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Coffee #166: Is PlayStation Plus a Better Value Than Xbox Live?


Posted on June 28th, by raymond padilla in Coffee Talk, Console Wars, PS3, Today's Specials, Videogames, Xbox 360. 31 comments

Welcome to Coffee Talk! Let’s start off the day by discussing whatever is on your (nerd chic) mind. Every morning I’ll kick off a discussion and I’m counting on you to participate in it. If you’re not feelin’ my topic, feel free to start a chat with your fellow readers and see where it takes you. Whether you’re talking about videogames, your pending application to be a FIFA referee, the summer of LeBron kicking off this week, or A-Rod + Cameron D, Coffee Talk is the place to do it.

Sony made a bold move at E3 2010 with the announcement of PlayStation Plus. A premium addition to its PlayStation Network service, PlayStation Plus launches tomorrow, June 29. It’s available for $17.99 for three months or $49.99 for 15 months (one year + a three-month bonus). For this chunk of change you get free PSN games, the Qore video-magazine, PSN discounts, automatic update downloads, full-game trials, and more. Here’s a PlayStation Blog post with more details.

On paper, PlayStation Plus looks like a better value than Xbox Live Gold. Microsoft’s excellent service gives you online play, access to certain content, and discounts on games. It”s different from PlayStation Plus in that gamers are primarily paying for online play with Xbox Live Gold. Sony’s service is more about non-essential (but valuable) content and services. That said, people love console wars and will compare the two no matter how different they are, so I might as well do it here too. Ha!

I’m excited to see how well (or not) PlayStation Plus works. For now, let’s discuss which service offers the better value, on paper. Do you favor Microsoft’s rock-solid and time-tested Xbox Live Gold? Or do you think PlayStation Plus is where it’s at? Kindly vote in the poll and elaborate in the comments section!

Which online service offers a better value?

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  • SlickyFats

    I totally have to vote for PSN Plus here. I had XBL Gold for a while. I didn't see it offering me anything but Online Play. And that began to annoy me because people we always to to join in on my Crackdown game (mostly to exploit a glitch and "steal" my add-on content). I never played online enough to justify buying it again. With PSN Plus I am glad online play isn't attached to it.

    I saw that if you buy the 1 year before August you get LBP for free. (but that was an EU post)

    Also the free MINIS is a big plus for me. I like the MINIS because they are just the right amount of quick game play for my PS3 & PSP, but I don't like that some are real crap.

    I already am subscribed to Qore for the next year, so I hope they reimburse me a little for getting PLUS also

  • Big Blak

    On paper it is def the PlayStation Plus, but that is only on paper. XBL has a standard for online play and I pay that $50 because the xbl community is massive and quite frankly other than PC gaming nothing is coming close to the online play on xbl.

  • tokz_21

    I'm going to have to go with PSN plus here. I like the fact that online game play isn't associated here. I'm tempted to try this out and will be willing to shell out the $50 for the year but i've already got LBP. If you have it you should be offered something else.

    @my FIFA ref application

    I was rejected because i passed the vision test with flying colors. :(

    @the LeBron of summer

    i just want this to be over with already. I'm tired of people saying he's coming to Chicago.

    @A-Rod + Cameron Diaz

    Wow, he's like 15 years too late. I haven't found her attractive since The Mask w/Jim Carrey.

  • Redd75

    Online multiplayer should be free, right outta the box. That's one of the many reasons I don't own a 360.

    I'm still undecided on Plus, because A.most of the stuff they're offering this month I either have no interest in, or already own, and B.I don't like how if you stop paying for Plus, your access to the games they give you is taken away.

  • smartguy

    I don't think the bandwidth will be any better with this premium service, so I'm gonna say no.

  • Iceman

    I don't think I can adequately compare the two services. It's like apples and oranges. XBL is paying $50/year for basically online play, while PSN+ is a little less than $50/year and seems to be centered around content, download benefits, free trails, discounts, etc.

    I guess it really depends on what you go online for. There are some people that primarily use the online function for multiplayer and not content, while others never play multiplayer and just download content and use other services. Most people are somewhere in the middle, I guess.

    By the way, Mr. Padilla, I've been saying since day one of the announcement of Sony's PSN that eventually they would charge something for it. What Sony was doing (has done) is incredibly predictable and almost expected in the world of business. Whenever you have a competitor that has a better product than you (online services, in this case) and you wish to penetrate that market, you need to come in and offer a similar or better product at a better price (hence, PSN allowing you to play online for free) to bite into your competitor's market share. Once you have taken away enough market share from your competition (i.e., a lot of people on PSN), then you start making money off of them by introducing similar, but still less expensive price points than the competition to not only maintain your customer base, but also still show them that you are still better than their competitors offerings. Something similar has happened (and is still happening) with DirecTV and Dish Network.

    There was never any doubt that Sony was eventually going to start charging something for the PSN. We just didn't know when, how much, and what that extra money would get you (or keep them from taking away from you if they are dicks about it).

    -M

  • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

    @tokz_21 Cameron's looks have decline, but she's still cool and funny. If anything, I think she's downgrading from Justin Timberlake. As much as I love the Yankees, I still don't think A-Rod is a "real Yankee". In fact, I pretty much think he's a knob. The latest example is how he brushed of Joe Torre for two days before finally talking to him on Sunday.

  • tokz_21

    @rpad

    oh i agree. She's still a cool person from what she shows the public. I just don't drool over her as much as i do. I was watching the Mask the other day and i was like, what happened to her?? As far as A-Rod he's a tool at times. i don't know what goes through his head at times.

