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Green for Gold…Justified?

June 18, 2008 Written by Anthony Severino

Recently, GamesRadar posted an interesting look into what exactly you get whilst paying for Xbox Live Gold in comparison to a free service such as PlayStation Network. Is the extra cost justified?

Firstly, I’ll list the commonalities between the two services, these being features provided at no cost with the most basic subscription level:

PSN Account <—> Xbox Live Silver Account

  • A friends list
  • Text Messaging
  • Voice Chat
  • Online store content download (One week delay for Xbox Live Silver accounts)
  • Recent player list

Next, here’s a list of common features between Xbox Live Gold (paid membership) and a free PlayStation Network account:

PSN Account <—> Xbox Live Gold Account

  • A friends list
  • Mass Messaging
  • Text Messaging
  • Voice Chat
  • Video Chat
  • Online store content download
  • Recent player list
  • Online Multiplayer
  • Matchmaking

Now that we’ve shown the similarities, let’s see what paying 50 dollars a year will get you, that a free service like the PlayStation Network won’t get you already:

  • The ability to invite / message people and access your friends list in-game

Wait….that’s it? Oh, but there’s more! Apparently, some info-digging turned up this juicy fact:

Developers of 360 games don’t pay for multiplayer hosting…you do. Gamers foot the bill for this, making it more profitable for even the smallest of developers. However, please note that PC game devs have been paying for their own multiplayer hosting for years, and have been more than successful (profit-wise) despite doing so.

As a bit of a side-note here, with the Official announcement of Firmware 2.40 and In-Game XMB, this single differentiating feature that to some, rules as a “victory point” over PlayStation Network, will no longer be a relevant argument in defense of Xbox Live Gold’s cost.

So tell me, what do you think about this? Are you going to abandon ship once Firmware 2.40 is released for the PS3? Is that going to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back,  forcing you to switch from a paid service to a free service that offers the same benefits? Or are you loyal and a die-hard fan, believing that the money you give Microsoft is well-spent and going for a good cause? State your case! We welcome your opinions!

For the Doubters

Xbox Live GamerTag – Coeus87

PSN ID – CoeusTitan