Ask A-Rod: How do I choose between Xbox Live and PSN?
This week’s Ask A-Rod question comes from Revolution via Operation Reality.
Xbox Live costs money. (Basic) Playstation Network doesn’t. I wish I could say the argument was that simple. This question has been tackled in terms of specific features and costs but with how frequently these services are updated, most of those comparisons are irrelevant in a few months. Here are some questions you can to ask yourself before you choose your console for online play.
Where are the games you play?
Are you in love with Killzone, Resistance and LittleBigPlanet? Maybe you’re a fan of Gears of War, Halo or Fable. The games you enjoy should play a huge role in deciding which console to buy. Make a list of the console exclusives if you have to, just so you can visualize what you’ll be missing out on once you make your decision. There are a ton of games that come out on both platforms, but you’ll want to be sure that you know which doors you’re closing when you make the call.
Where do your social circles fall?
If 90% of your friends get online to play Gran Turismo on PS3, I don’t think Forza on the Xbox 360 will cut it for you. How much this matters varies from player to player, but it’s worth noting before you permanently sign off to one of these groups*. I hate to advocate people following what their peers are doing and buying; in the case of online play however, co-op and multiplayer can’t be overlooked, and playing with friends is often preferred to playing with strangers.
*Forever alone: The above argument assumes that you have existing friends.
Which service-exclusive features do you care more about?
These are the luxuries you will be getting (or giving up for you glass-half-empty types). The Xbox has features like cross-game chat which the Playstation 3 does not. The PS3 has an online browser and Playstation Home which the Xbox does not. And then they both have services like Netflix and online marketplaces. Take a look at the exclusive features and figure out which matter to you and which you can live without.
The Tie-breaker: Controllers, Cost, Upcoming Releases
You still can’t decide? That’s not surprising. I mean it took you 5 years just to decide which console to buy anyway. If you really can’t choose after you look at games, friends and features, focus on some of the other factors that are going to be pertinent to how much fun you’re going to have. Do you have a preferred controller? Are you broke as hell? Any games coming out soon that are only available on one console? There are very few people who split time between their Xbox and Playstation 50/50; everyone has their preference. Oh that’s a good segway…
Or you could always buy a Wii and use friend codes…Just Kidding.
Everyone has their preference. My personal opinion is that you get what you pay for and Xbox Live is the superior service. That being said, PSN offers a great online experience for free and deserves all of the kudos it receives; in terms of value it’s tough to beat. Now the choice lies with you. Go forth my son, I wish you the best in your quest to game online, but watch out for that potty-mouthed 12 year-old, he’s everywhere.