Xbox Live Vs. PlayStation Plus!

There isn't just one paid online console gaming service, anymore. There are two. Xbox Live and the newly revealed PlayStation Plus are going head-to-head. But, how are the two services different?

This is what we know so far:

Price

An annual "Gold" membership for Xbox Live is $US49.99. The "Silver" membership is totally free, however. The upcoming PSN Plus is also priced at $US49.99 for a year and $US17.99 for three months. The regular PSN service is free of charge. Sony is planning on offering an initial three month trial membership, free of charge.

Downloadable Content

Both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members have access to downloadable content like demos and game trailers; however, some Xbox Live Gold content becomes available to Silver members a week later. According to Sony, the PlayStation Plus "Exclusives" include "full game trial" as well as "select early demos". For current PSN users, demos and game trailers, and we do not see this changing, because it is such a powerful marketing tool for games. The "select early demos" bit sounds similar to how Microsoft rolls out content early on Xbox Live for Gold members.

Discounts

Microsoft has had "weekly deals" on Xbox Live to Gold members with 50 percent on select Xbox Live Arcade games, Xbox originals and downloadable content. Sony's Playstation Plus is planning to offer its paid users PSN Store discounts, free games and downloadable content. You would also get access to one new PSN game per month (possibly only for as long as you're a paying subscriber, though we're not sure of that).

Chat

Both Xbox Live Gold and Silver members have voice chat capabilities, but video chat and party chat are reserved for the fee-based Gold members. Sony currently offers free voice chat free of charge to its PSN users. No word yet on what new robust chat services will be offered via the PlayStation Plus.

Social Networking Sites

Paid Xbox Live Gold users get Twitter and Facebook integration, while Xbox Live Silver members do not. Sony's free PSN service already offers Facebook integration.

Netflix

Netflix is already available on both the PSN and Xbox Live. It is currently a paid, separate subscription for the PSN and included in the subscription for Xbox Live Gold membership.

Multiplayer

The traditional divide between Microsoft's paid Gold service and its free Silver service is multiplayer. On the Xbox 360, players that want to experience multiplayer online gaming must play the Gold membership fees. Conversely, since the PS3 launched, it has offered free multiplayer gaming. PlayStation Plus does not currently appear as though it will change this.

Firmware...Wait, Firmware?

According to Sony, the company has made it easier for PlayStation Plus users to get their firmware updates. Microsoft does not offer such a service to Xbox Live members.

This is, as previously mentioned, what we currently know and obviously subject to change once Sony launches PlayStation Plus later this summer. There will be kinks for the company to iron out, so stay tuned to see how Sony continues to differentiate its paid online service from Microsoft's. The battle of the paid subscriptions is just getting started.


Comments

    Dun dun dunnnnnn!!!

    bastards! totally free online was one of my reasons for getting a ps3!

      You will still be able to play games online for free.

      Looks like someone didn't read the article.

      Online play is still free and will continue to be free.

        Until they decide to start charging for it. Or certain developers demand it, or you have to pay to play a certain new game mode or something.

          Well considering new game modes are already considered DLC they already charge for such things

          B) the 360 is a pretty pirated console such things cant be said for the ps3 so the online aspect isnt being monitored for such things

          currently this changes nothign for notmal users

    My only problem with paying for gold is that Microsoft refuse to make region filtering matchmaking options manditory. If I'm paying a multiplayer game AND the ability to play it online I want it to freakin' work.

    XBL still has the better service. I use both constantly, and I hate the PSN with a passion. Specially when trying to game with mates, its just so much easier on XBL.

    "According to Sony, the company has made it easier for PlayStation Plus users to get their firmware updates."

    lolwut.

    I remember trying to download firmware on my PS3, it took about a bajillion years, but only took about a minute on my PC. Maybe they fixed that bug and are calling it a "feature"?

    I really don't understand the firmware part. How is it going to be "easier" for plus users to get new firmware? Are they going to sneak extra things in for plus users? Weird.

      According to the announcement, you can configure the console to check for and download both system software and game updates at a particular time each day.

      Quite a useful feature if you have different peak and off peak download quotas, but I'm not sure if I'd want to pay more for it.

    the only positive is the free game per month? i've always hated xbl gold in that i felt i wasnt really getting anything decent out of it.

    Are you sure voice chat is available to to silver live members...??
    I think you can send a voice msg but can't do a real time chat.

      Private, 1 on 1 chat is available, party chat isn't, I'm pretty sure.

    What I think Sony should do is when FFXIV comes out, if you have the Playstation Plus subscription...then you do not have to pay a monthly fee to play FFXIV, or have a discount. If that happens then I think people would be interested in getting it.

    How often does Xbox have a firmware update - once a year? I'm a bit scared to know how often they do it on PS3! Having said that I have been envious of PS3's free online play but in the end my friends are on Xbox so that's what I chose.

    Given that online multiplayer is still free by the looks of it - there doesn't look to be to much incentive for PS3 users to pick this up, unless you have that free game thing which could be cool

    I dont need all those extra bells and whistles for $80 a year. Im happy with just free gaming online.

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