Green for Gold…Justified? Round Two

Written by LinuxGuru
The ever-growing struggle for console online dominance

A while back, 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?

For this second round, continuing my previous article, I’ll start with listing 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 (release delay for Xbox Live Silver accounts)
  • Recent player list
  • Access to downloadable arcade titles (and certain MMOs – Xbox Live)

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 (now 100 on PS3)
  • Mass Text Messaging
  • Text Messaging (+ In-Game)
  • Voice Chat (+ In-Game, PS3 w/supported titles, not cross-game yet)
  • Video Chat (In-game possibly coming in future PS3 firmware update?)
  • Online store content download
  • Recent player list
  • Online Multiplayer
  • Matchmaking (PS3 – supported titles)

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 voice chat cross-game
  • The ability to send voice messages cross-game
  • Standard cross-game invite system (the PS3 is capable of this, but it is not forced upon devs currently)

Wait….that’s it? Oh, but there’s more! Apparently, some info-digging a while back 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.

So tell me, what do you think about this? Are you going to abandon ship since Firmware 2.40 brought In-Game XMB and then later, more (such as Life with PlayStation and the video store), 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 (nearly) 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

LAST NOTE: Once both NXE and PlayStation Home are released, I will run a similar editorial to this, comparing the two and the similarites / differences and pros / cons.