Playstation Network vs XBox Live – What’s the Difference?

After picking up my new Xbox earlier this week, I have had the opportunity to wade into the Xbox vs Playstation debate just a little bit more.  This was never my intention, but I guess that it comes with the territory when you own both systems.

One of the main things that I have experienced is the differences between Xbox Live and the Playstation Network.  Although they have the same basic goals in mind, they each do things a little bit differently.  Some things they do are better than the other and some things are worse.  Some things, on the flip side of the coin, are down right annoying.  This is what we are going to discuss…the differences.

First off, in the interest of full disclosure, I have been a Playstation guy for quite some time.  The Xbox that I just bought is the first ever Microsoft gaming console that I have ever purchased.  In contrast, I have owned 4 Playstation 3 consoles, 2 Playstation 2 consoles, a Playstation and now I own the Playstation 4.  I have only, up until this point, had experience with the Playstation Network.  That said, I only started playing games online a few years ago.  Prior to that, I only played single player and campaigns.  I enjoyed that but boy, I got tired of games quickly.  Especially when I would complete them within just a couple of days.  Hence, the move to online play.

There, that is out of the way.

The first thing that I really like about Xbox Live is the party chat feature.  What a nifty thrifty idea!  Being able to have a chat conversation with a friend or friends when you are not in a game, or when the game doesn’t support chat, is a big deal.  It really surprises me that Sony didn’t do something similar with the Playstation Network.  Now, this could be a feature in the PS4 but since I am not comparing the Xbox 360 to the PS4, that doesn’t matter.  I know that it isn’t a feature in the PS3.

I also really like the Beacon feature.  Now, since I have played on PSN my entire life, I don’t know a lot of Xbox people yet so I haven’t gotten to take full advantage of it yet…but I have sent out my beacon baby!

Aside from those two things, both networks are very similar.  Even though they are similar, they do each have their drawbacks.  Let’s start with PSN.

First off, although I never missed the feature because I didn’t know it existed prior to now, the lack of the “Party” feature like Xbox Live kind of stinks.  I can think of several times when it would have been nice to use a party feature over using the in game chat.  There are so many trolls and people with the entire goal in life of annoying people on both networks that it gets old.  I find myself muting everyone more often than actually chatting.

Second off, and this could be a function of the hardware in the PS3, download speeds suck.  Plain and simple.  I have a VERY fast internet connection at my house, faster than many schools and businesses actually.  So, when it takes several hours to download a game from PSN, that is just unacceptable.  As an example, I downloaded a 2 GB file on my computer today in less than 5 minutes.  Using the PS3’s built in speed test, the best speed I have ever seen was 5 Mbps.  Not fast.  I will say that the PS4 is a bit faster, but still slow.

On to Xbox Live.

Come on with availability Microsoft!  This is my chief complaint.  In the short time that I have had my Xbox, I have run into several instances where Xbox Live was not available.  Crazy!  Maybe it is the popularity of the service.  Maybe it is something else.  Regardless, this should not be an issue.  I understand there are going to be times when servers are down.  Technology sucks sometimes.  Still, they should be available more times than not.  LOTS more times!

Next, the whole Xbox Live Gold thing.  Now, I understand that this has been the model for Microsoft for quite some time but really?  Shouldn’t everyone on the console reap the benefits of the subscription?  Sony, although I am not happy they have moved in this direction, has done it right in this respect.  If one person on the console has a Playstation Plus account, everyone on the console gets to use the features.  Making each user have a subscription to Xbox Live is straight out money grubbing in my mind.

Continuing on, the ads Microsoft, the ads.  Really?  Now, this might be an Xbox thing, but it is, in my mind, a part of the network.  I paid a LOT of money for my console.  I pay a LOT of money for each game that I play.  I paid a LOT of money for my Xbox Live subscription.  Why on God’s green earth am I seeing ads on my home screen?  The desire for companies to generate advertising revenue has gotten out of control and this is a perfect example.  I should NOT have to EVER see advertisements within a device that I paid for.  Especially when I pay so much money for it.  Completely sick and wrong!

Finally, when it comes to Xbox Live, I have become very frustrated with online game play.  The continual need to migrate hosts, stopping the game mid stream, is ridiculous.  This is not a problem on PSN.  At one time, yes, PSN also had issues with migration but they are long since gone.  I am not sure what Sony did to fix these problems but Microsoft needs to step up in this respect.

Overall, regardless of the drawbacks, both networks work and provide a decent service.  I still prefer PSN over Xbox Live but will still play on Xbox Live.

What are your likes and dislikes with the service that you use?


Cheers for now


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