free, but the next itteration of PS+ will have **** loads of enticing bells and whistles. I mean, Vita has online play, XCG and a much wider community focus, and all that is free...
    I agree with everything you just said. And thats why I also believe online play will remain free on the PS4.

  18. #18
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    I'd say the online features = xbox live
    I'd say worth the money = ps+

    I haven't had that great of an experience with ps+ for 16 months. However, recently, I paid the up front price instead of searching for a discount code.. so $49.99, and downloaded over $250 worth of games interesting for my family members. If I don't get a single other game, feature, etc., it was well worth the price at this point. With Xbox Live, meh... I've paid for two services so that two people can play online and use online features, such as party involvement.




  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by RaY_210 View Post
    I would call it more of a rental service, but with some other perks as well
    So would I, they are two different services really, XBL focuses on more features whereas PS+ gets you discounts, freebies and rentals, with a couple of features such as cloud saves.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ghost-Rhayne View Post
    I also highly doubt it. Free online is a huge differentiater for Sony, like the subless model was for Guild Wars. The devs behind GW said that 2 was free because people had come to associate and expect the free to play (after purchase) model and that it was part of the game's heritage. It's just the same with PSN, the free aspect people will expect and it's part of the heritage. What's more, no other system requires you to pay money to play online, PS3, PC, Wii U are all free to play. 360 is the exception, not the norm. And yeah, I agree with the last sentence too, a whole lotta justification going with the people who are advocating that Sony will go pay to play. They won't, and I'd wager a ban that next gen gaming online will be free, but the next itteration of PS+ will have **** loads of enticing bells and whistles. I mean, Vita has online play, XCG and a much wider community focus, and all that is free...
    Yep, they'll just keep on with Online Passes and PS+.
    Quote Originally Posted by fuzzyreactor
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  20. #20
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    Yep they are two different services. PS+ is an optional service in the sense that you can still play online for free without being a member while Xbox Live gold requires you to be a member in order to play your games online.

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    XBL Gold is garbage. They get people to pay by removing a feature which is essentially mandatory for the enjoyment of games and the console you purchased- online play.

    You get nothing 'extra' out of that deal. Just the ability to play online and access paid services (like Netflix) from your console.

    PSN and PSN+ you get far more out of for the money. With PSN you obviously pay nothing- so huzzah. PSN+ you get tons of goodies that make the 50$ look like a bargain deal.

    imho, STEAM>PSN(+)>XBL

    I've been saying this since PS+ came around, and I haven't found any reason to change my tune. I pay for XBL, yes, because all my friends have it and I want to play and socialize with them (we live some 1200 miles+ apart).
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    XBL has more features online vs PSN and PS+. With PSN you obviously pay nothing, but you barely get anything other than online play, and a bare features of social aspects that is used while playing online. It doesn't make XBL garbage because you have to pay for features that you can't get on other systems, oh but those consoles with free online don't have the features anyways.... smh

    PS+ has more content for the subscription IF it interests you. The first year + a few months of PS+, it didn't mean **** for me. Does that make PS+ ****? NO. It made it not very relevant to me. XBL on the other hand, was extremely relevant for me.




  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by F34R View Post
    XBL has more features online vs PSN and PS+. With PSN you obviously pay nothing, but you barely get anything other than online play, and a bare features of social aspects that is used while playing online. It doesn't make XBL garbage because you have to pay for features that you can't get on other systems, oh but those consoles with free online don't have the features anyways.... smh

    PS+ has more content for the subscription IF it interests you. The first year + a few months of PS+, it didn't mean **** for me. Does that make PS+ ****? NO. It made it not very relevant to me. XBL on the other hand, was extremely relevant for me.
    something thats comes with game should be free i don't care about 90% of the stuff on Free psn or what you get for with live i just want to play the games to its fullest they online on it i shouldn't have to pay more cash to use it

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  25. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by djpenny View Post
    something thats comes with game should be free i don't care about 90% of the stuff on Free psn or what you get for with live i just want to play the games to its fullest they online on it i shouldn't have to pay more cash to use it
    Ok, maybe I should help explain this... buying a game on the 360, and wanting to play online free, CAN BE DONE!! Gold membership is not a requirement to play online. Gold membership is required to use Microsoft services.

    So, everyone that has a 360, and games they wanna play online for free... do a little research, play the games for free. So there you go. You don't have to pay more cash to use it.




  26. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by F34R View Post
    Ok, maybe I should help explain this... buying a game on the 360, and wanting to play online free, CAN BE DONE!! Gold membership is not a requirement to play online. Gold membership is required to use Microsoft services.

    So, everyone that has a 360, and games they wanna play online for free... do a little research, play the games for free. So there you go. You don't have to pay more cash to use it.
    Did they change it? I don't keep up with Microsoft at all. I know you needed Gold before to play online.
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