Sony has been making numerous additions and improvements to the PlayStation Network service. It comes as no surprise that one may need to re-evaluate just how good the PSN really is, in comparison to Xbox Live.
How good is the PlayStation Plus service?
To start off, let’s take a look at the PlayStation Plus membership. This higher-leveled tier is a way for players to become a part of an elite group of subscribers. Subscribers to the PlayStation Plus service receive numerous benefits, such as full-game demos, exclusive themes, four free games a month, free QORE subscription, sweepstake entries, beta invites, and more. All of these incentives alone are enough to push someone to become a member, but they also went and offered discounts in the PlayStation Store to those who are members. As of now, the price for subscription closely rivals that of Xbox Live, before the price hike. This has caused many PS3 owners to look for a PSN Generator, but that is for another topic.
Best of all, while Microsoft only allows Gold members to play online, Sony continues to allow the free-gamers to play their games over the internet. This is a solid subscription model that draws in many gamers who do not think paying for multiplayer is justified. I have many friends who refuse to purchase an Xbox 360 simply because they cannot afford or refuse to pay monthly just to play a multiplayer game.
What about the PlayStation Rewards Program?
Sony recently revealed that they are working on an incentives program that rewards the most active gamers. Gamers, on their PlayStation profile, will have an activity bar. When the bar fills up to the top, you enter the next tier and receive added benefits. There are three tiers in total, each requiring a certain amount of activity to reach. Activity, according to Sony, is considered the time you spend playing games, purchases you make in the PlayStation Store, trophies you unlock, and more to come.
Sony designed the program with the intention of allowing gamers of all kinds, both paid and free, to earn rewards. This rewards program will work greatly with the PlayStation Plus membership. You will be receiving benefits from both your subscription and this program.
How does PlayStation Network stack up against Xbox Live?
Sadly, Xbox Live is still trumping PlayStation Network in terms of raw content. Microsoft has pumped a lot of money into purchasing and developing exclusives. Video Chat has been added to Xbox Live, via Kinect and Skype, which is certain to appeal to the more casual gamers such as myself who sometimes get on solely for the social aspect. ESPN Live Streaming has been added which appeals to the rabid sports fan that are on Xbox Live. They can watch a game while in a party, talking to masses of people as they watch the game unfold. Twitter and FaceBook integration is pretty much perfect and in working order. Netflix was originally placed on this system, I believe, which is another plus.
PlayStation Network has a bit of catching up to do. The main thing that Sony has going for it, with the PlayStation Network, is that it is free. Free automatically makes it appeal to masses of people who do not want to pay for online access. It seems, however, that offering the service for free hinders it’s progress, a bit.
Ultimately, the success of the PlayStation Network or Xbox Live falls upon you, the consumer. So which do you think is better? PSN or Xbox Live? Discuss.