Ok so before I start let me say I own both an Xbox One and a Playstation 4 and I have no “alliance” to one specific console. But a few months ago I got a new bank card which resulted in my existing Xbox Live and PSN accounts “expiring” recently…… I have yet to sign back up for either service and I want to share with you guys or perhaps vent is the better word my thoughts on both services and how I feel they offer value for money.
I have been using Xbox Live for over ten years now and for me over these ten years as a service it has never really let me down. It has been reliable and its ease of use, general service and requirement for things like Netflix (well it used to be) made me purchase it without question.
I can honestly say that I have never had a single issue with my Xbox Live account. It worked (and still does) flawlessly on my Xbox 360 and I am more than happy with the set up on Xbox One. It is easy to use, check what my friends are doing and in general it is just a well-made and maintained service that I and I am sure many other games now take for granted as it just runs so smoothly all the time.
Games With Gold
I am never one to complain about getting free games! Some people like to go pretty bat shit crazy when, Microsoft release an “older” game like say the first Gears of War on Xbox 360 or some kind of indie game on Xbox One. But a free game is a free game at the end of the day and to be honest I think the selection has been pretty decent. The Xbox One has really only had one “huge” game and that was Rayman…. While a fun game I know that using the term “huge” may be a step to far, but for some people they are only happy when their free game is a retail release.
I think that some fantastic games have been released for Xbox 360 the last year or two, games like Gears Of War Judgment, Halo Reach and Fable 3 may not have been new games, but they were at one time huge exclusives for the Xbox 360 and getting them for free I thought was pretty cool. Many third party games seem to have been on both Games With Gold and the Instant Game Collection for Playstation 3, but games like Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite and Dead Rising 2 were huge releases and getting them for free was something that you really could not turn your nose up at…… although some people I know did! One cool thing about Games With Gold on the Xbox 360 is that once you download the game it is yours to keep forever which is really cool. This does not apply for Xbox One however and once your subscription ends, you no longer can play those games.
As far as the Xbox One goes…… yeah I have not been as impressed most of the games thus far have been indie games and while it is cool, Microsoft showing some love to indie developers the selection has been hit or miss for me so far. I do think though that as time goes on offering some amazing games as part of their Games With Gold service may be a way to sway some people who have still not decided on what console to get.
I only got into Playstation Plus because I got a few 30 day trial with a video game magazine. This was about two years ago and I was so impressed with the quality of the free games that I decided to keep the service going…… I sure as hell was not paying for their online service it was just the games that kept me interested!
Now I think that the Playstation 3 online service was either something you liked or something you found to be a bit of a pain in the ass! For me I was more towards “pain in the ass” I think nearly half the time I would fire up my Playstation 3 that it needed to do some kind of update or the service was undergoing maintenance! Thankfully, Sony has had things running way better on the Playstation 4. I find the service to be far more reliable and the updates cause far less interference to my gaming! Still though as improved as it is I just think, Xbox Live does things a little bit better.
Instant Game Collection
Wow, Sony really stepped up and delivered some pretty big hits with their, Instant Game Collection Bioshock Infinite, DMC, Tom Raider, Need For Speed and many more Triple A titles would be released in pretty rapid fashion after they had been at retail…… not instantly, but still as they were free it was pretty incredible they showed up on the service when they did. Along with incredible Playstation 3 retail games, indie games would also be part of the service. Add into this support for the Playstation Vita and you were ending up with sometimes, six games per month over the two devices!
Unlike, Games With Gold you only get to keep your Instant Game Collection as long as you are a Playstation Plus subscriber. The games do not get deleted from your console, but they will not load up. To be honest this was not a huge deal and now Microsoft are doing the same thing it seems even less of a big deal.
As far as the Instant Game Collection goes on Playstation 4, Sony were the first to release a big retail game as part of the service in, Injustice Gods Among Us a game which as well as being fun was not available on the Xbox One! Sony have done a great job in getting some top indie games as part of this service games like Outlast, Resogun and Mercenary Kings were all a lot of fun to play. Still though some gamers are desperate for Sony to release retail games as part of the service. Perhaps, Sony raised the bar too high with some of the games they were offering on Playstation 3?
The actual games you get also seems to differ far more on Playstation Plus than it does Games With Gold depending on where you live. Many regions get different line ups each month with the Instant Game Collection. It can be frustrating when some other part of the world is getting a game you would really like to play, but it is not part of the subscription where you live.
So What Do I Like Better?
Really tough to pick one over the other……… but I do think that Sony so far have offered better games (well games that I am interested in) but I do still think that Xbox Live is a better general service than Playstation Network which makes me like it just a wee bit better. Still if you can afford both then it is worth having them a free game is a free game at the end of the day! And during those weeks you have nothing new to play or cannot afford a new game then they do come in very handy.