  • bsukenyan

    I am curious to really see how many people sign up for PSN Plus simply because like Ray stated it is mostly non-essential services. I still like any xbox better than any playstation, but I have always liked how playing online was always free for PS3 users. It is not enough of a factor for me to want to switch though, and I will gladly pay the subscription fee for XBL because I like the experience better. I am not surprised that Sony is charging for content now though. It does seem awesome on paper, but like Iceman mentioned in his post, they are going to have to come out with something better and cheaper. If the tables were turned it would probably be Microsoft coming out with the premium online service with better quality and cheaper price.

  • SlickyFats

    @Redd75

    You don't lose access to ALL of the free games you get from PLUS, just some of them (I don't know what differentiates them though) also you can access them again later when and if you sign back up way down the road.

  • N8R

    Yeah, Cameron Diaz looks like an experiment with botox gone awry now.

  • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

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  • RRODisHere

    PSN+ is the better value on paper for sure. The only thing you get with XBL is online play and other features that are also free everywhere else. I see no reason to pay for XBL.

  • http://rpad.tv raymond padilla

    @RRODisHere That's not completely true. Xbox Live Gold members get access to sales that are unavailable to Silver members.

  • RRODisHere

    @Raymond Padilla

    OK, but everything else like online play, access to Netflix, Facebook, and Twitter are free everywhere else. I just don't see the price of XBL being justified with free features that MS charges for. It's comical to me for people to find value in paying for a list of free features. Only in America.

  • Big Blak

    I pay that $50 because the xbl community is massive and quite frankly other than PC gaming nothing is coming close to the online play on xbl.

  • Nightshade386

    I went hands on with Kinect. Here's my article if anyone is interested:

    http://www.gameseyeview.com/2010/06/28/hands-on-m

  • RRODisHere

    @Big Blak

    The PC community is massive. Does that justify a charge?

  • RRODisHere

    @Nightshade

    I read your (not a) review of Kinect. Are you getting it? I don't have 8ft to spare in any of my rooms so I couldn't get it even if I wanted to.

  • SlickyFats

    @Community Size

    PC and XBL communities maybe be big, but I have never seen any difference in the 30ish players I play with in a particular game on PSN compared to the 30 players you find in one match on 360 or PC. I mean there is never a lack of open games on any of them right?

  • Iceman

    @ Nightshade;

    Great informative article. I am definitely not buying this thing if living room/bedroom furniture is going to be an issue since we don't really have a wide-open space between the TV and where you normally position yourself to play. At the very least, I'll wait a bit after it comes out to see if it drops in price or snag a used one when someone else is tired of it.

    @ N8 (post #11)

    Don't you mean "Meg Ryan?"

    -M

  • RRODisHere

    @SlickyFats

    True. I only have a PS3 and I've never had trouble finding games online.

  • RRODisHere

    @Iceman

    I think he means Heidi Montag.

  • Nightshade386

    @RROD: Haven't made up my mind yet honestly. I've got the space to play it, and I think my son would enjoy it. Also, I could see my wife using the EA Sports Active or other fitness games. She's tried to convince me to get a Wii in the past just for that stuff, but considering it would have cost extra for the balance board and other accessories, I think that the Kinect would be a much better value (if you're just getting it for that kind of stuff and not factoring in Mario, Zelda, etc.) than all that would be required for the same types of games on the Wii. Of course, if I already had a Wii I probably wouldn't be anywhere near as interested as I am. So I guess the best answer is that I need to see more before I commit.

    @Iceman: Thanks! Like I said to RROD, I'm not ready to commit one way or the other, but it certainly was an interesting experience today.

  • http://twitter.com/Sandrock323 Sandrock323

    I'm going to say it… PSN+ has the same offering as a Gold Live account with fancier rapping paper. It's actually funny because some of the things PSN+ is charging for are free on Live. (Qore for one) However, I have to give PSN+ proppes for outlining when and how often they will offer free games.

  • SlickyFats

    @Sandrock

    How is Qore (or something similar) free on XBL? I don't believe I have seen anything remotely similar to Qore on XBL. Maybe you are thinking of PS Pulse (but its free) it is just an update of the latest stuff coming out. Qore has interactive videos and free stuff (themes & games) each month.

  • tokz_21

    With the 4th of July weekend coming, we should remember vets. Miller High life wants to help, for every bottle cap or tab returned they will donate .10 cents for vets of Iraq and Afghanistan to have High Life experiences. Click link if you need more info.
    http://www.marketwire.com/press-release/Iconic-Be

  • Pingback: Hulu Plus for 360 Will Be Highly Customized, Gold Members Only | RPad.TV -- Raymond Padilla & friends talk games and geek culture()

  • http://twitter.com/Sandrock323 Sandrock323

    @SlickyFats

    The 360 has similar offering with its Inside Xbox channel. (Not a Qore subscriber, but the description seems very close. Anyone who has both can of course correct me.)

  • SlickyFats

    @Sandrock

    I don't know anything about Inside Xbox past what I just saw without clicking anything. They are similar in offering behind the scene stuff and demos. Does Inside Xbox give free games each months, free themes and free avatars? Also Private Beta invites. Like I said I h0onestly have no clue if they do.

  • http://twitter.com/Sandrock323 Sandrock323

    @SlickyFats

    Free themes and gamerpics are always being released on 360. Most are nothing more than paid advertisements, but they do have it. Beta is more subjective. It is really up to the Publisher/Developer and I'm not really sure it pans out or will pan out like we want with either services. Free games are rare on Live and I do applaud Sony for making a commitment to it. Microsoft does it sparingly and not often enough for most users to even notice it happens. They also have a tendency to only announce it on Major Nelsons website or on twitter.