Ding ding ding. A nice little series I might add (‘Versus’), and this week I’ve chosen PSN and XBL. It’s a little fanboyish topic that I hope to resolve, please do take the time to read all of this post. Feel free to reply, debate, call me up, kill me, bury me or even just laugh at me. I just want to stop an age old holy war between the Playslaves and Sexboxers. Do keep in mind that I’ve spent more time on PSN, but also keep in mind that I just buy all my games for the PS3. Not out of being bias, just really out of “All my friends have Ps3.”
Obviously Microsoft has giant publisher support, who regularly picks up new developers. New developers who can get acquainted with the XBLA Dev tools very quickly and ship them out. As far as I’ve been told, these dev kits are very similar to the PSN kits, but then again I don’t know anything. XBLA obviously has more titles, and better titles, because its been around longer. Plus the fact that Microsoft knows just about everybody in the biz now.
I can look at my friends in game on PSN and I can do the same on the XBL, I can send messages, voice messages and such through XBL and I can do the same thing on PSN (bar the voice messaging feature, which will probably be in a future firmware update). The party system on XBL is obviously a huge ‘out-trumper’ but I think Sony has experimented with putting it on the PSN. As I can recall, it was on the feature list for one of the 2.XX updates. If there’s anything else about friends I’ve missed out, do nudge me.
I hate the words “I get a **** connection on ps3 games but ace on 360.”, that’s usually mentioned in real life rather than here. But I’ve heard it around these parts at some point. The real problem with multiplayer on the PS3 platform isn’t Sony, or PSN or anything to do with us. It’s the publishers. Name any major multiplatform release and nine times out of ten it would have been developed with the 360 in mind. The publishers themselves will buy servers for multiplayer on all the platforms, but since it will sell better on the 360, they’ll buy better servers for them. They’ll buy cheaper servers for PS3 simply because they still want a slice of the pie, but the slice of the pie isn’t worth really bothering with. It all comes down to costs and greediness.
Now this is were some things start to get very interesting. I’ll just be like Lalalala, putting in my credit card details and such on PSN and then I’ll see Battlefield 1943 for £9.99, I’ll be like “Oooh, cool.”, I’ll add to my basket and then remember it’s on the XBL Marketplace too. Because I’m a cheapo, I’ll see if it’s a better price, so I’ll hop on my Xbox and check the price. 1200 MSPoints. Okay…
Small difference, I know, but it’s all the little pennies that make up a pound and really I think this is the same across the board. Although I can see some exceptions (Each Fallout 3 PS3 DLC is priced at £9.99, whereas the XBL versions are priced at 800 MSpoints, £6.80), but really they’re just around the same price. I can see why they some times charge more on the PSN, because of the server prices that Sony gets publishers to pay for. Which is far and everything. Microsoft pays for every single XBL server out there from the subscriptions that they get, plus they’re a major publisher of most XBLA titles too so they get more than enough cake.
Pretty obvious, £40 for XBL and nothing for PSN… or so it seems. As I outlined above, there’s a lot of hidden costs in PSN. From more pennies to pounds on downloadable games or DLC, to even the lack of a headset coming with the system. With all this being said, I still think you’ll end up paying the same amount for either service in the end. £40 for a whole year of XBL is actually, in my opinion, a lot of money for a very nice service. The one time my Xbox RROD, I got it back in one week. Very helpful service.
6. Visuals + Simplicity
I hate debating visuals and shizzle, so I included the topic of simplicity. The way your browse for your friends and through the marketplace. With PSN you hop on the store, look at ‘What’s New’ for new shizzle or go into different categories to find what you want. It’s the same thing with XBL, basically, although you can buy game DLC while in-game (I think).
In-game XMB on the PS3 can’t be any easier to manage. PS button -> Scroll right -> Friends -> Create Message -> To: StichRFC -> Add Reply: LOL U SUCK -> Send. It’s just about the same thing on XBL too. Although you get animations and avatars on XBL which add a sort of empty feeling of “Yeah this is better.”… but is it really? I don’t care whether a game looks good or not, I care how it plays. So I’m really not going to care that much when going through my friends list and, in my opinion, small little avatars next to big bold names is better than some avatar dude with the name etched below it.
I hate (my favorite word) the fact that some people think the ”360 is for chavs.” or ”PS3 is for old guys with money.”, because really I’ve had a friendly experience on both. I’ve met whiney, twelve year old boys on both formats and I’ve met nice friendly people on both systems. I can even meet them up in a party on XBL or in Home (which I’ll get to in a minute). The community on 360 is huge and bigger than the PS3 simply because of its install base and its price point. The same thing would happen if the PS3 launched earlier and at a lower price.
Really the only thing I find different between the two is that I find more people with mics on the 360, as you have to buy one yourself with a PS3. Although I don’t care because I’m too busy owning.
This deserves its own topic, because quite frankly, it’s pointless. Why do you need to meet in a virtual space, which takes hours of updates and installs, then downloads WITHIN itself? I don’t really see the point of it over than meeting up to play bowling, that’s what it is to me, free bowling. I don’t want to spend twenty minutes plobbing about into Home, waiting for the download to finish of the meeting space, wait for it to load, type fumbly on the PS3 controller… I just want to communicate with my friends. I don’t need to go into a virtual place to say “Hay, wanna game of Uncharted 2?”, “Sure.”, that’s what messaging was invented for.
Not really a negative thing for PSN, just pointless. Thank god Microsoft didn’t follow the lead.
Webcams and accessories work fine with both my PS3 and 360. I need a wireless adapter for my 360, which cost me a drab price of £60, but I think most people of wired connections anyway. The PSeye with the PS3 has some real nice quality, the Live Vision camera offers just about the same… so what gives? Any out-trumps in this department?
I can quickly slide over the letters on my PS3 controller, but I can’t do it with the 360 controller. This won’t be a problem for many, since I’ve had my PS3 since just after launch and only got my 360 a year ago. From what I’ve seen, my friend types so fast on his 360 controller that he has to wait for the message to load, they’re the same as each other. I use a USB keyboard now anyway because I’m cool.